You will notice that we have a “prayer during the time of transition” that we now pray at mass following the prayers of the faithful. The prayer is printed on our worship aid. Thanks to Fr. Jim for writing this prayer – you may know he has a doctorate in sacramental theology and so has a background in sacraments and liturgy. “A time of transition” describes where we are as a parish – more than a month removed from the announcement that Holy Name Province will be withdrawing from our parish, now moving into a kind of in-between period as we wait to hear from our bishop as to who will become the next pastor of St. Francis. In our meeting with the bishop a few weeks ago, he acknowledged that it’s normal that people would be upset and upended by the news (the bishop was once a pastor of a parish himself, in rural Georgia). He asked us, as well, to enter into a time of prayer.
Of course! As women and men of faith, what else would we be called to do? To move away from a state of anxiety and to move toward a time of hopeful anticipation and receptivity. To enter into the story of Martha and Mary in Luke’s gospel (Luke 10:38-42): to pray with that, to see Martha’s frantic sense of wanting to do something and to see Mary’s calm receptivity to the presence of Jesus in their home. This is our time of transition at St. Francis, preparing the way for the new pastor to come, and asking God to guide the process and to settle our hearts along the way.
As we prepare the way for the new pastor, it will be important for us as a parish and important to us as friars, that this parish continue its strong mission and presence within the diocese. An important part of that mission is our ongoing financial support: to our parish offertory and to the 2020 Bishop’s Annual Appeal. The 2020 BAA mailing has gone out; as always, please consider your part in the important work of the Diocese of Raleigh.
Blessings on your week!