Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
A few weeks ago, when we had our High School “Theology on Tap” at the Pastime restaurant, we closed the evening with a prayer “On how to Order One’s Life”. It was a prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas. I was turned on to the prayer by listening to a podcast during my workout that day. The podcast was from “Pints With Aquinas” (www.pintswithaquinas.com), by Matt Fradd. The prayer was beautiful, but I would say the podcasts are also pretty rich! The podcast I had listened to that day spoke about Aquinas’ teaching on the Angels. (If you check out this podcast, it has been recommended you start out with podcast #1) In fact, this past Easter week, I had read through a large portion of Aquinas’s treatise on Angels as part of my canonical retreat; so it was refreshing to hear some of that repeated. I recommend this podcast to you, as part of your ongoing faith formation. It’s a pretty academic podcast, but also pretty entertaining and accessible. You could even start an official “Pints With Aquinas” discussion group in our parish! Instructions are on the website.
On another note, this weekend I’ve been brainstorming a bit about another pastoral initiative. What about a “prayer clinic” at our parish one evening a month? People need prayers for many things, and it’s pretty traditional – going all the way back into the Old and New Testaments – to pray with people (laying on hands if they are comfortable) for things that they need? We could pray for physical healing; and if a person would come with an illness serious enough (even lots of aches and pains from old age!), I could actually give them the Sacrament of the Sick. Or somebody might come with some need for spiritual, emotional or mental healing of some sort. I could gather a team of willing souls around me who could help pray. We could use some basic, common prayers of the church – the basic Catholic prayers, litanies, invoking special Saints for special causes… But we could also do some spontaneous prayer, as people on the team feel led. It almost seems it would have to be a Wednesday night, during religion classes. Maybe we end up offering a morning session as well? Maybe it moves from campus to campus each month? Just some brainstorming. I’ll run this one by the Pastoral Leadership Team, and the Pastoral Council to get some input. Happy to hear from anybody else on this as well.
Finally, the ministry volunteer coordinators met last week to finalize a very impressive little booklet that contains the many ministries and services that are provided by so many parish volunteers. I think you will love the ministry booklet. There is also a small card that will go along with it, to help people to get even a quicker glimpse at the areas of service in our parish. Next week you will see the booklet and card presented at the Discipleship Ministry Fair following each of the weekend Masses. We’ve not done this in our parish for many years. I hope it will be an opportunity for people both to be inspired by everything that’s happening in our parish… But also to consider some service in the parish, if you are not already doing one. We hope to have all the areas broken down and explained in small enough bits that people will not feel overwhelmed with what is required to carry out service for the parish. Reps from the various service areas will be on hand to answer questions and give explanations of their area of service. Every effort is precious! And we hope everybody will find something that fits their gifts, their talents.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Maraie,