Fr. Samuel's e-Epistle - February 23
Please pray for
who died last week. Her Memorial Mass will be at Emmaus on Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 PM
The students preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation
, who will be on retreat on the weekend of March 3 & 4
Update on the building project
We are in the initial phase of preparations for our building projects at Emmaus and at Queen of Angels chapel. While a lot has been happening, it is all pretty much behind the scenes. However, I do want you to know that we are moving forward so here is what has been happening:
In conformity with the requirements of the Diocese of Austin, I have written a letter to Bishop Vasquez describing the projects on both campus and requesting permission to proceed.
I have formed a building committee to guide us through these projects. I was careful to choose parishioners who are enthusiastic and offer professional expertise in areas such as building and construction, architecture, the law, engineering, etc.
Several of us have met with the Diocesan Director of Facilities to receive guidance on processes and procedures required of us by the diocese.
We have received a list of architects from the Diocesan Director of Facilities. When we receive the bishop’s permission to proceed, we will invite have these and others we select to submit proposals. From the proposal received we will pick probably three for interviews by the building committee.
The chair of our parish finance council is in dialogue with the Diocesan Director of Finance regarding our budget and what we can afford.
We are in the process of identifying stakeholders for both projects and developing means for them to give us their input. Stakeholders are groups within the parish who will be most directly involved in using the new facilities. For example, with the Pastoral Center on the Emmaus campus much of the building will be staff offices. Therefore, we have to get input from the staff on what they see as their needs for office and work space. For the chapel the stakeholders will be more diverse.
Lenten Spiritual reflection
The following passage from the First Letter of Peter was the first reading on the Feast of the Chair of Peter on Thursday (February 22). It is Peter’s advice to presbyters (priests).
Advice to Presbyters.
So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5: 1-4)
In preparation for that Mass I listened to a commentary on this passage. The commentator made a point that struck me strongly. He stated that while this advice was directed by Peter to leaders in the Church, it is, in fact, advice that should be directed to all who are given leadership responsibility. That include leaders in the church, in society and politics, in families, in workplaces, community groups, ministries and so on. The essential point is that one given leadership responsibility must always view himself or herself as a servant to those they lead. As Peter implies leadership is not about power, prestige, profit, imposing one’s will on others or any such thing. It is about service to the good of others. They are to be about bringing unity and peace into families, communities, workplaces, churches and society as a whole. If we are in leadership positions that is what we must dedicate ourselves to being and doing. And as people led by others, we must hold our leaders accountable or, perhaps, choose other leaders.
Some questions have come up recently about Friday abstinence. As you know this is a discipline practiced on Ash Wednesday when we also fast and on all Fridays of Lent. Abstinence means that we refrain from eating meat. The questions have been these:
Can we eat chicken or turkey? No. They are meat. Abstinence means eating only fish or shellfish or a vegetarian diet on Fridays.
If I have to attend an event at which only meat is served can I just move my abstinence to another day? No. That would remove an essential element of the discipline. As Catholic faithful we are called to unity in our faith practices. Friday abstinence is not just about “my” practicing that discipline. It is about all of us together practicing that discipline. Also, keeping to the disciplines of our faith is powerful witness in a world that often does not understand or respect our faith practice.
White Rose Black Forest
By Eoin Dempsey
Having the Bookbub app (which recommends bargain priced e-books) paid off for me again. This novel is set in Germany in WWII. A young German woman, having lost family and friends to both the Nazi Gestapo and to allied bombing, in a moment of despair, heads out on a winter day into the woods to end her own life. However, she encounters in those woods a soldier dressed in a Luftwaffe uniform who had broken both legs parachuting from a failing plane. She decides to take him back to her cabin. The story then moves on with the discovery that the soldier is not who he initially appeared to be. Dempsey uses flashbacks in the lives of both in order to develop his story. Those build the foundation for the relationship that they develop and then the shared mission that they undertake. This is a really good novel about good people caught up in the evil of their times but, in the end, emerging triumphant.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Hose
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Friday, February 23 at 11:16AM