This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - June 2, 2017

Dear All: 


Thanks to Bob Ferretti for organizing last week’s “This Week.” Retreat was excellent. 


This Week in Prayer


The Easter Season’s Sunday readings continue to highlight the inspired desires God has built into our hearts. Last Sunday it was about the desire to pray – the desire to speak to God and listen to God. God gave us those urges. We decide how to play them. This week’s readings highlighted the question of praying with others, both being with others when we listen to God and being with others when we speak to God.


The first reading describes a terrifically bittersweet moment in the apostles’ lives, the moment immediately after Jesus’ Ascension. They suspected that they would never again encounter Jesus that directly yet they knew they had a special mission to take up. When they left the “mount called Olivet,” they did not go separate ways. The eleven men and accompanying women returned to the Upper Room – together – where they “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.” The story suggests they were most eager to listen to God – together.


Sunday’s gospel comes from John 17’s “High Priestly Prayer.” Jesus prays there for himself, his nearest and dearest, and those his nearest and dearest will influence. The passage depicts Jesus praying intensely and within earshot of the disciples. John provides no suggestion that the disciples fell asleep before Jesus’s arrest. The disciples do not share in the prayer but they accompany Jesus while giving him room.


Both readings invite us to delight in our resemblance to Jesus and the disciples. Like them, we possess a God-given desire to pray. The readings also invite us to check in on our ways of praying. Our speaking to God and listening to God is sometimes meant to be a private and sometimes meant to be a shared experience.


What about you? Do you feel like you have the right balance of private and communal prayer? Are their people with whom you can pour out your heart to God? Do you have people in your life with whom you can pray petitionary prayers? And how about the listening? With whom can you swap insights about God’s various invitations? Dozens of people participate in parish programs that facilitate shared listening to God – i.e., Walking with Purpose, the Spiritual Exercises, Cornerstone and the Youth Group Prayer experiences. And of course Mass is the perfection of us being together to listen to God and to speak to God. But what about in addition to Mass? Do you think you are maintaining an inspired balance of private and shared prayer? If not, what might be an appropriate next step?

  • Continued blessings for all the young people who were confirmed this Spring and have moved into the ranks of “Young Adults.” It will be good to see many of you this weekend at the “Confirmation Reunion Mass.”

  • And more continued blessings for people who made their First Communions in May and continue to receive the Eucharist each week. It gives me and others great joy to hear you report after Mass “I just made my fourth communion.” May God continue to bless you with great enthusiasm. And double good for you when you hold your hands up nice and high when you receive. You are terrific.

  • Thanks to all who made the 6 pm Mass special on Memorial Day weekend. 

  • In addition to the opening of the 2018 Mass book, parishioners can now request “unannounced Masses” through our front office. These Masses are offered by priests in monasteries and in the missions.

  • Its Bible time again. Please let us know if you are graduating from high school, college or trade school this Spring. We want you to have a bible from the parish to take with you in the next adventure. Please sign up either in the gathering space or, better yet, fill out the online form by clicking here.

  • Think it over . . . “Meeting Christ in Prayer” is an eight-week program, related to the Spiritual Exercises, that I am thinking of offering three times next year. It’s about growing in prayer and is not nearly as time consuming as the Spiritual Exercises. Let me know if you think you might be up for it.

  • Listen to this week's readings and homily
  • Read last Sunday's readings 
  • Read the coming Sunday's readings 

This week in service:

  • Altar Servers – Please let me know what name you would like to give your altar servers’ team. I suggest you go with a favorite saint, or perhaps a place or a group mentioned in the bible. Be as creative as you can be! 

  • The Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Parish Council, and the Finance Council all hold their last meetings fo this fiscal year in June. During July and August, most business will be conducted by email and regular meetings will not be held. If you have any topics you want and of these committees to address before the summer semi-recess, please let the appropriate board members know.

  • You will notice what looks suspiciously like a Christmas tree in the gathering space but don’t be fooled. This Giving Tree is filled with tags that allow the parish to help sponsor a teen for Catholic Heart Workcamp. Take a tag and sponsor a camper. 


This week in community:

  • Online CCD registration is going beautifully. Keep in mind, June is the last month to get the discounted price for next year’s CCD.

  • Parents of summer CCD students – remember the meeting on Monday June 5 at 7:00 in the parish hall.

  • It’s never too soon to think of being a CCD teacher next year. Contact Jim Jungels if you think that MAYBE the Holy Spirit is prompting you in this direction.

  • Join us as we celebrate Fr. Hank’s silver anniversary on June 17. We start with 4:45mass and then we party. We’d like to know how many people to expect so if you haven’t already done so, please fill out this simple form

  • Have you already signed up for the St. Joe’s leg of the Hillsborough Triple Crown of 5ks – I Run Hillsborough. Invite your running friends and relatives to run Hillsborough and feel the holy burn. The race is NEXT SATURDAY! 

  • Be sure to check out the signup sheets in the gathering space for the Patriots Ministry


I send this with best blessings for all of you, especially those who are simply days away from summer breaks at school. Hang in there!



Fr Hank.