With my first full week as pastor under my belt (with a hurricane thrown in, just for good measure), I would like to repeat what I have already shared with so many of you in person: it has already been a great joy to be with you all, and I look forward to the coming years as a time when we will help each other to grow in our discipleship - our following - of the Lord Jesus.
I would like to particularly thank Fr. Jay Maddock & Fr. Daniel Nunes for their assistance during this time of transition. I am also grateful to everyone else who has helped me to get my bearings.
As I shared with all of you who were able to make it to Mass last weekend - I know that, due to the hurricane, some of you couldn't - we are living in a time of great challenge and opportunity for the Church. The challenges are obvious - fewer people go to Mass than in years past; the moral challenges we face become more pressing; the ongoing uncertainty because of COVID only seems to make more vivid the discord within society.
At the same time - and I mean this seriously - these same challenges are an opportunity. The number of those who do not know about Jesus, His love and His truth is sad, but also a call for each of us to help to make Jesus known to others. We can all look around at our families, our social groups, and our workplaces or schools and see people who haven't yet encountered Jesus in faith - yet, in those moments, it is our call, our opportunity, to make Him known! The more we become convinced of this truth - the more we allow God's grace to work in and through us - the more the Church will come alive. In this time of pandemic when the reality of our mortality has become more real for us all, what a treasure is the hope of immortality offered us through our faith!
As members of Holy Name Parish you have already been doing this for years. The reputation of this parish is widely known: as a place of authentic faith, of service and care for the needy, and of education of the young through our wonderful school. It is an honor and a pleasure on my part to have the chance to be a part of this wonderful work.
"Lord, to Whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life." Last weekend we listened as St. Peter addressed these words to Jesus Christ. May all of us work together so that Holy Name Church can continue to be a place where Jesus may always be found!