Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Come and See

Dear Parishioners,
It would be pretty safe to say that most of the people sitting in the pews of our church (and even in the sanctuary) are considered cradle Catholics.  We were baptized as Catholics because our parents (assisted by our godparents) sought to have us share in their Catholic faith from infancy.  Thank you for this!
However, there are frequently those among us who may not have been baptized, may not have received all of their Sacraments of Initiation (including 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation) or may have received their sacraments but never were thoroughly or adequately trained in the faith (catechized).
Now is the time for those who may be interested to find out more about the Catholic faith.  Perhaps there is an adult within your family or among your friends and neighbors who might be thinking about becoming a Catholic.  They can inquire about what is involved and learn more about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.).  Others may have been baptized but were never confirmed.  They too can find out what is necessary to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.  In addition, there might be those who were never properly or officially married in the manner required by the Catholic Church and would like to have their marriage “blessed” (convalidated) by the Catholic Church.  They can find out if this is possible and learn exactly how to go about it.
In the inquiry process many additional questions may be asked and answered—often regarding annulments, the Holy Eucharist, and the sacrament of Penance (Confession), etc.
And so, I extend the invitation to anyone who may fall into these areas or who may want to find out more about the Catholic faith to Come and See.
The next day John [the Baptist] was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”  The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.  Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?”  They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”  He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” (Emphasis added, John 1: 35-39)
There is an invitation and an opportunity being given once again to follow Jesus more closely.  Discipleship often begins by asking questions, seeking to find out more about Jesus (and His Church) and then taking the necessary steps.
Further information about upcoming inquiry sessions will appear in the weekly bulletin.
Come and see!
Fr. Ed Namiotka

Monday, April 9, 2012

Help Wanted

Dear Parishioners,
There are plenty of things to do in every parish.  Ours is no exception.
When I look around I see so much potential for growth—so much that could be!  We are a strong parish built upon a solid foundation and rich tradition.  However, we can never remain complacent or think that we have already accomplished it all.  Until we are in heaven with our Risen Lord, there is still much work to be done!  
And so, I take this time now to ask for your help.  I am inviting you, pleading with you, begging you, to take more ownership in the parish.  There is a lot at stake!  We need to labor, according to the Lord’s bidding, in order to grow spiritually ourselves.  Yet, we must also consider the generations yet to come—our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and those yet to be born!
We need to build up the Kingdom of God together.  I use the following analogy to help illustrate my point.  I see my role as pastor like the conductor of an orchestra.  The more people I have playing instruments, the fuller, richer and more magnificent the sound.  “I” cannot possibly play every instrument.  I need you to do that.  However, “I” can help to organize and coordinate the instruments so that we perform a beautiful composition together for the Lord.
Too often in the past I have heard this excuse for not getting involved:   No one has ever asked me.  Well, now I am asking!  Can you help in some way?  Yes, you—not your neighbor, your friend, your sibling, your co-worker—I am asking you!   I need your help.  You have some talent or gift that no one else can give because you are unique!
Here are just a few of the areas where you can help:
·       Volunteer some of your skills or trade (carpentry, painting, masonry work, plumbing, electrical, etc.) to help make repairs or improvements for the good of the parish.  (It would be nice to have an active Buildings and Grounds committee).

·        Help teach or be an aide in the Religious Education program or R.C.I.A.

·       Join the Knights of Columbus, the Altar and Rosary Society, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, etc.

·       Volunteer your services to the Pastoral Council or Finance Council.

·       Join the choir, volunteer to be a Reader, or to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (and take Holy Communion to the sick/homebound), or to be an Altar Server, etc.  (Volunteer to coordinate any or all of these ministries or to help on a Liturgy committee.)

·        Help organize/coordinate a census of the parish.

·     Volunteer to assist the pastor in some ad hoc project with which he might be having a hard time finding people to help.

·        If you unable to do physical work, concentrate on being an apostle of prayer for the parish to pray for all of us!

The above list is only partial!  I assure that with time I can find something for you to do for the parish and ultimately for the Lord!  Just ask me!  

(No applications refused!  100% guaranteed placement!)

Fr. Ed Namiotka

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The True Meaning of Easter!

Dear Parishioners,

The Lord is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

These are words from an ancient Christian greeting that should reflect our joy at the mystery of the Resurrection of Christ.

The past weeks of Lent and Holy Week gave us time to spiritually prepare for the central event of our Christian faith--the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.  The experience of witnessing the Risen Christ, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, strengthened the Apostles to witness and, in most cases, to give their lives in spreading the Gospel. 

They had no fear about what would happen to them physically as they saw that Jesus was alive even after a brutal passion and death.  As we celebrate the Easter season, please try to keep the Resurrected Christ foremost in mind. 

In times of difficulty or uncertainty it is the hope given us by the Resurrected Christ that should motivate us and fill us with strength and confidence!

I thank all who work so hard and who are so generous in helping to strengthen our Christian faith community.

Be assured of my daily prayers and Masses for all of you. 

May I ask a continued remembrance in your prayers and Masses as well? 

Have a blessed Easter season!

Fr. Ed Namiotka