I begin with some THANK YOU’s to everyone who made Christmas a grand celebration here at Transfiguration.
First, to the organizers, the sorters, wrappers, gift givers and deliverers that allowed to us serve nearly 200 families through our Christmas Basket program.
Second, to everyone who helped with our Advent and Christmas Liturgies. Liturgies don’t just happen they take lots of preparation. Starting with the Advent theme selection of HOPE, which fed into Advent evening prayer, the decorating of the church, the many vocal, instrumental and bell choir rehearsals, and the thought provoking homilies. Thank you to all, plus special thanks to all who served as coordinators, ushers, greeters, communion ministers, offertory collectors, lectors, commentators at each Mass including the kind souls who clean the church between Masses. I am so grateful for your willingness to serve. All of this dedication makes me proud to be able to say Lord, it is good for us to be here!
Finally, thank you for all the personal support you give me on a daily basis, especially during these challenging days in our Church.
Monday afternoon I drive to Baltimore to attend the annual retreat for the Leadership Team (LT) of Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP), which I am a member of, I will be there through Thursday evening. The LT meets monthly via ZOOM for 2 hours and we meet face-to-face in January and June.
The AUSCP was formed in 2011 and the members are called to serve the People of God in parishes and other ministries. The primary purpose of the Association is to add priests’ voice to the public conversation within our pilgrim church, among bishops, laypersons, vowed religious, ordained deacons and others. We address a variety of concerns including good liturgy, social justice, the role of women in our church, immigration policies, the dignity of all human lives and the Climate Crisis. Our episcopal moderator to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops is Archbishop John Wester from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM.
Our Mission: To be an association of U.S. Catholic priests offering mutual support and a collegial voice through dialogue, contemplation and prophetic action on issues affecting Church and society. Our Vision: To be a Priests Voice of Hope and Joy within our Pilgrim Church.
The AUSCP is the largest association of priests in the United States. Our present membership stands at a little over 1300 priests and 175 friends or associates. Our inspiration is the teachings of Vatican II and our primary pursuit is the implementation of those teachings. The Association is always open to the support of friends to whom and with whom we minister. Our intent is to be a voice of hope and joy, as we listen to our members and friends. We hope to be a prophetic advocate.
As we close out another Christmas season and begin a new year I prayer that we keep the Christmas spirit alive in our hearts always!
Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!
In peace and courage,