Dear Friends in Christ:
Even though the heat is going to be around for a bit longer, summertime is coming to an end. That means things are really picking up around the parish. Obviously, the program that touches the most parish families is our Religious Education for Youth (CCE). We are blessed to have over 1300 children involved in our Religious Education program, each child learning and growing in the love of God. We are also blessed with hundreds of great and devoted catechists and helpers in addition to our dedicated staff. Yet with all of these wonderful servant disciples, did you know that we still do not have enough – especially to assist with our Jr. High and High School youth? Maybe the Lord is calling you to this important ministry. Pray about it and then answer the call and say YES! Every school-age child should receive a religious formation and education. This is for children from first grade through High School. If you know of any child who is not in a Catholic school or in religious education, they are welcome here at SJV – even if they are not Catholic! We want to share the love of Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith with everyone! Besides Youth Formation, we will also be starting the Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is a yearlong journey for any adult who has never been baptized and for those baptized adults who desire to become Catholic. Do you have a family friend, neighbor or co-worker who is not Catholic? Do you know someone who has thought about becoming Catholic? Do you know someone who is not a Christian and is interested in learning more about how Jesus loves them and has died for them so that they may have eternal salvation? Invite them to call us.
Religious formation is not just for children and converts. It is for all of us. Our parish has a fabulous Adult Formation Ministry. There are many interesting offerings throughout the year. They are listed in the bulletin and on the Adult Formation webpage. If you have never been to one of our programs, treat yourself. Likewise, there are plenty of opportunities to serve here in our parish. We have the annual parish bazaar coming in October, and throughout the year there are opportunities to serve the poor and needy through our Social Services Ministries. Then there are the liturgical ministries at Mass. You can sing in the choir, serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, serve as an usher, assist at baptisms and funerals, care for the sacred linens used at mass and so much more. It takes literally thousands of people to keep things going around the parish and there has never been a day where we have had too many or even enough people to cover everything. I invite YOU to become involved and to make a difference!
This summer we did a little re-modeling. We have increased our nursery space to better serve our growing number of young families! For our families with babies and toddlers, the nursery is available for Sunday morning masses in addition to the two cry rooms in the church for when the little ones get a little fussy.
With the start of school, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of safe driving. You should never text while driving or otherwise be distracted. I ask that when driving in our parking lot and on the streets in the neighborhood that you always exercise caution and courtesy. Traffic on Memorial Drive continues to be a mess. Even though the construction and traffic are frustrating, we need to be calm and understanding. We give Christian witness by the way we drive. Please be cautious and always obey our security and traffic officers. If you drive through the neighborhoods, please drive safely. Do not exceed the speed limits and watch out for our children and friends in the neighborhood.
In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately