Pastoral Message – October 8, 2023
The other day I was going through the Starbucks drive-thru to get my morning coffee, and the young man who served me my coffee asked me, “What’s your name?” I told him I am Philip. He responded, “You baptized me! My mom is so excited you’re at SSJ now!” Isn’t that a cool connection? The sacrament of Baptism had created a bond between us, and we rediscovered that bond in the drive-thru line at Starbucks.
In the short time that I have been here, numerous people have told me that they remember me from one or another of my past parish assignments. Some folks actually remember me from my days of helping at St. Mary’s by the Sea (1984-1992); that’s a long time ago! And I have met people whose children I have baptized, or whose marriage I celebrated, or who had been at a funeral where I presided. Again, we see how the sacraments, along with our common faith, create community among us.
I am very grateful for the welcoming spirit that all of you have shown to me. I have really enjoyed sharing meals with some of you, and I look forward to more opportunities to get together with you. (Remember, I welcome all invitations; please keep them coming!)
The Festival was quite an event. It was great to be here with so many people, all of them having a good time. Of course, all of this happens because of you. I wish God’s many blessings upon all of you who worked so hard before, during, and after the Festival. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is worth it.
Another wonderful aspect of our parish community which I have enjoyed is our school. It’s always a happy experience to have some of the students present for morning Mass on weekdays, and a couple of weeks ago I celebrated an all-school Mass. Words can’t describe what a beautiful experience it is to celebrate the Eucharist with so many young people participating. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit with students, teachers, administrators and staff as I go from classroom to classroom in the school.
In short, we are getting to know each other a little more each day, and the community spirit of Saints Simon & Jude has become a great blessing in my life. Thank you so much!
Now if I could just finish unpacking all my boxes…