From the Pastor’s Desk; September 21, 2014
This weekend, we celebrate Catechetical Sunday as designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The theme for Catechetical Sunday 2014 is "Teaching about God's Gift of Forgiveness." There are several paths of God’s Forgiveness, the most powerful being the cross through which we receive eternal life. The other is the gift of seeking forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance. God the Father pursues us down the byways of our life, intent to restore and share with us, in greater measure, a life of grace and union with Him, which was secured at so great a cost through the saving death of His Son. The Spirit helps us to discern where sinfulness has wounded and enslaved us, and creates in us, the penitents, a readiness to embrace ongoing conversion of life through sorrow for sins, sacramental confession through the ministry of the priest, and a firm purpose of amendment.
Whether you confess regularly, or this is the first time in a long time, may this be your moment to draw near to the confessional with confidence to celebrate the tender loving Mercy of God. May you experience again and again God’s gift of forgiveness and healing through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. At this time, I would like to offer special thanks to Deacon Bob DeLuca- Director of the Religious Education Department; his assistant- Wendy Hughes; Steve Eiswert- coordinator of the Youth, Young Adult, and Adult Faith Formation Programs; Pat Noll and Georgeanne Donnelly- RCIA/C coordinators; Jackie Nuzum- coordinator of CLOW; and all of our faithful and devoted catechists who work hard all year long to proclaim the Word of God.
Catechetical Sunday is also a wonderful opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. Together, catechists and parishioners of St. Luke enable our parish to depend on each other and work as a unified team in bringing the message of the Gospel to all. By our words and actions we take an active role in living and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let us pray that we continue to open ourselves to the Spirit, allowing the Gospel to come to life in us in new ways, sharing our faith as catechists, being a vital, caring presence to one another and to the world beyond. May we be especially blessed as together we grow in our understanding of the Catholic faith, develop a deeper relationship personally and communally with Christ, and live as joyful witnesses to the message of the Gospel.
This week, we have an incredible opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of St. John Paul II- a drop of blood on the pope’s white cassock. In June of this year, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow and longtime personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, presented this relic to my brother Fr. Remek and myself to be entrusted to Bishop Estévez to foster devotion to St. John Paul II in our diocese and the future parish dedicated to St. John Paul II in Nocatee. The relic will be available for personal veneration in our church before and after each weekend Mass.
St. John Paul II, pray for us!
With prayers, Fr. Andy