Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter Oct. 22, 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

A number of people have asked how we can help our friends and families to the north who have lost loved ones, homes and businesses, who are displaced.  Such genuine concern and generosity characterize such a great number of you that they seem to characterize our parish community.  (Just so you know, every parish in the Archdiocese will be making a second collection the last weekend of the month to help meet the growing needs in the wine country.)

Curious, I asked our new business manager, Marvel Khan (whom I’ll introduce next week), for a report on the various second collections we have taken since January 1.  I was expecting to be impressed, but your generous response to the monthly appeals asked of every parish (Peter’s Pence, World Mission Sunday, etc.), as well as those we made for disaster relief, was staggering – $36,715.01!  What I find particularly striking is that nearly 25% of that ($9,124) was for Puerto Rico.

I share this because it’s Good News. It’s a concrete example of being the Body of Christ, of giving flesh to St. Teresa of Avila’s prayer: Christ has no body now on earth but yours … It is your eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out to the world; your feet with which he must walk about doing good; your hands with which he blesses humanity; your voice with which his forgiveness is spoken; your heart with which he now loves.

Christ is risen indeed!  And he loves well.  Thank you.

On another note, our Parish Book Project came to a close last weekend.  Since last fall, seven groups of people met monthly after each of the Sunday Masses to discuss Fr. James Martin’s bestseller, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.  It is an accessible and engaging presentation of the themes of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Throughout the months, various parishioner participants have commented on their experience of the book club, remarking on their positive reactions to the content, the depth of spiritual conversation, and the sense of community built over time.

I want to thank the Good Word Book Club for the idea and their commitment in organizing, guiding, and sustaining the yearlong Project.  Thanks, too, to all who faithfully participated in the reading and discussions.  And finally, my gratitude to EJ and Terry Potente, whose initiative and perseverance were remarkable.

Organizers will meet next month to review the experience and make a proposal for the next one.  Keep that in your prayers!

Finally, a special welcome “home” to Fr. Brett McLaughlin, S.J.  Fr. Brett was part of our community for the three years he was a student at the Jesuit School of Theology.  You’ll remember that he moderated our young adult group, Emmaus, was spiritual director for a number of parishioners, served as a deacon, and more.  He is presiding and preaching at our 5:00 pm Mass on Sunday, October 22.  Welcome back, Fr. Brett!

Have a good week.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Greg