I sometimes wonder if parishioners realize how much good stuff a pastor gets to do and witness in a given week. Here’s a partial list of great things that made up my past week:
-Of course first on the list is the fact that every single day I had an awesome encounter with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist at Mass!
-I offered my Monday Mass for all of our parish youth workers: YDisciple leaders, PSR and school teachers. That will be my Monday Mass (a private Mass at my sister’s house) intention for the year.
-On Wednesday I got to spend some time in front of Jesus in the monstrance at church; I saw other parishioners spending time with him as well. Encouraging!
-Every day, five times a day, I join all the people around the world who pray the brievary, that prayer book filled with psalms and readings that the priest is committed to praying. I love chanting the brievary in Latin, the Church’s mother-tongue.
-I was privileged to give anniversary blessings to couples in our parish who were celebrating many decades of beautiful married love.
-On a number of occasions I spent time with families where I saw great relationships among siblings, and impressive relationships between parents and children.
-I saw older children helping to lead younger children at school, especially at Mass. I enjoyed leading two sessions of music practice for our school Masses.
-I got to pray a rosary with a holy, wise woman in a nursing home.
-I was privileged to watch engaged couples discuss important topics in marriage prep meetings.
-I was blessed to help Jesus anoint a few people in hospitals and at home; and I am always convinced He does so much more than I can even imagine in people’s hearts through that anointing.
-I was honored to help several people move forward with annulments – people really desiring to move forward in a way pleasing to God.
-I texted back and forth with a couple different parishioners as they were involved in some pretty evangelistic encounters with friends… Helping those friends to know the Faith better. I am very inspired to see how many of our parishioners gently, yet concretely, share their faith in various scenarios where the Lord opens a door for them.
-I witnessed parishioners – adults and youth – inviting other youth to YDisciple.
-I enjoyed sitting with families at a soccer game, and at a volleyball match and football game.
-I was blessed to be involved in various facets of the Dick Wilson funeral. It is always so inspiring to see how many of our parishioners step up to help with funerals and the luncheons. What amazing service happens in our parish!
-I saw the whole Antwerp cross country team show up at a funeral luncheon after a meet to support one of their own who had lost her grandfather. Impressive!
-One evening I got to spend time with our RCIA candidates and team by giving them a tour of the church.
-I enjoyed time with our wise senior parishioners at a Fab 50’s Mass and luncheon.
-I had a great time with the Knights of Columbus community at the Fish Fry, serving up fish for a few hours in the evening, and sitting around watching a card game and having some drinks. (I hope I didn’t throw anybody under the bus by writing that just now.)
-On a couple of days I enjoyed breakfast after morning Mass with some parishioners.
-Sunday evening I spent a very rich time with priests in my spiritual support group up in Toledo, priests who inspire me to keep the vision of a servant priesthood from the heart of the Church.
So there are some the great things I experienced in a week. Add to this list those things I know happened at the parish, although I didn’t see them directly:
-Parishioners visited the sick, took Communion to them, and met their needs.
-Parishioners helped with food bank and food delivery.
-Parishioners took time out of their busy schedules to clean our church facilities at each campus, and to beautify the gardens and lawns.
-Parishioners handed on the Faith to our youth by means of our school classrooms, teaching PSR, leading YDisciple and junior high youth groups, etc.
-Parishioners met in small faith groups for prayer. These prayer groups give so much life to our parish!
-Parishioners met in a book club to read more deeply about the Faith.
-Some parishioners met in a grief support group to help each other choose holy love in the midst of suffering.
So there is a week’s worth of awesome encounters and activities at Divine Mercy Parish of Paulding County. May we never take all of the divine appointments and good deeds around us for granted.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,