A few times a year I receive a letter from Catholic Parish Outreach thanking our parish for our donation to the “Feed A Family” food drive, which as we know was just a few weeks ago here. The letter from CPO reads, in part, “The response from your parish was overwhelming, with a donation of 8,082 pounds of groceries and $11,235 for families in need!” That’s a lot of assistance to a lot of families in need and thank you to all who donated.
Whenever a friar dies, we receive a notice of his death along with a kind of outline of his life and a few months ago a friar named Phil O’Shea died in a nursing home in New York. A friar who visited him not long before he died shared Phil’s “farewell message” which I believe is worth repeating here. He said, “Generally speaking, this is not a joyful world. Flip to any news channel or walk outside and you’ll see humans suffering and in conflict. The Franciscan friar has to be someone who has learned to see things beneath the surface. You can, if you live by the example of St. Francis, begin to see with God’s eyes. With your vision greatly improved by grace, you will be able to see the inherent goodness in everything. The next step is to intentionally notice acts of kindness and say thank you whenever grace is revealed to you. With a heart full of gratitude for the beautiful perspective God has given you, you’ll find there is every reason in the world to be joyful, and no reason at all to suppose that God has abandoned us.” Beautiful Franciscan words!
As we begin March there is still no news to report on the transition. We continue to pray that our parish receive the new pastor with Franciscan hospitality and grace, and we will continue to keep you updated when we hear any news. Also, we are planning to have a farewell celebration on the weekend of June 6/7 and we are inviting friars who have served here in the past to attend. We don’t know exactly what it will look like at this point, but we are holding that weekend. The three of us here will likely stay on further into June, and begin to move by late June/early July. Thank you, from the three of us for your kind words along the way and thank you to all who have been praying for a grace-filled transition.
Blessings on your week!