Dear Friends in Christ:
Next Sunday, we celebrate the feast of our heavenly patron, St. John Vianney. We are also celebrating the 53rd anniversary of the founding of our parish. For the feast day, we will of course have mass, and after the 9:30, 11:00, 12:30 and 2:00 masses we will have an old fashioned parish cook out! There will be entertainment, food and fun for everyone! It will all be free. Beginning on the Feast day, we will then begin ten special days of prayer. We hope to offer 5,000 hours of Eucharistic Adoration and 10,000 rosaries in thanksgiving for our blessings and with the special intentions:
- Our families will always be strong in the Catholic Faith and close to God
- An increase of converts to the Catholic Faith
- An increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our parish
We ask that every family make an effort to come and spend at least one hour in prayer and Eucharistic Adoration between August 4th and 14th, and that each member of the family pray at least one rosary. We are blessed to have Eucharistic Adoration 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Come any time of the day or night. There will be books in the chapel for you to sign and record the number of hours of adoration and rosaries prayed.
You will notice that one of our prayer intentions is an increase in the number of converts to the Catholic Faith, especially here at SJV. The last year has been a rough one in terms of bad news and publicity concerning the Catholic Church in particular and religion in general. Do not be discouraged. Stay strong and hopeful in the faith! Sad though these revelations may be, they do not change the glory and power of the Good News of Jesus Christ for the whole world. We cannot allow the sins and failures of a few to distract us from our mission. Sinfulness is always disappointing and heartbreaking. Sin is painful and scandalous. But in light of these failures, there is a no better time for us to proclaim anew and with great boldness that the remedy to sin is not quitting or pulling back, but living our faith with greater fervor, holiness and grace. The truth and power of God’s love is made manifest in the beauty and truth of our Catholic Faith. Even in the midst of sin and human failure, God continues to love, forgive and save through His Son, Jesus Christ! That is the good news that we rejoice in! That is the truth of our Catholic Faith! That is the glory of the Catholic Church!
Imagine if each one of us asked one person who is not Catholic to consider becoming Catholic. Imagine how many lives could be changed. It is not uncommon for Catholics to be afraid or timid because they don’t think they know how to invite someone to consider becoming Catholic. Well, it is OK to be a little apprehensive. That is normal. The first thing to do is to pray for yourself. Pray for the grace to appreciate your faith! Pray for the wisdom to see what a gift your Catholic faith is to you! Reflect on how much you love your Catholic Faith and how much richer your life is because you are a Catholic. Consider the Sacraments: the joy of the Eucharist, the forgiveness and peace of Confession, the strength of Confirmation, the mutual love and comfort of the covenant of marriage. Think of the richness of our moral teachings and how our faith guides our way of thinking and living. Think of the beauty and glory of the saints, the faith of the martyrs, the dedication and zeal of the missionaries, the exemplary lives of the confessors, virgins, pastors and teachers of the faith throughout the ages. Consider the two thousand year history of making countless lives and the world better. Consider the contributions to the world by the Catholic Church – universities, hospitals, caring for the needy, the treasures of art, music, architecture, culture. When we appreciate the gift of our faith then we will want to share the joy of what we have with others. Asking someone to consider becoming Catholic is nothing less than an act of love and generosity. Next week during the opening prayer at mass, we will pray to God that through the intercession and example of St. John Vianney “we may in charity win brothers and sisters for Christ!” May that be our prayer always!
In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately