We have watched the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston and surrounding areas, and this weekend we will be taking up a second collection for hurricane relief efforts. I know that some members of our parish have family members in that area so we keep all people affected by the hurricane in prayer.

We ask as well that you please be generous in our second collection for hurricane relief this weekend.

On August 29 I attended the Installation Mass for our new bishop, Luis Rafael Zarama. He came across as humble and in his homily he said he wanted to come to know “the smell of the sheep”, a clear reference to the words of Pope Francis. Bishop Zarama spoke about what it was like to get the phone call asking him to be bishop of Raleigh, how he avoided answering his phone, but eventually gave in and took the call. “Can I pray over it?” he asked. “No.” was the response. He said yes, and he is now our new bishop. Our prayers are with him.

Many of you know that our parish has a ministry to gays and lesbians, and I know that our LGBT ministry has been a support to many people here. Next Saturday morning September 16, our LGBT ministry is sponsoring a SKYPE presentation on a new book by Fr. James Martin called Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity. The title and subtitle imply that the relationship has not always been good, and also imply, and look for, a way forward of “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” That sounds like a good path – please see elsewhere in the bulletin for more information.

And as I depart this Sunday for a parish pilgrimage to Italy, we look forward to welcoming Fr. Jim Sabak who will soon join us as the third friar in our community.

Blessings on your week!

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