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SistersThis morning, on the first celebration of the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, Fr. Konopa spoke (video) about how we are family, and Mary is our mother. She was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost. She was the mom in that moment when the church was born.

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May_Crowning_2018 - CopyYesterday, on Mother’s Day, we also celebrated the Ascension of the Lord. Fr. Konopa, in his Homily, pointed out that now the Lord’s work is for us to do.

After Communion there was a blessing for mothers and the traditional May Crowning, revering our blessed Mother, as people streamed forward with gift bouquets of spring flowers.

DSC_0003 - CopyChecking on progress in our Religious Education Center, it seems we are well on our way to completion about a month from now. Painting appears to be complete, and ceiling grids and lights are in place. Cabinets and cubbies are in all the classrooms.

Panorama_southwest_view_Hallway - CopyTo whoever selected the lighting for the lower level, well done! The light is ample and bright like sunlight, so even the rooms without windows feel commodious. Everywhere the finishes are warm, soothing earth tones.

DSC_0002 - CopyPlans call for an open house in the lower level after all Masses on Catechetical Sunday, 16 September. As with the parish hall, people are going to be impressed. The classrooms are enormous and everywhere there is attention to detail, such as the acoustic panels in the music room.

Ed_ThomeTomorrow we celebrate the life of our former pastor, Fr. Edwin Thome. A lot of us have very fond memories of him, whether his original term 1968-1974, or his return as our senior pastor 2001-2008. There will be wonderful stories to share of his kindness, humor, and his insightful homilies. Eternal rest grant unto Ed, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.


DSC_0094 - CopyOn Thursday, May 10, we hosted our first Chicken Que in our new parish hall. There may be details to work out,  but overall, the impression is yes, everything worked, and the new space is well designed to make this event a success. There were a lot of smiles, a lot of joy about working alongside of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

DSC_0080 - CopyWe were blessed with good weather. Not just on the day, but leading up to it, because our new, west parking lot was paved, and that made all the difference. Compared to our Chicken Que last September, this one was far smoother in terms of everything flowing, everything feeling efficient and well planned and placed.

DSC_0063 - CopyOur target was to serve 1800 people. That’s up from 1600 a couple of years ago. And there was a lot of talk about moving toward 2000 in the future. A lot of people were commenting that we could have sold 2000 or even 2100 this time.

DSC_0078 - CopySuch talk is humbling. It says that we have established a reputation in the community and that we want to satisfy our neighbors. It says that we have the depth of committed volunteers, and the facilities, necessary to accomplish this.

When I work a Chicken Que alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ, I know for sure that I am part of a closely knit parish family. We do the Lord’s work together, with joy.

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Confirmation 2018


GroupWe do our best to raise our children in our faith. We bring them to education, share our own experience, celebrate their milestones, try to explore how faith journeys intersect.

Theresa and the Bishop - CopyAt my 40th birthday party, a friend who’d wandered away in the college years talked about how she and her husband were returning to the church. She needed the support. I told her I’d been praying about her return for years, that she was telling me my prayer was answered. I hope to have a moment like that with each of my own children.

The MomentOur children leave us like rockets:  Slowly in the moments after launch. When they clear the tower, accelerating, we say prayers hoping their guidance systems function, that they get to where they’re going, to where only our voices can reach. Lord, help us find the right message. 

Doxology

A heart is an antenna, reaching out for signals, out as far as it can. May our children’s hearts find our signal.


DSC_0446 - CopyThis morning, 31 children received Holy Eucharist for the first time. Congratulations to all these children and their parents and families. We are happy to welcome you into a deeper participation in Christ’s sacrifice and our faith.

DSC_0125 - CopyIn his Homily, Fr. Konopa talked about the day of his own First Communion. His pastor, teacher, and family put a lot into preparing for and celebrating that day. Next to that, his main duty was to trust and believe.

Everything seemed to go smoothly despite the cancellation on Wednesday of a rehearsal because of snow.

DSC_0137 - CopyA powerful moment came when the children held the lit candles that were given them at their Baptism with the words, “Receive the light of Christ.” They were called, along with the rest of us, to renew their Baptismal promises.

DSC_0152 - CopyOf course, your average second-grader can be, at most, merely at the beginning of understanding the profound mystery of the Holy Eucharist. But isn’t that true of so many moments in our faith journey? For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

It was a beautiful, sunny and warm morning, and truly felt like the first day of Spring. The church was full, and full of celebration, and full of joyful noise unto the Lord.

Thank you, Lord for this day of joy and warmth of heart. Please help us to inspire our children to explore their relationship with you. Draw them into trust in you. Let them never be away from your Spirit. In our arms and beyond us, may they feel your loving embrace.

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DSC_0029 - CopyIn his Homily this weekend, Dn. Richard Sage looks back to Monday, April 9, when Bishop William Callahan presided at the dedication and blessing of our new parish hall.

3rd_Easter“There was a marvelous spirit that evening. A spirit that was filled with many emotions: satisfaction, accomplishment, ‘we made it!’ The enjoyment of the space, and imagining all the wonderful parish events that it promises to hold in the future. But there was another spirit there as well. I was kind of surprised to hear several people, actually many people, remark that it was also dreamlike, almost surrealistic. It’s really here? Are we really here in our own parish hall?”

DSC_0190 - CopyIt was in every way a wonderful evening. About 350 people tucked into a hall designed to seat 288. When was the last time you saw more Catholics than seats?

DSC_0169 - CopyWe were also fortunate to welcome former pastors Msgr. David Kunz and Fr. Bill Grevatch and other guests from the companies that designed and built our hall.

DSC_0007 - CopyAfter a lovely liturgy of word and music, we sat down to a delicious dinner prepared and served by parish women and men with help from ACS students. The dinner was elegant, tasty, and joyful. Deepest thanks to all who took kitchen duty!

DSC_0180 - CopyWithout a hall for several years, we missed but did not forget the happiness of seeing parish friends who are regulars at a different Mass time. The evening offered time to sit down and really talk with friends we might otherwise see only in passing.

Lord, thank you for the work that you are doing in our midst. Let us also be part of that work. Let us use all resources we have in your service. Let us be your love to all the world.

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Hopeful Signs


Here we are, still using the term “wind chill” in April. Yuck. Yet we are also catching another, warmer breeze.

JURAN-Mike-Cathy-Nick-Nate-JonOn Thursday afternoon I stopped into the parish hall to do a little advance work for the bishop’s visit tomorrow. Cathy Juran was busy in the kitchen. We got to talking and she reminded me that we’ve known each other for something like 25 years from our SPX days. Wow.

Cathy has come forward as a servant leader to help with our new kitchen. There are inspiring signs of a new spirit of cooperation. Cathy will coordinate and replenish a basic inventory of supplies that parish organizations such as Chicken Que, Funeral Luncheons, Silver Circle, PCCW, and Men’s Club and others will all share, and contribute their share to support. We are getting our act together!

DSC_0016 - CopyOn Saturday a lot of family gathered around the font to welcome Maximus Andrew into our faith family. Congratulations to his parents, Andrew and Amy Nickelatti.

Something wonderful is happening at MMOC. We are drawing new members, young families, wedding couples. There’s this crackling energy that might be hard to define, but it is real. The Holy Spirit is moving in this parish family.

Lord, let us be alert to signs of your Spirit at work in our lives and our world. Help us appreciate signs of your presence. When we experience darkness, call us to trust in you.