Dear brothers and sisters,
This Sunday, we will listen to one of the most emblematic evangelical passages in these current turbulent times, and like the disciples, in the gospel, we are terrified to know that we can perish, that our boat is going to sink, we are so focused on the strong wind of the problems that we come to doubt, and our faith falters. And that’s when we begin to claim God and ask Him, where are you? Why are you silent? Why do you ignore me? We have asked ourselves all these questions more than once, but the problem is not that God does not exist or that He is not present, but that we live as if God did not exist. Here is God’s answer: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”(Mk 4, 40). That is what Jesus said to the apostles, and he said the same to Saint Faustina Kowalska: “My daughter, do not be afraid of anything, I am always with you, even if it seems to you that I am not.” Today, Jesus invites us to have faith in Him, even in the hardest and most difficult moments of our life, to pray and repeat with faith: “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Exactly one year ago, Father Rampino and I arrived at the parish. As your pastor, I am very grateful for the support received; I con-fess that in my fifteen years of priestly ministry, this has been the most significant challenge I have received since I was given the task of taking the leadership of the parish in the midst of a challenging situation for everyone, but thank God together we have made progress, and we have made history. I still have not met all of you, I think I barely know a small percentage of all parishion-ers, but I have the faith that I will get to know all of you little by little. Since I arrived, I have tried to do my best and give my best. I have tried to respond to your requests and guide you as much as I could. As a human, I made mistakes, and perhaps I have not fulfilled the expectations that many had, but I know that it has not been for lack of will. A parish pastor is made with the help and support of his sheep because I cannot know everything in its entirety. Thanks to all who have been willing to continue working, I wish with all my heart to continue developing our parish, to continue building the kingdom of God, and above all, evangelizing. There is still much to do; help me, do not leave me alone in this task because we are a community of faith that grows in commun-ion. In my daily prayers, I ask for the wisdom not to fail you, but I often have to make uncomfortable decisions, and that is where I ask for your understanding because sometimes it’s not just up to me. In this first year, I thank God for being your pastor, for His blessings and affection towards me.
Also, I want to inform you that Susan Gray, the parish DRE has decided to resign from this position and take a new job in another parish. I am very grateful for her support this year. I wish her the best in her new job and that God bless her future; at the same time, I invite you to pray for her. Thank you, Susan, for your years of service to this ministry and this parish. I hope to have a new DRE soon and continue with the catechizing work; I ask you to help me pray for this intention.
Finally, I let you know that the gate behind the school will remain permanently closed for security reasons; there have been several problems with non-parishioners who use it mainly during the day and at night. The vast majority use it to shorten the path. They put the safety of the parishioners at risk since many do not understand that it is private property and, above all, it is a Catholic church. I ask for your understanding.
I have you in my prayers.