Pastor’s Desk – June 2023

Jun 11, 2023 | Pastors Desk

A Message from Father Peter

– June 25th: Simple Yet “Glorious!”

On Sunday June 11 we (that is Priest, Deacons, and People of St Francis) walked around our neighborhood with the Blessed Sacrament in the procession planned in advance. It was the feast of Corpus Christi – (The Body and Blood of Christ!) – Simple! We just wanted to walk as a body – a bit fewer than 90 people, some with small banners, other with simple instruments! – all praising God in unity and simplicity. We just had to do this! The feast itself stems from the Middle Ages when there were several Eucharistic Miracles that drew attention to the Real Presence of the whole Christ – Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior!

Processions have always been part of the Christian Heritage, particularly Catholic. They faded out a bit in the immediate aftermath of Vatican Council; now, since the Bishops wanted to emphasize the official liturgy of this church, Mass and Office, they are enjoying a comeback! Everyone who was enthusiastic about the experience now wants more. Please keep our wonderful parish going strong in faith, hope, and love as guided by Jesus we enjoy new birth in the power of the Eucharist. This all fits in with our Bishop’s call for Eucharistic Revival in this time of confusion regarding the basic doctrines and teachings of the Church and sacramental life! We are at the beginning of something very new. The prospects are great for genuine Renewal through the growth of great love for the Eucharist in our time.

A Message from Father Peter

– June 18th: Father’s Day!

We may be a week behind but allow me to express my gratitude to our priests, deacons and lay people for their earnest participation in our Corpus Christi Procession! We were encouraged in the spirit of the eucharistic revival promoted by our bishops to carry out a procession; it was a most welcome experience. Spiritually it was like a much-needed tonic: getting outside the church environment and out into the everyday world of family, neighbors, jobs and school, etc. It was not political but celebratory. We simply wanted to have a moment to tell the world about our joyful faith in Jesus and particularly his Real Presence to his people in the Eucharist. I am confident that the procession through the neighborhood will be a true revival moment. I think our highpoint will be a pilgrimage to the American Marsyas in October! We will talk about that later. In the meantime, may we enjoy the good memories of our procession in the streets.

We also celebrate Father’s Day – May St. Joseph who has blessed all Christian fathers with mighty graces intercede for the men of our parish who courageously embraced the awesome call to fatherhood!

A Message from Father Peter

– June 11th: More on Pentecost!

We Catholics still have a way to go in understanding Pentecost and its place in our lives. We all know that on the liturgical scale it ranks very high with Easter and Christmas! However, we need to know exactly why! Jesus said very clearly: to live fully the new Christian life we need “another advocate”- The spirit of truth. At His ascension He spoke of waiting to be clothed with “power from on high.” At our baptism and confirmation we received the gifts of the Holy Spirit but as small seeds that need to grow, to ripen and develop over time. 

We have the gifts now; our living calls us to use and develop them, and grow strong in them. At the heart of the Spirit’s work is a certain unpredictability and suddenness. We cannot control his coming, although in responding correctly we channel his power toward recipients! Our faith in God is meant to be a living active force of love. The True Christian is never bored! The Holy Spirit sees to that!

A Message from Father Peter

– June 4th: The Solemnity of Most Holy Trinity

Corpus Christi Procession

Our American Bishops have asked us to all become involved with a special effort to revive belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist by participating in a Corpus Christi Procession next Sunday, June 11. This is an authentic revival of a Catholic devotion stemming from the countless moments of faith response of believers.

The feast of Corpus Christi itself stems from the response of believers to the dramatic Eucharistic miracles reported in the Middle Ages. The most dramatic is probably the miracle that occurred near the Umbrian city in Italy of Orvieto. A foreign priest was journeying to Rome on business for his Bishop. He doubted at the moment of consecration that anything really happened. He received a sign from God to help his wavering faith – the Host bled onto the corporal (alter cloth) and thoroughly stained it. The priest, his faith restored, hurried back to Orvieto where the bishop planned a great procession through the city.

Join us for our own procession through the streets of Greenlawn. Immediately after the 12:00 Mass next Sunday we will gather at the front of the church; Deacon Jean will carry the Monstrance and Host, and the other deacons and I will be part of the procession. We will process just under a mile through a quiet neighborhood (Frost Pond, Pine Hollow area.) This is meant to be a joyful, public celebrating event demonstrating our faith in Christ’s real presence in this great sacrament. Long ago many such processions occurred in our streets. We want all the world to see our gratitude to God for so great a gift. Once again, Join us!

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