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This week we began the training to form a team that will invite and outreach to the neighborhood. Initially, we met for fellowship and spiritual enrichment through to share a simple meal and discussing a video about Jesus and our life. One particular quote impressed me from Bernard Levin, a non Christian well-known columnist of the last century. “Countries like ours are full of people who have all the material comforts they desire, together with such non-material blessings as a happy family, and yet lead lives of desperation, understanding nothing but the fact that there is a hole inside of them. However much food and drink they pour into it, however many motorcars and television sets they stuff it with, and however many well -balanced children and loyal friends they parade around the edges of it, it aches.” A similar idea was from Russell Brand who claimed, “Drugs and alcohol are not my problem. Reality is my problem. Drugs and alcohol are my solution to fill up a hole inside of me.”

Looking back, that’s what I was experiencing—like a hole, sort of hunger—maybe a spiritual hunger. But Jesus promised, ‘I am the bread of life, and I alone, and nothing else, can satisfy this spiritual hunger’.”

Our training session explored the meaning of the latter quotation, with some agreeing and others unsure. Yet we know that our faith is intended to lead us to the healing power of Jesus. Today’s Gospel is very clear about Christ’s purpose to heal and restore and to bring us to a place of meaning and purpose—even joy- in the midst of struggle and difficulty. For me, it is an honor to journey with this small group of dynamic parishioners in engaging discussions.

We are excited to begin Religious Education this week. We realize that many families wait until the last minute to register their children, so please register them as soon as possible. The catechists have been praying and preparing to share the inspiration and healing power of faith with our youth. I do want to assure our parents that the formation in the faith is not only for the children. We are never completely formed in the faith and there is always more to learn. For this reason, we will be offering talks and discussions for parents waiting in the hall for the children. We will focus primarily on the essentials of the faith, the importance of the Eucharist, reconciliation, Scripture and Sacraments. By the way, some high school students are generously volunteering to help with many details of the Religious Education ministry. I could use some more volunteers. For instance, I would like to have a small team of adults to arrange the food and beverages for the parents during their faith-enrichment sessions. Let me know if you are available.

Finally, I am again meeting with a member of the archdiocesan real estate office regarding the convent sale and I will share details soon. I truly believe God is guiding us in this process of providing for the long-term future of this wonderful faith community.

Thank you and God bless.

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