Sunday, July 11, 2010

Going to Mass on Vacation by Paul Turner - July 11, 2020

Good Catholics on vacation always make time for Sunday Mass. The locations for churches and the times of services are generally easy to obtain online. It doesn’t take much advance planning to include worship as part of one’s time away from home. When you enter the church as a visitor, introduce yourself to a greeter or minister. Let someone know where you come from. Most locals are happy to say a word of welcome, but they do not always know who is visiting and who is not.

Participate well. Pray sincerely. Sing the hymns. Contribute generously to the collection. Some people contribute sparingly. But the church you are visiting has generously provided you a place to worship. Its members would appreciate a spot in the budget you made to enjoy your vacation. If you know in advance that you cannot attend Mass some Sunday, you should obtain a dispensation from your pastor. If you are in your own church when visitors arrive, help them feel welcome; show them around. Above all, make an effort to worship every Sunday, even when you are away from home. God never takes a vacation from you.

(Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, MO, holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from Sant’
Anselmo University in Rome.)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fr. Bob's 5th Anniversary at St. Luke's

This past Thursday (July 1) marked my fifth anniversary here at St. Luke’s. As I look back I see so many positive developments: a nearly full parish school, mission outreach to Maine and Jamaica, active parish council with lots of active committees, ample stewardship opportunities for people to take ownership of their faith. By now I have had a chance to minister to a majority of our families through baptisms, funerals, hospital calls, home visits, First Communions, Confirmations. And so as I look back I say, “Thanks!” to the many ways you have welcomed me and responded so positively.

Life being what it is there are at times things that concern me. Engaging families after baptisms and First Communion to practice their faith on a regular basis is perhaps my greatest concern. Despite letters, visits, phone calls, homilies, many of our efforts have fallen on deaf ears. I do not see any increase in our mass attendance. As a leader I do not like to sugar coat things. A massive evangelization effort is needed in our Church today. St. Luke’s is not alone in this regard. I ask each of you to be an evangelizer. Encourage your neighbors to attend mass. Speak up when sporting events happen on Sunday mornings. It is all of our
responsibility to see that our parish continues to grow.

Fr. Bob Hawkins