Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ, today and always. As we continue to move through the month of May, dedicated to our Blessed Mother, may Mary intercede for all of us to bring us the blessings of her Son.
Last year, around this time, we became aware that our beloved former pastor,
Fr. Ned Coughlin SJ, was ill and in need of our prayers. On June 25, Ned went home to the Lord and we celebrated his life and legacy with a Mass of the Resurrection, here in a church that he loved with all his heart. As the first anniversary of Ned’s passing approaches, I would like to recognize him in a special way, one that is fitting to his life and character. After speaking with our parish trustees and Executive Director of the Xavier Mission, Cassandra Agredo, I am very happy to announce that we will name the Xavier Men’s Shelter in Ned’s honor.
The naming of the shelter will be preceded by a drawing to benefit both the Mission and the parish. Multiple prizes will be awarded to ticket holders and more information will be announced in the coming weeks. Needless to say, I am hopeful that this will be a successful fundraising event, in Ned’s memory and for our community.
In other news: Last Monday evening, leaders of the various parish ministries, along with the Pastoral Council, assembled in the Mary Chapel for our annual meeting. The purpose of the evening is to bring everyone up to date on the highlights, challenges, and ongoing goals of each ministry. We also explored possibilities for greater collaboration among the groups. It all sounds so perfunctory, I know, but the grace that flows from this gathering is truly something to see and to receive. Listening to all the great work that each ministry continues to do is one of the reasons why Xavier stands out as such an active and vibrant parish.
During the meeting, I asked our group leaders to consider how they might pay attention, in the coming year, to
issues concerning the environment. As you may know, Pope Francis is writing an encyclical on this very topic and it should be released sometime this summer. As we focused on the problem of modern day slavery and human trafficking last year, the environment will be an area of focus in the coming year. Please join us in prayer and action as we address this important theme.
Finally, I ask your prayers for the five young people who will be confirmed this Sunday at our 5pm mass and the 21 children who will receive their First Communion on June 7th. They are the future of our Church! Please pray also for the members of our parish who are sick or homebound and others who are carrying heavy crosses at this time in their lives. When we pray for each other, the Holy Spirit strengthens our bonds and inspires our growth as a community of faith. Thank you for all that you are and do for Xavier. The Spirit of the risen Christ is in our midst, no doubt about it!