Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Welcome to all of you who are joining us to celebrate with joy the victory of Christ over sin and death. A year ago, we could not gather together, but now you are here called by Christ, who is risen indeed and who has sustained your faith through challenging times. We come together because of Him who conquered sin and death, and offers us his fullness of life in a relentless way. We stand in the promise of the Resurrection.
I announced back in December that I received a new assignment. I will be going to the Philadelphia area in June to be the director of novices, and later in the Summer Fr.Carlos Flores, OSA will be coming here from Panama to be the next pastor. As I have written before, our parish is quite blessed to be welcoming Fr Flores, because of the depth of his spirituality, his pastoral care, and leadership experience. I pledge my continued prayers for all of you from the Novitiate, and I will be back to visit from time to time.
Back in December, June seemed far away, but now that my departure seems closer, I have become more reflective over my time at St Patrick's. This year is my fifth Easter celebration at St Patrick’s, and I am grateful for so many wonderful memories of witnessing the Risen Christ guiding, nourishing, reconciling this wonderful faith community through the sacraments and in other ways.
On behalf of the parish I am grateful to everyone who has been generous with time and served or volunteered in any way, especially during my time as pastor. I am particularly grateful to our catechists who have continued to pass on the faith through the challenge of teaching by video conferencing this past year and without the support they had before of Mrs. Eneida Scoby, our former Director of Catechetical Ministries. Next school year, we will need help in the confirmation program for our high school students. Anyone who has felt a call to serve and would like to help in being part of the team of catechists please contact the parish office. Our confirmation program is on Sunday evenings.
Also many thanks to those of you who have been financially generous in supporting the needs of the parish! Our staff work hard every weekday to meet the spiritual needs of anyone who walks through our office doors. When we put together a reduced number of staff working and your ongoing financial support, we are in a good financial trajectory where the next pastor will not have to stress about how to pay our bills, or cover the ever occurring repair needs of a church built in 1928.
This past year we have experienced the risen Christ in some ways like the disciples experienced the risen Christ: with a lot of fear and uncertainty around them. Christ told them again and again “Peace be with you,” and He brings us the same peace to us as we praise Him, opening the way to us to rejoice in His eternal and unbounded love. As we heard in Laetare or Rejoice Sunday a couple of weeks ago, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16-17).
Fr Carlos, OSA