Immediately after Masses today (Sunday) I will be boarding an airplane for Huntsville, Alabama on my way to St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman for my yearly retreat. Many of you know that the Abbey holds a dear place in my heart, the Benedictine monks at the Abbey ran the college I attended in the late 1960’s. Over the years, I have stayed in contact with many of the monks and it remains a comfortable place for a few days of quiet prayer. I will be staying through Sunday afternoon, November 18th so I can attend their annual benefactors Mass and dinner on Saturday evening. Please be assured of my prayers while I am on retreat and I ask for yours. Next weekend Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark has agreed to preside and preach at Masses. Please extend a warm welcome to Bishop Matthew!
Whose parish is it anyways? I am often asked why I refer to Transfiguration as our parish and they wonder what I mean by the expression “our parish”. The people who ask this question are under the impression a parish belongs to the priest. I am sorry to disappoint anyone under that impression, but the local priest has never owned a parish. Some might give that impression, but this has never been true. A parish belongs to the people, the pastor’s “job” (I prefer ministry) is to try to keep some kind of order and direction spiritually and temporally. This past weekend was an example of the widespread ownership of our parish. Here is a short list of happenings almost totally taken care by parishioners:
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,
- the music during and the reception after the Remembrance Mass,
- the Soup Sale,
- the Community Garden’s Garlic Sale
- the fall Clothing Drive,
- the countless number of parishioners who make our Masses happen and come alive, and on the list goes on and on
This is only a partial list of involvement and signs of ownership of the parish by parishioners. Much more could be said about this by our parish. My training and my 40 years of parish ministry is why I believe this approach is the best and the most appropriate approach to parish life. I love Transfiguration, I am happy to share ministry with all of you and I truly enjoy working with you for the betterment of the kingdom.
I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with you! Thanksgiving Day Mass will be at 9:00 AM. Have fun preparing for the first of the holiday season.
Please return your Catholic Ministries Appeal pledge card ASAP! We are falling behind, please be generous, thanks! If you lost your pledge card there are plenty in the Gathering Area or you can go to www.dor.org/cma to make a pledge on-line.
On the lighter side: Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale... It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our world!