Today is Pentecost Sunday – the day on which Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help His disciples spread the Gospel to many people and places. In Baptism – and especially Confirmation – Jesus sent that same Holy Spirit to help us spread the Gospel in the world today. Many of you do this by teaching your children about the Faith and sending them to Catholic School or CCD classes. Many also do it by supporting the missions. Still, others do it on a personal, one-to-one basis – sharing their faith with others in conversations and other ways.
St. John Paul II and his successors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, said our world has need of a ‘New Evangelization.’ By ‘new’ they do not mean that we are to preach a ‘new’ message about Jesus – for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). Rather, the popes mean that, as Catholics, we need to make an effort at spreading the Gospel in the world.
Here are a few ways to do this: If you meet someone whose children are not baptized, offer to help them set it up. Call me if you’re not sure what to do. A number of good people in our parish have brought families with several unbaptized children to me, and it was my pleasure to help them celebrate their children’s Baptism.
Gently reach out to people who have stopped coming to Church. Be aware that they may have been hurt in some way, and may be resistant at first. Don’t get discouraged, but stay gentle, and see what you can do to affect a healing. Gently see that all the children you know (your own, your grandchildren, etc,) are enrolled for CCD classes – or Catholic School. Be especially on the lookout for children in 1st or 2nd grade (who should be preparing for First Holy Communion) or 7th and 8th grade (who should be preparing for Confirmation.) We don’t want any of our children to miss these wonderful moments in their relationship with Jesus.
These are just a few suggestions. I’m sure you can think of others. Remember that the same Holy Spirit who came to help the Apostles preach the Gospel on Pentecost will help you do so today!
I had a great time at our Parish Food Truck Event last Saturday. There were a lot of trucks with different kinds of food. I personally enjoyed some pizza, French fries, ice cream, limeade, and delicious pulled pork sandwiches. More than food, I enjoyed spending time talking and visiting with so many good people. I’m already looking forward to the next time we do this!
I’m also looking forward to the priestly ordination of two sons of our parish: Deacon Matthew Marinelli and Deacon Joseph Illes. They will each offer a First Mass of Thanksgiving in our Church on Sunday, June 23rd . Matthew’s first Mass will be 9 AM, and Joseph’s at 11AM that day. I will share more details with you next week – for now, just mark the date!
Please pray for our new priests – and for – today and every day. Let’s also pray for peace and that each of us will – with the Holy Spirit’s help – spread the Gospel in the world today.
Have a great week!
Fr. JohnBACK TO LIST