Dear Friends in Christ:
For a time when things are supposed to slow down, we have a lot going on. Recently, our parish had two ACTS retreats, one for women in Spanish and another for men in English. Both retreats were wonderful for all of those who attended. The retreatants came back with enthusiasm and a renewed sense of faith, purpose and joy in life. If you have never been on a retreat, it is a marvelous opportunity and a special grace to do so. We also have other retreats and days of prayer throughout the year. This coming March, Fr. Bill Watson, S.J., head of the Sacred Story Institute and author of the Forty Weeks Spirituality Program, will lead our Lenten Mission.
In case you missed it, more than 700 SJV parishioners attended the Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays game and our parish choir beautifully sang the national anthem before the beginning of the game. Even though the Astros didn’t win that night, it was a proud moment for our parish and an evening of great fun and fellowship.
During the week, the parish has been a hub of activity. We have had hundreds of kids on campus for our Summer Youth Program (camp) as well as two different sessions of Vacation Bible School and the Great Adventure Bible Program for Youth. In June, we had two socials for some of the young people in our parish. There was an outing for our altar servers to show our appreciation for their service at Holy Mass and then a fun night for our Jr. High youth. There were more than 90 kids at the SJV Jr. High Fun Night at The Main Event in Katy. The numbers of kids in all of these programs have grown this year and having so many kids on campus is great (and loud!). There will be more activities for youth this summer. Stay tuned. Our Youth Formation department has been working hard for several months to prepare for next year. There will be some new offerings for our High School youth as well, so stay tuned, to that as well!
Recently, there was special presentation on the ministry of hospitality and welcoming at St. Martha’s parish in Kingwood given by national speaker, John Poitevent. SJV was represented by a group of parishioners including our ushers and greeters and other parish ministries. All came back reporting what a great experience the day was. A few weeks back, we had a special appreciation dinner for those involved in the Ministry to the Sick. These women and men offer pastoral care and ministry to more than 120 parishioners weekly and many more in area hospitals. It was a great time of fellowship and enjoyment for all in the Ministry to the Sick.
It is not too late (or early) to make sure that your children are registered for religious formation. Every school age child should be receiving a religious education either in one of our Catholic Schools or in our parish program. To register in our Youth Formation program, please contact the parish or go online to our website. Likewise, do you know someone who would like to become Catholic? If so, please invite them to our RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults). This is for any adult who has never been baptized or was baptized in a non-Catholic Church and would like to become Catholic. If you have friends, neighbors or family members who are non-Christian, non-believers or non-Catholic, pray for them and then invite them to consider becoming Catholic.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately