Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
We are celebrating the fourth Sunday of Easter, also called Good Shepherd Sunday. On this Sunday, the church invites us to pray for the increase in priestly vocations and ask the risen Jesus to provide us with shepherds according to His heart; let’s take a moment to ask the Supreme Shepherd to give us holy and wise priests. Through the shepherds, Christ gives His Word, distributes His grace in the sacraments, and leads the flock towards the Kingdom: He gives himself as food in the sacrament of the Eucharist, imparts the Word of God and His Magisterium, and guides His people carefully. Jesus has procured for His Church shepherds according to His heart, that is, men who, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, represent Him and act as the “in persona Christi” men who give their lives for their sheep, with pastoral charity, with a humble spirit of service, with mercy, patience, and strength. Saint Augustine frequently spoke of this demanding responsibility of the pastor: “This honor as a pastor has me worried (…), but wherever the fact that I am for you terrifies me, I am consoled by the fact that I am among you (…). I am a bishop for you, and I am a Christian with you”. (Saint Augustine Sermon, 176A). As parishioners and Christians, each of us work to make the kingdom of God grow in communion with our pastors, Pope Francis, and our Bishop Burbidge, successors of the apostles, and for this, we pray for them, we love them, and we obey them.
Next weekend the children from the second grade of our school will be celebrating their first communion, for me it is a special celebration because the children are the future of the church and they will receive Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist. I congratulate and thank Professor Katherine Nguyen who has worked hard to educate them in the faith and show them the way to heaven; In the same way, I invite all parents to continue educating them in the faith.
I had forgotten to tell you and I imagine that you have already noticed (because you have asked me about it) that we have repaired the ciboriums that we use to consecrate and distribute the Eucharist, before Easter I sent them to be given a gold bath and repaired some imperfections, they turned out as new, remember that for God we always use the best, and I like that what is used on the altar is worthy of the majesty of Our Lord.
I want to congratulate all those who made a commitment in the bishop’s Lenten campaign, thanks to you the diocese can continue with its pastoral programs; As Queen of the Apostles parish we are almost about to reach the goal that was set for us, we only need 4%, to meet it, I encourage those who have not done it to do so, if we do so this would be the second year in a row that we would make it. I count on your support.
Finally, we are about to start the month of May, the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and I invite everyone to pray the rosary every day, asking for the intentions of our bishop, for our diocese and for our parish, especially so that the virgin moves our hearts more and we commit ourselves to the evangelizing task. We need more volunteers who commit to continue with the project of Jesus.
Happy week for everybody