It seems like a different house now. The rectory is quiet once again, as residents have dropped from three to one. Seminarian Johnny has moved on to his final summer program: a week retreat-vacation with other seminarians. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for another year of studies, adding some new men to the group of I believe 26 total this year.
This month looks to break all records in the number of calls for assistance received. The needs are always the same – assistance to avoid disconnections in utilities or eviction in rents, with occasional other needs. But each story is unique, even if there are many common threads.
Please try to join us for our parish picnic (corn & sausage roast) on Sunday August 4th. This has always been a fun event with laidback socializing, some entertainment (often at my expense!), and great food thanks to the generosity of fellow parishioners and especially the volunteers. I thank in advance those who are working in preparation for this day, as well as those many hands who will be present the day itself. I hope to see you there.
I have been blessed to have had this wonderful experience to serve my summer ministry at St. Therese Little Flower Parish in South Bend. I would like to take this opportunity to reach out and thank each and every person that I had the privilege of meeting on this spiritual journey. I especially want to thank Fr. Terry, my special, spiritual, guidance mentor for allowing me to grow and learn many important lessons here at St. Therese. Thank you, Fr. Terry.
While we enjoyed the opportunity to be away with family, my brother and I are also happy to be home in our parishes with our spiritual families. Certainly there were many memories made, such as having a new baby with us this year - my older brother Patrick’s first child, a girl named Phoenix. I bet others with large families can appreciate that family time is so wonderful but so tiring! (Perhaps that is just the case for introverts like me.) How simple it is to have just a seminarian and a priest-student (Fr. William) once again.
One of the most difficult tests we face in life is the realization that we are unable to forgive someone who has wrong us. Jesus gave us an example of that attitude when he related the parable of the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance.
In a short response to the question, “How was mission week this year”, which I have been asked plenty of times, I would say ‘It was a great and empowering experience’. This response is true in so many ways. I was really able to give back to my community and meet the people in our community that help South Bend in so many ways.
Pilgrimage is a beautiful opportunity for God to move.
It is interesting to think that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph went on pilgrimage often. They would have traveled three times each year for the Jewish festivals in Jerusalem. Jesus was lost in the temple on one of these pilgrimages. In fact, Jesus was born on a pilgrimage of sorts (or rather a long journey): Joseph took Mary to his hometown of Bethlehem for the census required by Caesar Augustus when Our Lord was born.