March 2018

 

Dear Friends,

 

I hope your Lent is going well.  I wanted to write you a letter about the vision and focus of our parishes.  The reason our parishes are here is to help us become saints; not saints in the sense of people on holy cards, but saints in the sense that each of us are called to be committed and effective disciples of the Lord Jesus.

Sherry Weddell wrote a book called Forming Intentional Disciples, which I will be sharing with the pastoral councils of St. Philip and St. Michael. In it, she states,

 

"Disciples pray with passion. Disciples worship. Disciples love the Church and serve her with energy and joy. Disciples give lavishly. Disciples hunger to learn more about their faith. Disciples fill every formation class in a parish or diocese. Disciples manifest charisms and discern vocations. They clamor to discern God’s call because they long to live it. Disciples evangelize because they have really good news to share. Disciples share their faith with their children. Disciples care about the poor and about issues of justice. Disciples take risks for the Kingdom of God (Page 81)."

 

I hope we can be a parish of these kind of disciples. We must become disciples through our encounter with Jesus.  Archbishop Gomez explains that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross so that we could become “cultural Catholics.”  I know that the Holy Spirit has much work for us to do.

 

I ask you to put these things on your heart and mind.  Being a disciple of Jesus means that we know and love Jesus.  Lent is a great time for us to grow in this knowledge and love of Jesus.  I want to encourage you to pray to Jesus from your heart.  There are no right words; no eloquent poem is necessary.  Just take a moment and pray to Jesus.  Even if you only have 30 seconds, say a prayer from your heart to the Lord.  Any prayer we pray is pleasing to the Lord.  Any prayer we pray from the heart brings us closer to his heart.

 

I am enclosing a holy card for Divine Mercy, which is certainly appropriate as we approach Good Friday.  Praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy has been helpful for me in my own spiritual life because I need the constant reminder that Jesus Christ loves me and always longs to give me his mercy.  I pray that you will know his mercy and love on a daily basis.  We can and must entrust ourselves to his mercy.

 

Love,

 

 

Father Dan

 

 

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