Fr. Tom’s Letters

 

Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the faith life of our Parish.

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Last night (Wednesday) was our eighth grade Graduation Awards night.  At this gathering, the many achievements and service activities of the graduates are recognized.  Included in the program this year were four graduate speakers.  Each of these four speakers was outstanding.  Two spoke early in the ceremony; two spoke after the various recognitions were awarded.  All offered heartfelt reflections.  Two were long time students at St. Anne’s Parish School.  Two came here in more recent years.

Each of them spoke about the sense of community, welcome, friendship, and faith they discovered in their school.  In this appreciation, they included fellow students, faculty, parents, school and parish staff.  They spoke of struggle and difficulties and how they were supported and guided during trying times.  And they spoke with good humor.  They were truly outstanding.

These four students were speaking for themselves and they also reflected and represented their classmates, the largest St. Anne’s graduating class going back decades.  The evening was truly a testament to the vitality and significance of our parish school ministry.  These speakers spoke of God, Mass, prayer, and faith.  They spoke with gratitude about meeting Detective Steven McDonald in preparation for their Confirmation.

All our graduates made their parents proud on Wednesday night.  Graduation followed on Saturday with Mass and the presentation of diplomas.  Being with our new alumni on Wednesday night inspired me to continue to be a strong proponent and pastor advocate for our Catholic parish elementary schools.  St. Anne’s Parish School is integral to the parish mission of sharing the gospel with our younger students.  It is a life-giving ministry for us all at St. Anne’s.

FATHERS DAY

Congratulations to all the fathers of our parish.  As we did last month with Mothers Day, we today honor the vocation of parent.  Being a parent is a gift, a privilege, a responsibility.  God gifts parents with their children.  Calling another person “dad” and calling another “my child” is among the greatest of human privileges.  Raising a child, shaping the soul of another human person, is the greatest of responsibilities.  Being a parent is not easy.  We need to support parents and families.  Parents can make mistakes.  No one does it perfectly.  Teaching the first lessons of love, trust, obedience, and service requires so much patience, skill, and love.  It’s important that we honor our dads today both living and deceased.  For the dads among us, enjoy this day of family and hopefully some fun.  For those dads who have died, we can imagine how they pray and watch over us from heaven.  That includes my dad.  Maybe like some of your dads, my dad was far from perfect.  Still, I find good cheer today in my confidence of my father’s presence, as one Eucharistic prayer says, “a saint among saints in the halls of heaven.”

SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ.  Our focus is on the Eucharist, the Mass, and the presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread, the host.  So much has been written about the Eucharist all through the history of the Church.  St. Paul writes of the Eucharist in his letters; Pope Francis writes of the Eucharist in his letters to us today.  One sample of this writing about the centrality of the Eucharist to our Catholic faith comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  “The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church.  Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ.  Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body – the Church.  Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism.  In Baptism we have been called to form but one body.  The Eucharist fulfills this call: ‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

In recent years, there has been a renewal of devotion to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist as it is experienced in the rituals of Exposition and Benediction.  This is especially true among young Catholics seeking a life of increased devotion.  We have adoration and benediction at the parish on Thursday mornings.  Again, the Catechism comments on the place of adoration in the life of the Church: “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship.  Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love.  Let us not refuse the time to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world.  Let our adoration never cease.”

As we celebrate this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, I find myself reflecting on the healing power of the Eucharist.  In recent years, I have noted how participation in Mass has brought encouragement, direction, strength, and consolation to persons who may be discouraged, confused, weakened, or sad.  I think we need to reflect more on the healing power of the Mass.  Sharing our experience in this regard may be a source of encouragement and invitation to others to share more fully and regularly in this great sacrament.  If you wish to share your experience of how sharing in the Mass has been a source of healing in your life, please feel invited tharold@drvc.org

Happy Fathers Day!

Enjoy a peace-filled week!

Fr. Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.