Praying For You
I remember one summer I was finishing an eight-day retreat. My bags were packed and I was ready to head back to the parish. As I was leaving the retreat house, a little elderly nun came up to me and stopped me in the hallway. I was twice her size.
As I looked down at her angelic face framed by her black habit, with a smile she said, “Father, I will pray for you every day.” Her simple and sincere words melted me down to her size. I was moved by her spiritual care, commitment and concern. I walked away feeling like God just blessed me with another guardian angel in my life.
That conversation, even though it happened years ago, still stays with me. It is an uplifting feeling knowing that someone is holding you in their prayers. It gives us hope and reassurance, especially when we face difficult moments in our life. Prayer offers us an important spiritual connection that reminds us that we are not alone in our journey of faith. Yes, the Risen Lord is with us as well.
As a priest, I receive many requests from people to pray for certain intentions. Often folks share their requests before and after Mass on Sunday. I try my best to remember all of them and incorporate them into my prayers at daily Mass during the week as well in my own moments of personal reflection.
Our parishes have recently introduced an important ministry called, “The Prayer Connection.” A number of parishioners are committed to pray for the needs of others. These needs may include illness, births, death, disabilities, difficult situations and more. No prayer request is too large or too small. All the requests are confidential.
To request a prayer for yourself or a loved one, visit our parish website. There are also request forms located in the back of church that you can fill-out and place in the Sunday collection.
Last week, I downloaded the book Ordinary Grace, written by William Kent Krueger. (I went with the audio version from iTunes.) It is an award winning novel that Fr. Larry McBrady has recommend to us for our summer reading. It’s a murder mystery and much more.
In September, Fr. McBrady will hold optional discussions for those who read the book and wish to talk about the deeper meanings woven into the story, and look deeper into the lives of the characters.
I have talked with a couple of parishioners who have already read the book and they mentioned to me that they really enjoyed it and found it fascinating. I look forward to checking it out and seeing what I might learn more about God’s grace through the story.
That is the beauty of art and literature. It can open new doors for us in our life. We can be encouraged to courageously step through and gain a deeper meaning and clearer perspective to life.
Consider checking out Ordinary Grace this summer.
Welcome Brother Raymond
We welcome to St. Joseph parish this weekend, Brother Papenfuss, from the Brothers of the Holy Cross. As part of the annual Summer Missionary Co-op Appeal, Brother Raymond will share his reflections upon his 28 years of working in Ghana, West Africa.
In 1957, three Holy Cross Brothers left Notre Dame and went to the African country of Ghana to work in high schools. In 1962 a formation program was started to accept young Africans into the community. There are now 50 Ghanaian Holy Cross Brothers, many in various stages of education and training.
As Brother Raymond shares with us his experience of church in Africa, we gain a broader view of the Church. We are blessed to hear the good news of the Catholic Church that is vibrant and growing. We are inspired by these men and women who have dedicated their lives to carrying on the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ.
There will be a second collection at St. Joseph this Sunday to support the Summer Missionary Co-op Appeal. Thank you for your generosity and prayers for those who travel in the footsteps of the Lord.
On August 29th-30th, Fr. Robert Lombardo, from the Community of Franciscan Friars of Renewal, will speak at Immaculate Conception parish on behalf of the Summer Missionary Co-op Appeal. The collection will be taken up at Immaculate Conception parish that weekend.