Dear Friends in Christ,
Perhaps you have wondered why Pope Francis began his ministry by consecrating his papacy to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and later the whole world to her. Why also on the 100th Anniversary of the great miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, Donald Cardinal Wuerl will consecrate the USA to Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart? To those interest in participating, this event will take place on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 pm EST at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and will be broadcast by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). All of this may remind you of our 50th Anniversary Celebration. At this celebration you may remember our parish family reclaimed our name, “Mary, Mother of the Church,” and offered the prayer of Pope Francis. As a remembrance of this event and of our parish founding by Fr. Donald Burns and the Catholic Community of the area, the altar stone was set in our altar-table. From our first Mass to our most recent, we are fed at this very table by Jesus Christ on the way to our Heavenly Father.
In the past year and one-half, our Parish Pastoral Council has reflected on our name, Mary, Mother of the Church (the name born from the Second Vatican Council) and have prayed and reflected upon the implications of how our name guides our life and work as a parish. It occurred to us that just as the Holy Spirit first came upon Mary as a foreshadowing of the Pentecost that would come later to the Apostles chosen by Jesus, so, too, the Holy Spirit promises to come upon all who enter our doors. Like Mary, we, too, are called to welcome Jesus, that he may grow to maturity in our words and actions. For this reason, the Parish Pastoral Council has been inspired by the phrase, “Live Jesus!” It is also a phrase that guides the Knights of Columbus.
Reflecting more about how we are called to “Live Jesus” and so give greater glory to God as well as more loving service to our neighbor, our Parish Pastoral Council also came to see that, “Mary, Mother of the Church says, ‘Yes’ to the Holy Spirit; so that the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus’ own Loving Self-surrender to God’s will, will be witnessed and shared by each of her members for the life of the world.”
Since our 50th Anniversary motto was, “An Enduring Foundation and a Spirit-Led Future,” Mary, Mother of the Church through each of her members is called to say ‘Yes’ to the Holy Spirit.
As we prepare for the consecration of the USA to Mary with Cardinal Wuerl and all the Bishop’s of America, let’s “Live Jesus” by saying “Yes” to the Holy Spirit.
Yes–to the Holy Spirit.
Yes–to Jesus’ Life.
Yes–to Jesus’ Death.
Yes–to Jesus’ Resurrection.
Yes–to Loving Self-surrender.
Yes–to God’s Will.
Yes–to be witness, for the life of the world.
My Love in Christ,
through Mary, Mother of the Church,
Fr. Jim Perkl, Pastor