Dear Fellow Parishioners:
Easter has arrived! Alleluia! Alleluia! Yes, it is wonderful to proclaim “ALLELUIA!” for the entire world to hear. Now the good work of managing this gift/responsibility called “the Church” continues. We are given 50 days to ponder the great mystery of the Church. A few tidbits before we continue our Easter journey —
1) Before we move on from Holy Week, I do want to take a moment to thank the many parishioners and staff that helped make this pinnacle of our Church year such a beautiful experience. These include — I’ll try not to forget anyone — the Worship Commission, the Arts and Environment Committee, the various liturgical ministers, all the music ministers, and our staff. Didn’t our church look magnificent as we traversed each day of the Triduum? Didn’t our music lift us to the heavens as we pondered and entered into the Paschal Mystery? Didn’t our liturgies allow us to experience the many facets of the Holy Week journey? Yes, we were and are truly blessed to have so many committed and faith-filled people to guide our worship.
2) This weekend our 52 Confirmation candidates are in the midst of their retreat. Yes, they go off for 2+ days to ponder what it means to receive this sacrament. Both Patrick Smalley (our director for Confirmation) and I can report that our students are doing well in their preparation for this important moment in their faith journey. To date, I have interviewed 37 candidates — Dc Jim did handle one for me — and am encouraged by their zeal for our Catholic faith. We, their parents and the parish, should be proud of the good work we are doing in bringing these young people to the point where they can confidently say “Yes!” to embracing our Catholic faith. Please keep them in your prayers for these remaining days leading up to their Confirmation on April 24th.
3) One human interest story, especially appropriate for our Confirmation candidates, concerns the young lady who received the Sacrament of Confirmation at our Easter Vigil celebration. About twelve years ago she was in the same position as our current Confirmation students. In the midst of her final interview, she decided that it was neither the right time nor the right decision for her to receive this final sacrament of initiation. I supported her in her decision, and even though family and friends put pressure on her to “simply do it,” she stuck to her convictions and did not receive the sacrament. Here she was years later finally ready to come forward on her own and embrace our Catholic faith. Trust me, a few tears were shed by family and a certain pastor at the Easter Vigil. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways. The question is: are we open to how God is inviting us to the faith?
I hope everyone will take a moment to consider not only their initial “Yes!” they offered to God at their sacraments of initiation; but also, the ongoing “Yes!” the Lord asks of us each and every day. The Easter season is a wonderful time to re-commit ourselves to the Lord and the Church.
Fr. Brian Fier