Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Last week I wrote about the Synod which Pope Francis has called. Like many other synods he has called, the synod is a gathering of many bishops who come from around the world representing their own bishops’ conferences. However, as I mentioned last week, this Synod is unusual because the subject matter is the process of a synod itself.

In each diocese Pope Francis asked that there be a diocesan synod that begins on the grass roots level, namely us, the parish.

The idea is that what is generated at the parish and diocesan levels ultimately makes its way to the “Synod on Synodality.” In other words, the ultimate question that gets asked is what’s happening with God’s people all over the world and do we have the best means available of hearing their needs and then meeting those needs.

It’s not just about how well we talk to ourselves as Church, but ultimately how well we communicate with the world in which we live. Only then can we hope to understand what the mission of the Church is in the 21st century.

Your first reaction might be, “What do you mean, our mission in the 21st century? Isn’t it the same mission it’s always been for 2000 years?”

True enough, but let’s face it, ‘preaching Christ Jesus, and Him crucified’ certainly demands, and has demanded over those 2000 years, language suited to each time.

(By the way, my personal pet peeve is the translation of the three Mass prayers I say each Sunday that change, namely the opening, offertory and communion prayers. A few years back they were translated literally from the liturgical Latin, and colloquial English is simply not transliterated liturgical Latin. I probably won’t live long enough to see that terrible error corrected. But I digress...)

The scripture readings we heard this weekend at Mass were especially selected for the Archdiocese as the various delegates from all the parishes gather at the Cathedral to begin this special undertaking.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Ed and Jill Rebholz and Maryellen Maher who graciously agreed to represent us and guide us through the process on the parish level. What with the limitations of COVID-19 on all our gatherings, this gentle semi-resumption of a coming together moment might be a blessed and holy way of tiptoeing into normal parish life. That’s my prayer.

Speaking of normal parish life, last Sunday we began our Sunday religious education program. Annie Gardner, Frank Krauser, Susan Mansolillo and Maddy Facarazzo form our crack team of ‘faith-sharers.’ We have a small group of young people who are getting great attention given the ra¬tio of faith sharing person to child is 1 to 2. Very cool.

During the session, one brilliant ten-year-old was asked, “Does Jesus care very much about you?” and the instant response was, “Of course He does.” Sounds like it’s going to be a great year in Religious Ed.

Even with our very good and generous faith-sharers, the atmosphere created when we gather for Mass is also important. I was really happy that all the kids were at Mass. Thanks to the families for making that happen. Every pastor has stories about kids being dropped off for Religious Ed but the parents not doing the Mass part. ‘Make sure the kids make First Communion or are Confirmed.’ (Grandma is watching.) Sometimes it seemed that parents thought that was all they had to do. Thanks to our folks for being on the ball! May the Lord always bless our gatherings.

In Jesus,
sign frjim


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