Today I want to start by offering congratulations to Fr. Mark on the birth of his newest nephew, Luke James, born on February 26, 2020. Luke is the first child of Fr. Mark’s twin sister Lisa and her husband Sean. Fr. Mark’s brother and his wife have two boys and a girl. Let us pray that Fr. Mark will influence one of his nephews to become a priest! I have three nephews, but none followed me.
I also want to introduce the members of our new Parish Pastoral Council. They will be meeting for the first time on Saturday, March 21. The former Council went on a “hiatus” while I worked with my Pastoral Leadership Team (Fr. Mark, Phil Britton, Mary Jo Trapani, and Zara Tan) to create a parish vision and re-structure the styles and forms of parish leadership. The new Pastoral Council consists of 4 members from the former council: Maybird D’Silva, Marty Kadziela, Jim Marks, and John Shea; 3 members who responded to my bulletin invite last year: Dave Baier, Margaret Dodd, and Doug McIlvaine; and 5 members invited through discernment of my Pastoral Leadership Team: Joana Lopez, Ric Rodriguez, Lea Rodriguez, Mary Rsavy, and Angie Tse. Required reading for the new members have been the two books that have guided my Pastoral Leadership Team in transitioning our parish from maintenance mode to mission mode. If you are interested in reading the books to get a greater insight as to what is going on at OLM, the titles are: Divine Renovation by Fr. James Mallon and Ablaze by Deacon Keith Strohm. The Pastoral Council will meet with the Leadership Team quarterly. After our first meeting in March, look for the “Pastoral Council” tab on the website for pictures of the members, and a summary of our first meeting.
Today is the Second Sunday of Lent and the gospel of the Transfiguration. Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a high mountain. This Lent we are journeying to the heights. Those heights being the renewal of our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. Let us strengthen our spiritual muscles to reach the top of the mountain through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and receiving the sacrament of reconciliation during this Lent. The next three Sundays of Lent, we will celebrate the liturgical rites of the Scrutinies with the elect who will be baptized this year at the Easter Vigil. The First Scrutiny will be at the 4:00pm Mass on March 14, the Second Scrutiny will be at the 9:00am Mass on March 22, and the Third Scrutiny will be at the 10:45am Mass on March 29. Please pray for our elect for baptism, and our candidates for Reception into the Church.
Have a blessed Lent!