Friday, June 26, 2009

Year of the Priest -June 26, 2009

This past week began the “Year of the Priest.” So often the church gives us opportunities to look at key realities that make us Catholics. Almost 34 years ago I was ordained a priest by Bishop Gelineau. Since then I ministered in very diverse settings; inner city Central Falls and East Providence, the Catholic Center at URI, Brussels, Belgium as the pastor of an English-speaking community, St. Kevin’s in Warwick and now the suburban parish of St. Luke’s. It has been quite an experience being with people at key moments in their faith journey. Several times in the upcoming year I will reflect with you about key dimensions of a priest’s life. For me, the priest is called to be a person of communion with God and His people. My vocation is to build up the
Body of Christ. I do this by calling out the gifts of the parish community. Each person has so much to offer. To create an atmosphere where these gifts can be freely expressed goes to the heart of what I am about as a priest.
Fr. Bob Hawkins

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fr. Ray Collins 50th anniversary of priesthood

Next weekend we will gather at the 11:30 Mass to celebrate the 50th priesthood anniversary for Father Ray Collins. Fr. Ray has been coming to St. Luke’s since Fr. Oscar Ferland was pastor. All during his Louvain and Washington years, he would celebrate liturgy with us here at St. Luke’s. Many of you know that he was my New Testament professor in Louvain. For 2-1/2 years he was also the rector of the American College. Fr. Ray has always made bridges between the world of academic theology and parish ministry. He has taught me the value of applying theology to contemporary events. He always encouraged us to read newspapers, periodicals, and current theology. As busy as I can get, I never neglect to read. Fr. Ray has been a good friend to me and to so many others. He is a man of faith, service, and commitment to the Gospel. I am sure our celebration will bring joy to his heart.

Fr. Bob Hawkins

Saturday, June 13, 2009

St Luke's parishioners making good news June 13, 2009

I’m writing on June 4 after my weekly reading of the Barrington Times. I enjoy seeing the many ways our parishioners are involved in the community. This week three out of the four obituaries were of people buried here in our church. I recognized the young athletes who won state titles in boys’ golf and girls’ lacrosse. But what moved me the most was the editorial “CYO teams, thanks for the good news.” It spoke of our relationship with a poor parish we competed against in the New England CYO Basketball Tournament. The parish is St. Anne’s in Manchester, New Hampshire. Two weeks ago
we had a car wash and Dribble-a-thon to assist this parish. Many of the players were refugees from Somalia and Kenya. These young people have survived unspeakable horrors and have been welcomed by this Catholic community of faith.

I’m so moved by this story because here at St. Luke’s we are concerned about the whole person. Besides providing a vehicle for young people to be involved with sports, we also want their souls and social conscience to be nurtured. I enjoy seeing our athletes being involved in our worship life. When our coaches practice their faith it gives such a powerful witness to our young people. Sports indeed can be an integral part of our evangelical efforts. Thanks especially to Peter Clements and John Duffy and all those engaged with the religious, social, emotional and physical welfare of our young

Fr. Bob Hawkins