Saturday, September 18, 2010

An environment where fresh ideas can emerge - Sept 18, 2010

The challenge of being a pastor is to create an environment where fresh ideas can emerge. You can go to the well too many times with the tried and true. New endeavors keep everybody engaged. Years ago Father David Gaffney was the engine behind our parish auction. We have done several of them on an every other year basis. The committee thought this year we ought to try something different. On October 23rd from 7 to 11 p.m. we are presenting “Casino Royale” in the gym. Along with drinks and hors d’oeuvres there will be wheels, cards, raffles and, yes, even a live auction with one of my dinners for sale. Keeping it local might be a nice way to engage more people. Over the next few weeks there will be several announcements asking for your support. The funds realized from this event will go to ongoing capital improvements for the parish (roof on school and pre-school, school parking lot, church interior painting, sidewalks and curbs).

This past weekend I celebrated my 35th Anniversary of ordination. I traveled to Newport with two of my closest priest friends to celebrate. While away I missed the lead in to our annual school collection. A big thank you to Sue Moran for organizing our appeal this year. These are challenging times for Catholic Schools as we seek to teach as Jesus taught. Please be as generous as your financial situation allows.

Fr. Bob Hawkins

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pet Peeves - Sept. 12, 2010

One of my pet peeves is noticing parents dropping off students for religious education classes on Sundays and then skipping Mass. Another pet peeve is celebrating First Communion for 100 children in May and then rarely or never seeing these children at Mass. A further pet peeve is preparing students for Confirmation and then noticing they are no longer active in our worship life. What gives? As Catholics we are a Eucharistic people. Weekly we gather so that our lives can be fed by the Bread of Life, by the wisdom of God’s word and the support we receive from fellow believers. When people are absent we are deprived of their gifts and their presence. As Catholics we form a community in an otherwise isolated and fractured world. During this year we have focused on Evangelization, a core teaching of our faith. We have had listening sessions, annulment workshops, developed a robust CD collection, and still our congregation has not grown.

As a pastor I try to be present not only at Church but in the community. On occasion I attend sporting events, plays, graduations, Blue and Gold dinners. I do this because of the value of presence and interest in people’s lives. As we begin a new year I invite you to take your participation in our parish life seriously. It all begins at the Lord’s table where we are reminded that we are called to be the hands and voice of Christ in the world.

Fr. Bob Hawkins

Monsignor Wil Davis speaks to St. Luke's on CRS - Sept 5, 2010

This weekend we welcome one of my oldest friends to St. Luke’s. I met Monsignor Wil Davis in Louvain during my third year of theological studies. Wil was already a priest and came to do a sabbatical year. We became fast friends as we experienced student life in Belgium. Student life included basketball games, seminars, trips to the local bars, and more serious things like retreats and pastoral outreach activities. Simply put we bonded and have been close friends ever since. We have traveled to many places in this wonderful world: California, Hawaii, Canada, Greece, Australia, northern Europe, Chile and the major European capitals.

For five years Wil was a missionary with Maryknoll in Chile. I visited him in 1994 and went by horseback to his most isolated communities. He has a real sense of adventure and awe in the presence of God. This weekend he will speak to us of the work of Catholic Relief Services. Everytime there is a crisis in the world CRS is there to help and assist. In many countries it improves the living standards of the people. As a Church we are called to be on mission. The Mass ends with the challenge, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” This weekend we hear the story of a compassionate priest who for 46 years has responded to that challenge. Ministry has brought him to several parishes in Orange County, to seminary formation work, and now in retirement to further the missionary nature of our Church’s mission. Welcome to St. Luke’s, Monsignor Davis.

Fr. Bob Hawkins