This week I am planning on taking some time off to attend a family gathering. I will be gone after the Wednesday mass (July 27th) through Tuesday (August 2nd). This coming weekend (July 30 – 31) Fr. Tom Cusack, a Columban missionary, will cover the masses and make an appeal for the Columban Missions. Fr. Cusack is originally from Ireland, and was ordained a Columban Missionary priest in 1962. He has split his missionary life equally between the Philippines and the United States. He is currently assigned to St. Columbans, Nebraska.
Today, Columbans minister in fourteen different countries around the world. Despite government restrictions on their life and ministry, they support the forgotten church in China. They minister among the deprived and downtrodden Catholics in Pakistan in spite of great personal risks. They support the struggling church in Myanmar as that country emerges from decades of military dictatorship. They befriend the poor and forgotten in the Philippines and Peru. They encourage young people in various countries to become Columban priests and lay missionaries in order to continue spreading the Good News of God’s love for all humanity.
To learn more about the Columban Fathers, you can visit their website at www.columban.org.
I know you will give Fr. Cusack a warm welcome. A second collection will be taken up after communion next weekend. If you wish to contribute by check, please make your check out to Holy Spirit Parish.
Don’t forget our Summer Gatherings this week, July 25, 26, & 27. Our speakers are excellent and they will help us to come to a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and how we live out forgiveness in our everyday lives. Hopefully you will be able to make all of the evenings, but if you can only make two or even one of the evenings, please come. There will be a simple supper served each evening at 6:30 pm. The program will begin at 7:00 pm.
There is a Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation that I use from time to time. The preface is a good prayer for us during these troubling times.
For though the human race is divided by dissension and discord,
yet we know that by testing us you change our hearts
to prepare them for reconciliation.
Even more, by your Spirit you move human hearts
that enemies may speak to each other again,
adversaries join hands, and people seek to meet together.
By the working of your power it comes about, O Lord,
that hatred is overcome by love,
revenge gives way to forgiveness,
and discord is changed to mutual respect.
It is my prayer for our country and our world.