Congratulations to those couples who have reached significant wedding anniversaries this year. I appreciate your willingness to be present at our special mass at Sunday noon to receive your blessing. At all the masses this weekend we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. Just as your wedding day marked the moment when you "left father and mother" to join with each other, we mark the day that Jesus left us in the graces of the Holy Spirit to return to his heavenly Father. Both celebrations bring reminders of our call to be faithful and responsible, to one another and to God as we make our way through life.
On Monday our pastoral council will continue working on a list of parish priorities. For the last several months the pastoral council has reflected on these priorities, established from a set of observations about our parish at this time in its life. (The survey last fall helped us formulate some of those observations, by the way.) The priorities will in turn help the pastoral council formulate the steps we need to take as a parish so that we can remain faithful to our mission.
With Pentecost only a week away, I thought we should take to heart these words from Pope Francis: "The fire of the Spirit is given in the form of tongues and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ who, by his death and resurrection, reveals and communicates to us the Father’s infinite mercy. On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: 'Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.' This first proclamation is called 'first' not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things.It is first . . . because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment."