Dear Friends in Christ:
This is the first weekend of our Religious Education for Youth. We have kicked off our Adult Formation sessions as well. Additionally, we have started off another year of the St. Anne Society for Mothers of Young Children, St. Monica’s Society, The Women’s Club, The Joyful Women, That Man Is You, Prayer Groups, Dinners for 8, Young Adults, Mission Teams, Bridge, Community Garden, Knights of Columbus, Cana Experience, Youth Ministry, First Friday Breakfasts, Boy Scouts, Liturgical Ministries, Parish Pilgrimages, ESL, tutoring, Ministry to the Sick, Parish Life outings, Monthly Parish Dinners and tons of other happenings around the parish. With all of these activities, one can get dizzy just trying to keep up with them all. Yet, I am always amazed how many people are unaware of all the offerings and activities our parish has available. I am likewise surprised that there are so many people who come to Mass on Sunday and then go home and are never involved in anything else. While I am grateful that so many come to Mass, I would like to invite everyone in our parish to become involved in at least one other thing in the parish. Just one. I promise you will be able to find something that interests you and will enrich you. You may be thinking that it is difficult because you don’t know anyone. Well, there is no better way to get to know other people than by becoming involved and engaged in something. Perhaps you are sincerely not ready to take a class or become active in a group. That is Ok. Maybe you can come and spend a little time in Eucharistic Adoration or pray Morning or Evening Prayers or come to a weekday Mass. Lots of people say that they don’t have the time or are already too busy. Sure, I get it, but I also know that we have the time if we make it a priority. I would especially encourage our families with school age children to become in engaged in the parish. Kids who have parents engaged in church activities outside of just attending Mass and CCE are far more likely to stay connected to the church throughout their lives. If you want your children to stay close to God and the Church, get involved! Be an example and become involved yourself! The best way to get something out of church is to put something into church!
This month we are kicking off the IGNITE Capital Campaign. Hopefully, you have received an invitation to attend one of the campaign receptions (if not, please contact the parish offices). This is a campaign that our archbishop, Cardinal DiNardo, has initiated to address some of the needs of our archdiocese. I want to encourage every household to please respond by coming to one of the several receptions that are being hosted here in the parish. As Catholics, we are united to one another. Each of us belongs not only to our parish but to the local diocese and the universal church. This is part of our communion and what makes us Catholic. Our catholicity is a gift from Jesus himself who founded his Church on the apostles. The bishops are the successors to the apostles. As the chief shepherd in this archdiocese, Cardinal DiNardo has the responsibility of leading and caring for the more than 1.7 million Catholics in our area. Part of his ministry as shepherd is ensuring that the present and future needs of the people in this archdiocese are properly cared for. I invite you to come and learn about this important endeavor for our archdiocese.
The other day, I received the nicest e-mail from Fr. Norbert Maduzia, pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola parish in Spring. Fr. Norbert was expressing his thanks for his new assistant, Fr. Justin Cormie. Then I received another note bragging about what a great job Fr. Rick Arriola is doing at St. Bartholomew parish in Katy. These two newly ordained priests are both from our parish. How blessed we are that God called them to the priesthood. With the start of school we had three new young men enter the seminary. Ahn Nguyen, Josh Svajda and Phuc Nguyen are joining Michael Noriega, Paolo Puccini, C.S.P. and David Ramirez in studies for the priesthood. Our need for more priests is great. The simple fact is that we do not have enough priests to serve all of God’s people in our archdiocese. But more than numbers we need good men, holy men who are willing to give their lives in following Christ and leading others to Christ. Please keep our seminarians in your prayers and ask God that many more young men may respond to His call.
In pace Christi,