Renew the Face of the Earth

With this beautiful Solemnity of Pentecost, we draw our 50‐day celebration of Easter to a close! One of the most familiar and remarkable texts for this Sunday is the reading from the Acts of the Apostles. This passage recounts the great gathering of people who were speaking in their native languages about “the mighty acts of God.” How blessed we are as a parish community to have so many people representing more than one language and culture!

In Psalm 104 which is sung today, we pray that the Spirit will “renew the face of the earth.” I think today is a good day for us as Catholics to reflect on what our Church teaches about the earth and our environment. We definitely have a call to cherish and protect our common home. Pope Francis ends his encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praise to you), with a beautiful prayer. He prays: “God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love, and beauty. Praise to you! Amen.

Several years ago, our Pastoral Council initiated a new ministry in the parish, “The Culture and Diversity Committee”. This small group of parishioners has continued to advance within our parish community the call to cherish and promote the cultural and diverse opportunities we have been given here in the Mission Parish. The Committee has been involved in any number of parish events—the Multicultural Stations of the Cross during Lent, the Friday Night Friendship Café get-togethers, and participation in our all Parish Convocation. This committee is a most vital ministry for our parish as it fosters “unity in diversity” of many cultures in one parish! If you would like more information about this ministry, please see the bulletin for more details.

Is God calling you to participate in this important ministry? The Feast of St. Anthony of Padua is this week on Thursday, June 13th. I invite you to celebrate this famous and important Franciscan saint in a beautiful Festive bilingual Mass at 6:30 p.m. in the Old Mission Church. We will bless and distribute the traditional St. Anthony Bread and lilies at the Mass. A reception will follow in front of the Mission. St. Anthony, pray for us!

Have a good week! Love, Fr. Vince

Photos by Tina Mena

The Pastoral Council hosted the leaders of all Parish Ministries in a three hour Saturday retreat on Saturday, June 1st. There were team building exercises, opportunities to share, and a presentation on Servant Leadership skills.