Come and See!
Dear Friends in Christ:
So much to say and so little space and so little time! We are fast approaching the end of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King – the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year – and then we begin a new year with the First Sunday of Advent on December 1. As we approach Advent we should remember that as Catholics we are called to be “salt and light” (Mt 5). During this season of preparation we need to live it as a season of preparation for “the celebration of the birth of the Messiah and his coming in glory at the end of time.” In other words, please, please, please, remember to keep Christ in Christmas! The most important aspect of the holidays is our relationship with Jesus. Schedule time for prayer, penance, Confession and Mass. We all know how easy it is to go crazy. Plan ahead and make our spiritual preparation the most important priority of the season. By planning ahead we can slow down and pray more as individuals and as families. We will have additional Masses and times for Confessions during Advent. By deliberately paying attention to the spiritual nature of this time of year we can help others see Jesus and hopefully we will be instrumental in bringing others to Christ. Invite a fallen away friend or family member to come to Mass or Adoration with you. Share the story of Jesus with a non-believer. Give witness to God’s love in your life to others. Please remember to be positive and encouraging, to be patient and forgiving and always examples of hope and joy! Christ our Lord, the savior of the world, has come and is coming again!
We continue with our Ignite Capital Campaign. Thank you to the many generous donors who have made pledges in support of this important campaign to provide for some of the needs of our archdiocese and parish. We are making real progress but we still have a good way to go. We are currently at 63% of our goal. To meet the goal we will need the help of all of our parishioners. Our goal of $4.3 million is one of the highest in the archdiocese and we need every parish family to do their part. We have all been blessed because of the sacrifices of previous generations. The history of the Catholic Church in Texas reveals that it has faced huge challenges over the years but God has continued to bless us and help us in fulfilling our mission to bring forth the love of Christ. Providing money to help the seminary or our Catholic Schools or helping parishes or training lay leaders does not sound very romantic or exciting, but it is necessary and important. The monies we raise in this campaign are just a part of our overall mission as a Church. When the first missionaries first came to Houston and offered Mass in January, 1839, they could never have imagined the huge archdiocese we would be today with nearly two million Catholics! Those early Catholic settlers and pioneers sacrificed and struggled to build churches, schools, hospitals and much more. We are being called to renew and strengthen our Catholic presence and reach out to serve our community today. Please support this campaign and remember to keep our archdiocese and our bishop, Cardinal DiNardo, in your prayers.
One of the challenges of being a big parish – and we are BIG (although not the biggest; we are number 14 in the archdiocese with 5,084 families) – is that it is easy to think that there are plenty of other people to do the work! In fact, studies show that the smaller the parish the greater the percentage of participation and sense of fulfillment! In a large parish like ours there is a temptation to be anonymous – come to Mass, say our prayers, and go home. This “consumer” mentality is absolutely antithetical to what it means for us to be disciples of Jesus.
We are shortchanged of the richness of living our Catholic life when we are not involved in the life of the parish.
I would like to challenge every parish family to become involved and engaged in at least one ministry here in the parish. I promise as you do this, your faith will grow, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, and the parish will suddenly seem a whole lot smaller as you get to meet and know more of your fellow parishioners/disciples! Come and see what blessings the Lord has in store for you.
In pace Christi,