A Lifetime of Mustard Seeds
Dear friends on the journey,
Recently I was inspired to reflect on Vincent Van Gogh’s 1888 painting, Sower at Sunset, as a metaphorical image for my walk of faith and vocation that has led me to this very special day. Today at the 11:00 am Mass Bishop Marc Trudeau will commission me as a Pastoral Associate for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the service of Padre Serra Parish.
In looking back on my journey, I can see where God, our good and gracious sower, has been planting mustard seeds of faith. After my infant baptism, the first seed I recall was at age four and, throughout my childhood, teen years and adult life, God has been planting, watering, tending, and guiding my faith. Along the way, there have been some significant encounters and moments, like today. In general, though, the deepening of my faith and progression of my vocation has grown in the simple and unexpected, in the humble witness of God’s hand at work around me, because of people’s generosity and influence, in suffering and healing, and in formation and my academics at St. John’s Seminary.
My ecclesial roles have included altar server, Eucharistic minister, volunteer, administrative staff, catechist, master catechist, business manager, and faith life minister. For 31 years, I have been living out my vocation of motherhood and marriage. Today all of these roles, experiences, growth, skills, talents, gifts and charisms come together. Today God’s call to the vocation as Pastoral Associate comes to fruition.
By no means did I do this on my own. I simply could not. This journey has been filled with God’s grace, the Holy Spirit, the love and encouragement of family and friends, the influence of lay teachers and mentors, religious, and clergy who showed mercy and empowered me, most especially Fr. Patrick who has given me more than I deserve. And all of you parishioners and leaders who have inspired, encouraged and celebrated me.
Dear Faith Family,
This weekend’s Gospel is obviously very challenging. It always is when there is a discussion of the afterlife. Lazarus, the poor man, was more open to the idea of heaven than the rich man who lived an extravagant life. While this is a message that we often hear about in scripture, there is one line that really stuck out to me regarding our lives as Catholics.
At the end of our Sunday’s Gospel, the rich man implores Abraham to send a message to his brothers to avoid “this place of torment.” He claims that if a ghost appears to them, it will scare them straight and convince them to live holy and humble lives. Abraham’s reply is quite powerful:
“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded should someone rise from the dead.”
Is Abraham’s statement true for us at times? I think so. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have the urge to rely on a personal miracle for me to change or understand God’s will for me. When we rely only on personal miracles, we forget about the most important message. Jesus is the Resurrected God and we need to let people know.
Through the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we sometimes forget to be persuaded by God’s rising from the dead. Yes, we can experience miracles and intercession from the heavens, but they mean nothing unless we get to know who Jesus is. This is why our parish motto of “Encounter Jesus, Be Disciples” is so powerful. Without that encounter of Jesus, even the most groundbreaking miracle can mean nothing to a person’s life.
This rings true on the other hand, as well. Our goal of discipleship is not to meet a quota. While it would be nice to have an official number of souls that we have impacted, we will never know the number of people we have evangelized. We have to remember that we are simply planting seeds and those seeds are the message of the Resurrection. While we may be prophets, our work means nothing until they are persuaded by it.
1932 - 2022
Monday, October 17
Padre Serra Parish
Dear Parish Family,
This weekend we celebrate in a special way the individuals who have said “YES” to God’s call to serve his people, through the ministry of Catechist. They will be called forward, blessed and sent out to minister to the children, youth and adults of our parish community. Pope Francis describes the role of the Catechists as “witnesses who live from the celebration of the Eucharist and place themselves at the service of the Christian community, to support the deepening of faith in the concreteness of daily life.” They tirelessly proclaim the Gospel of mercy, create the necessary bonds of welcome and closeness to better appreciate the Word of God and to celebrate the Eucharistic mystery by offering the fruits of good works. Who did this for you? Who was instrumental in your encounter with Jesus? How do you do this for others?
Our theme this year focuses on the Eucharist. The source and summit of our faith, the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This year’s theme will help us focus on our Mission; to bring others to an encounter with the living God. Jesus gives himself to us at every liturgy. He patiently waits for us to come to the table and receive him. He is the Bread of Life. It is the only thing that will quench the hunger of our soul. In the gift of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist we come into a transforming intimacy with him. This is sanctifying Grace. As Faith Formation ministers this is the goal, to bring others to this encounter.
The Children’s Faith Formation ministry is only possible by wonderful volunteers: Moms, Dads and other loving adults, just like you. This is a beautiful ministry, where it’s not always about having the answers to the kids’ questions but an opportunity to hear how God works and speaks through the mouths of the children as well. No experience is required. Our coordinators will prepare all the lesson plans and supplies needed. This year more than ever we are in need of Catechists, as many children are once again returning to in-person sessions. We are limited to the number of centers we can offer based on the number of volunteers we have.
Do you feel God calling you to journey in faith with the children of our parish? Help us not to turn away any child seeking to encounter Jesus.
Please reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Formation Minister
We’ll be “Bach”
After a well-deserved summer break (after singing a full year, and 2/3 of that
timemasked!) the choirs are returning to ministry soon, and we are recruiting!
What we’re looking for in choir members:
Do any of these describe you?
• I play (played) in the band or orchestra in school We want you!
• I sing (sang) in the choir at school or at church We want you!
• I take (took) music lessons (vocal or instrumental) We want you!
• I’ve never played or sung a note We might want you LOL
I’m interested. What do I do next?
Come in for a quick, private vocal checkup and we’ll see if it’s a good fit. Contact Dominic MacAller email@example.com 805-482-6417 ext. 327 and/or stop by the choir table at the Ministry Fair in the courtyard on Sunday 9/11.
Today’s responsorial psalm says
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”
Music ministry in a choir is a great way to do that!
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Hours
Sunday - Friday, 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday, 2:00 - 9:00 pm
Monday through Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
(805) 482 · 6417
(805) 987 · 8100 FAX
For emergencies requiring
For eNews you can trust.