For the next month, we will be hearing in our Sunday Gospel readings from John 6, the beautiful and powerful discourse of Our Lord on the Bread of Life, the Holy Eucharist. As I mentioned at the Masses last week, it is good for all of us to go back and read this most marvelous chapter on our own and to refer to it in our prayer, study and reflection. Likewise, it is most advantageous and beneficial to go and refresh ourselves with a reading from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the section of the Holy Eucharist (par 1322 – 1419). If you do not have a copy of the Catechism at home, I urge you to buy one. You can also look it up online at usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism. With so much confusion and misinformation, it is really important for us to understand our faith.
I know that some people are away on vacation and others have yet to return to coming to Mass each week. This is a wonderful time for all of us to invite people to come to Mass with us. Reach out to neighbors, relatives, friends and invite them to join you at Mass next week. Remember, it usually takes asking three times before people will respond. Be patient and kind, be careful not to be pushy or overbearing. What we want is for others to share our joy and experience the wonderful gift we have! Speaking of vacations, please remember that if we are blessed to get away on vacation, we should still be attending Mass and keeping the Lord’s Day holy. We can never take a vacation from praising and thanking God!
Coming up, we have our parish Feast Day, the Feast Day of St. John Vianney. We will have a special evening Mass on the feast day itself, August 4, and then we will continue the celebration with a parish picnic on August 8. Please check the bulletin and website for details and make plans to be part of this wonderful feast. Also coming up on August 15, we will welcome Fr. Joe Perez to St. John Vianney. Fr. Joe is a priest in our archdiocese and serves in the missions in Guatemala. Fr. Joe has been a missionary for many years and will speak to us of his work there. This is our annual Mission Appeal Sunday where we seek to support the missionary activity of the Church around the world.
This is also the time of year for all of our families to make sure their children are receiving a formation and education in our Catholic Faith. Every school-age child (K-12) should be enrolled in one of our Catholic Schools or our parish Youth Formation program. There are some new and exciting changes coming up for the youth this coming school year. In addition to Faith Youth Formation, we also have our Youth Ministry programs for Middle School and High School youth. These are both formative and fun for kids.
Likewise, Faith Formation is a life long journey and not just for children. All of us need to continue to grow in our knowledge and love of our Catholic Faith. We are exceptionally blessed in this parish with many opportunities with our Adult Formation (bible studies, faith studies, prayer groups and more). Make plans to be part of one of the many offerings we have for adults. There are offerings for young adults, groups for men, women and mixed – you name it! Treat yourself to being part of a study or prayer group this year! Additionally, there are wonderful offerings and opportunities through our Young Adult Ministry (for college age, young professionals, young marrieds and singles) and through our Pastoral Care and Spiritual Life (Young Families, Together in Holiness, That Man Is You, Choice Wine) and our many other groups (St. Anne’s, St. Monica’s, Joyful Women, Knights of Columbus, MFC and more).
Make plans to get engaged this year in your parish and make a difference!
In pace Christi,