The Ascension is one of those poorly-understood Church observances. Christmas, we understand—God entered human history in the form of a baby. We know about the manger and the shepherds and the star and the Magi. We sing the hymns and put out Nativity scenes. Easter, too, we are comfortable with—Jesus, who days earlier was put to death on a cross, rose from the dead. At Easter, we celebrate his triumph over death. It wouldn’t be difficult to tell a non-Christian co-worker why this is such a big deal for us.
The readings today remind me of the trips and vacations that I have taken and the emotions that have been felt: Excitement, nervousness, joyfulness, anticipation—all of these emotions seem to be tied together in preparing for a trip. What do I pack? What will the weather be like? What information do I need to share with people; at home, at work, with the dog sitter, with my neighbors? How do I responsibly leave without leaving people hanging? Preparing for a trip in and of itself can become a part time job. It is virtually impossible to simply fill a suitcase and just walk out the door.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On Tuesday, May 7, many of our Liturgical Ministers gathered in Fireside for an Appreciation Dinner. We have close to 500 volunteers that help at various times of the year to make our liturgies more impactful and prayerful – baking bread, preparing for each Mass, proclaiming the Word, greeting parishioners, singing in joyful praise, and joining in communion with each other - and we like to take one evening each year to say THANK YOU. Our volunteers enjoyed a delicious bbq dinner and Fr.
Such a simple, complex, amazing, heartbreaking part of our humanity.
Who do you love the most?
How do you love them?
The image of Christ as the Good Shepherd is one I have always found great comfort in. One who tends, cares for, protects, calls after, reaches for. The Shepherd who leaves 99 to search for the lost one. A caring, personal Shepherd. The words from John’s Gospel this Sunday reiterate this reassuring image of Christ, perhaps with an added tone: “Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.
My five-year-old son has a passion for understanding how things work. His inquisitive mind asks question after question and he will not accept answers such as “that’s just the way it is,” or “I’m not sure.” My husband and I encourage his curiosity and answer his questions as best as we can, but to my son’s dismay and impatience, we do not know detailed answers to every question. And there are some questions even Google cannot answer. We often wrestle with how to answer my son’s questions in a way appropriate for a five year old to hear, while also appeasing his scrutinizing mind.
At the request of Bishop Mark Bartosic, Saint Clement and 63 other parishes in our vicariate recently held listening sessions that gave parishioners the opportunity to express their views regarding the ongoing sexual abuse crisis within the Church. Saint Clement held two listening sessions during the month of March. After which a written summary of the views expressed by parishioners was shared with Fr. Paul Seaman and Bishop Bartosic.