This weekend we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of our church. I remember a liturgist saying that first we shape our church and then our church begins to shape us. I can see that in the way that this church was shaped. It has one of the largest gathering spaces (also called narthex) I have seen. It allows people to gather and greet one another before they go into the church. There are signs of the Holy Spirit. You can see it in the stained glass windows in the narthex and in the sanctuary. It is evident, too, in the 7 chandeliers that hang around the altar reminding us of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Our Pastoral Council is working on a reflection of our Mission Statement that will be presented in the bulletin in a few weeks. The first article gives a reflection on who the Holy Spirit is. As a parish that is called Holy Spirit it is good for us to know who this Holy Spirit is.
Today we also ask you to put on name tags so that we can get to know each other. St. Paul reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. It is good to get to know that Body. I hope you will join others for the breakfast that the Knights of Columbus have prepared for us. I encourage you to sit with someone you don’t know so well and get to know them.
The end of this month Bishop Johnston is mailing a letter to all of the people of our diocese asking them to support for our diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal. This year we are also going to do our parish appeal at the same time as the diocesan appeal. You are asked to prayerfully consider how you can support your parish with you time, talent and treasure and at the same time how you can support our larger church, the diocese. Look for the bishop’s letter. The letter from the parish will be coming soon after the bishop’s letter.
Every four years when there is an election for president the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) prints a document titled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. You can go to the Bishops web site to see a copy of that document. The past few weeks I have been using a voter guide that was put together by a coalition of national Catholic organizations listed below:
- Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
- Conference of Major Superiors of Men
- Faith in Public Life: Catholic Program
- Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious
- National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
- Pax Christi USA
- Pax Christi International
- Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Extended Justice Team
The title of this voter guide is “A Revolution of Tenderness: A 2016 Election Pope Francis Values Guide”. It is presented for our “prayerful reflection.”
Inserted in the bulletin today is another resource that our Liturgy Committee suggested would be good to give to parishioners. Of the three resources this one is the shortest and easiest to read. The reason these resources are available to you is not to tell you who to vote for, but to remind you that the values of the Gospel and the teaching of our Church is important and should be a part of our decision who we will vote for.