Pastor’s Letter | 12 Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on June 21, 2024 View all Pastor's Letter

Dear Parishioners,

Next Tuesday, June 25, it will be four years since I arrived at this parish and four years of being your pastor. Looking back, I realize that time passes quickly. During this time, I have done my best to enrich the parish. As you remember, I arrived during the pandemic, and almost everything was closed and restricted. I could not meet practically the majority; everyone was at home, and I can say that many have not yet returned to this day. Some leaders of the ministries and groups did not continue, making it more difficult to restart in the post-pandemic period.

I want to highlight the positives and what we have advanced during this time. In the area of ​​infrastructure, the parish sanctuary was improved: new confessionals, the presbytery was illuminated with new lights, and a deep cleaning was done; the roof was changed, and it was painted, a new sound system was installed, and security cameras have been installed all over the campus, the sacristy was cleaned and rebuilt almost completely; among other things that you, yourselves have seen; at the same time, Hannan Hall was wholly rebuilt among other achievements. All of this has been done with the generous donations we received from you through the Capital Campaign. I am very grateful for your efforts and your great support.

Now that the pandemic is over, there are many wounds and ruptures; as I said before, there is still much to do in the pastoral part and much for which we must work for. As your parish pastor, one of my significant concerns is the pastoral area (I know that administration is essential, but we manage it very well with the support of the Finance Council and the financial advisors, whom I thank for their support and wisdom in this area). My biggest dream is to rebuild the parish pastorally and spiritually and to achieve that, we must work walking in the same direction, and that direction is nothing more and nothing less than focusing our gaze on Jesus and His gospel, something in which, until now, we have not moved forward and we have stagnated.

My vision for the parish is based on three main areas:

Pastoral Ministry: The liturgy is the exercise of the priesthood of Christ (SC, 7). The purpose of Christ’s priesthood is to offer the spiritual sacrifice pleasing to the Father (1Pe 2, 5). By spiritual sacrifice, we understand that all life is done in docility to the Spirit of Christ (LG, 34). “To carry out such a great work, Christ is always present in His Church, mainly in liturgical acts. This area focuses on the formation, growth, and understanding of the sacramental life of all, based on prayer, celebration, and experience of the sacraments through the parish ministries (Readers, Ushers, Extraordinary Ministers, Sacristans, Liturgical Music, altar servers) and all those who are involved in Divine Worship.

Prophetic Ministry: This prophetic ministry must be nourished by the Word of God in the Bible, read and interpreted in the Church and celebrated in the community (SD, 33); in Tradition, whose soul is the Holy Spirit (LC, 33) and that, with the Holy Scripture, constitutes the foundations of the people of God (LG, 38); and in the Magisterium, “which under the assistance of the Holy Spirit authentically interprets Tradition and Scripture” (DV, 10; LC, 38) ). Prophetic pastoral care involves raising faith, making it mature, and integrating it into the community where it lives and acts. It is carried out through the first announcement or Kerygma, catechesis, and prophetic action within the community.

Catechetical Ministry: Catechesis is a fundamental activity of the Church, and, like all pastoral action, it is subject to reflection and review to rediscover its true nature in the social and ecclesial moment in which it is carried out. The Pope’s words serve as progress in this sense: “I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are” (EG 25). Framing catechesis within the evangelizing process of the parish and, consequently, making catechists and leaders of groups and ministries aware that it is not an isolated action disconnected from other pastoral activities but from overall pastoral care.

After touching on these points, which for me are fundamental, I ask you to become aware of the universal vocation to which we are all called; we cannot continue being a passive or stagnant parish; I dream that we are a parish on the way out, that it rises and goes outwards and evangelizes, that it commits itself and leaves the conformity of being parishioners of mass and confession and that we begin to know more about our faith and about the challenges that the modern world is offering today; We can only overcome these challenges by learning more about our Church and getting more involved in this community of faith, called Queen of the Apostles.

As a priest and as your pastor, I am thrilled to be here; it has been four years of intense but satisfying work, challenges and achievements, dreams and realities, and working with many of you who love this parish as I do. Now, after this time, thank you for your support and for helping me continue growing with you. Remember, “The harvest is great, and the workers are few” (Mt.9, 37-38). We must be the workers who are missing out on this path of evangelization.

Happy week, everyone; I have you in my prayers.

Fr. Alex