This Week in Prayer, Service & Community

NOTE: There was an error in the emailed version of this letter. Godspell will be performed on Friday - Sunday May 13-15.

Dear All:

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.  

This week in prayer:

  • Webster defines “ripple effect” as “a spreading effect or series of consequences caused by a single action or event.” Anyone who has dropped a stone in still water has the visual image mentally recorded.

    Sunday’s readings invite us to stay mindful of spiritual ripple effects, to notice that some ripple effects align with God’s hopes and others do not. Jesus prays for His immediate disciples and then adds “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Jesus envisions and endorses the positive ripple effect. He blesses the prospect of the circle of discipleship growing and expanding across time and space as disciples tell the story. Saint Stephen, in Acts 7, lambastes his listeners for perpetuating the terrible ripple effect of killing the prophets. In every generation, they make the same mistake, widening the circles of ignorance and violence. His message prompts them to kill him too.

    What about the positive ripple effects you hope to perpetuate? What about the customs that come down to us through the ages from our families and other wisdom figures, customs that spread across time and space and help fulfill God’s hopes for the world? Is there one spiritual or charitable custom that comes to you from people in your past and is worthy of your support so that people in other places and times benefit? Ways of praying? Ways of serving the underprivileged? Ways of performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? What ripple effect tops your list?

    Listen to this week's homily.
  • Congratulations to this week’s First Communicants! Three cheers for you!
  • Stay tuned for more about a chance to make the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius here at St. Joe’s next year. It is a year-long, at-home retreat program involving carefully laid out prayer time and group conversation twice a month. You might well be more ready than you think you are!

This week in service:

  • Our terrific tradition of Eagle Scout projects continues to flourish. This marked the official completion of two more. Trevor Tomczak rehabbed the prayer path that runs from the back of church out to Gumble Drive. He has cleared the old path, spruced up all the furniture and salvaged the damaged cross. Way to go Trevor and your team! Daniel Eppes, meanwhile, has finished revitalizing the hill where the last three stations are located at the South end of our Great Lawn. Daniel and his team have repaired the stairway, brought in and spread three tons of red stone, covered the ground with landscape fabric to keep the weeds down and mulched the whole magilla. Both of these young men are a great credit to the Scouts and to the parish. In thanking them, we also thank their families and we thank Jo-ann Delasko (our outgoing coordinator of Scout Projects) and Joe Bijas, our incoming coordinator. Super work all around.

This week in community:

  • Mark your calendars for the Hoedown on May 20. Dancers and clods of all ages are encouraged to attend and sure to enjoy it. Parishioners who have experienced Bo and the Barncats rave about them. Be there, Friday 5/20. 
  • Several parishioners have had the good fortune of sneaking in on a rehearsal for Godspell. “You know then the wonder of which I speak.” The cast and crew are over the top great. You will be very very happy you attended one of the performances: Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 at 7:30. Sunday afternoon May 15 at 2:00pm. It will be an unforgettably fine experience.
  • We have a completely full house (sold out) for the subs before the Saturday night performance! May God continue to bless abundantly our fellowship!

Best blessings

Fr. Hank