Guess what Pope Francis has in common with our parish office staff? We are going on vacation. Our Holy Father will be taking a “staycation” for the month of July. Lorne will be taking a few weeks with family in Saskatchewan, and I’ll be away end of July in the Maritimes for two weeks. Ann is also thinking about some time away in July, and Kayla too will spend time with family. Nathan will be left to run everything.
As we prepare for our vacation time, we all starting thinking about what clothes to bring. We start by getting all the clothes out we think we’ll need. Then after sifting through everything we make a decision and hope the clothes, shoes, and all will fit.
The same thing happens in ministry. This past year we have been a similar journey regarding parish renewal – looking at what has worked and not worked in parish ministry, and deciding what we need now, and what will have to wait. This is what our parish leadership has been working on, discerning our next steps. Though there will be less meetings this summer, the church is still open, the parish is still alive. I hope to have an update next week regarding my meeting with the Archbishop and his leadership team on July 4.
Our parish office continues to work toward programs helping our parishioners this summer – Summer Sports Camp (early August), Young Adult Retreat (mid-July), Vacation Bible School children’s summer camp (mid-August), and the opening Pastoral Year BBQ on September 24. We’ll also have a meeting soon with all leaders to discuss the fall Pastoral Calendar, and continue with our small prayer groups. All events will help renew our parishes and grow our hope in God. I look forward to our ALPHA gatherings again in September. All this leads us to what is most important: the Eucharist. It is Holy Communion that will renew our parishes. The Mass is our most important prayer to God and his greatest gift to us.
As we all prepare for summer vacations, I would like to thank our parish office staff for their service to God and Holy Mother Church, through our North Glengarry parishes. Lorne and Ann arrived last fall, and Kayla and I were thrilled! Leading as a team, from a team, has made all the difference. Lorne continues to share his gifts of evangelization, and together we dream on how to grow our parish. Ann has a gift for administration and hospitality – the first person people see when walking into the office. Kayla continues strong helping with finances, and now is mentoring Anne MacGregor in her new accounting role to assist our parishes. This summer we hope to start a new Liturgy Committee which will help us all in the Sunday experience – encountering the Risen Lord. Finally, Nathan and Mikela, have beautiful plans for our Youth Group that continue to meet every Thursday and Friday evenings.
On this 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Pope Benedict XVI (1927 – 2022) said, “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.” Comfort puts me first. Picking up your cross and following Jesus puts God and others first. Why settle for comfort when you can achieve greatness! Pick up your cross, ask Jesus for guidance on using your gifts and live the life God intended for you!
Let’s pray for each other this summer. Looking forward in seeing you all around our family table – the altar. Again, the Mass is our most important prayer to God and his greatest gift to us. Have a great week.