Pastoral Message – April 7, 2024

Pastoral Message – April 7, 2024

As some of you know, I took part in our mission trip to Poland a few weeks ago, from March 14th through the 22nd. Since I returned, a number of you have asked about the trip; today I would like to share with you some highlights.

We spent several days in the city of Opole, a couple of hours’ drive from Krakow. We were hosted by Ostoja, a Pentecostal church which our group had spent time with last year. There we got to participate in children’s ministry as well as the regular Sunday worship. Sunday evening we participated in a candlelight Mass at a local Catholic parish. The next two days we helped at a ministry for the homeless called House of Hope.  Helping to feed the people who came there was a good and satisfying experience. We also bought them some important supplies. Before we left Opole, we were able to spend some more time with a local Catholic priest, who showed us the Diocesan Museum; and the Pentecostal minister, whose friendliness, faith, and passion were truly inspiring.

After we left Opole, we had the opportunity to visit several important places. Our Lady of Czestochowa (also known as the Black Madonna), and the sanctuary containing it, was a wonderful experience. The Divine Mercy Shrine, which includes the tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska, was also inspiring. Some of us visited Auschwitz and Birkenau: a sobering and somber experience, but very important to remember and learn from.

For me, another important aspect of the trip was the opportunity to spend time with the wonderful group of parishioners with whom I had the pleasure of travelling with. It was fun to get to know each other more.  Andrew Watson, our Youth and Young Adult Minister and Director of Confirmation, did a fabulous job of coordinating and directing the entire trip. And many of you contributed to the trip and the charitable work we were able to do. Thank you so much!

Fr. Philip

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