To live by faith - to be known by Love - to be a voice of Hope
Nurtured by the Word of God and the Eucharist, we are called to be a living example of God's love. We defend our faith like St. Michael, spread hope and love like Our Lady, and evangelize by following the example of St. Patrick. We gather together to protect the weak, support the needy, promote mercy, and encourage those who have drifted away from the faith to return to the loving folds of God's flock.
I shared with you last year that as GSCC we are one of a number of parishes and clusters of parishes in our diocese that are comprised of multiple churches that are located in different communities. I myself have been assigned to three of these multiple church site parishes during my years of priesthood. In all of my assignments where parishes have been linked together I have witnessed the Paschal Mystery being lived out. Like Jesus who suffered for us, I have witnessed the sufferings people experienced when they had to share a priest with another community, when their Sunday Mass schedule was reduced, when their rectories and convents were sold, and the death experience of having the church that had been a part of their family-life for generations closed. But in the midst of the pain and the struggles that I witnessed, I have seen the faith of so many people. People who recognize that the Risen One is still in our midst! The Risen One who promised us, 'I am with you always until the end of the age." (Mt. 28:20) I have witness the grace of the Holy Spirit at work in so many people who strive each day to follow the way of the Lord. When I witness such faith lived out it gives me Hope! Hope for the future.
It is in that hope that I envision us working together as Good Shepherd Catholic Community. We may worship regularly at one particular church, and we may have different mailing addresses, and our children may attend different school districts, and we may travel in different directions to go shopping, but we are and always will be "One in the Lord" as members of the Body of Christ. As we strive to work together and pray together may the Vision and Mission Statements we have adopted for our parish help give us direction in living out our Christian faith under the guidance of the Good Shepherd.
Our Diocesan Shepherd, Bishop Salvatore Matano will be coming to our parish to celebrate Mass on Sunday, April 17th, the Fourth Sunday of Easter. That Sunday is often referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday because the gospel of the day makes reference to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is a fitting day for Bishop Matano to be with us and preside at a special Mass for our Good Shepherd Catholic Community parish. The Mass will be held at St Patrick Church, Moravia at 10:00a.m. Following Mass there will be a reception.
This will be the only Mass celebrated on Sunday, April 17 in our parish, it and will be for all the parishioners of Good Shepherd Catholic Community. So please mark your calendars for this special parish-wide event. While the regular Sunday Masses will be cancelled, we will be having a Mass Saturday evening at St. Michael Church in Union Springs at 5:00 p.m. for those who cannot attend on Sunday. I hope that most of you though will be able to gather as a parish community with the Bishop on Good Shepherd Sunday.
Have a Blessed Easter Season, Father Bill