February 26, 2017

Friends, 

It was a privilege for us to witness the Renewal of Marriage Vows at our 3 churches on Valentine's weekend. We were thrilled that so many couples were able to join us. It was a gift to the collaborative and to your families. I mentioned that I was also aware of those who may not be celebrating Valentine's Day due to divorce/separation, death of a spouse, or those who may leave a husband/wife hospitalized, sick at home or in a nursing facility. One of our wonderful parishioners who is married 68 years mentioned that her husband has been in a nursing home in recent years. My conversation with her opened my eyes to the reality that if someone has lost a spouse or is separated from their spouse due to illness, they are still married and even though they may not be physically together, they live out their commitment. With that in mind, I invited anyone in that situation who may have been in church by themselves to stand along with the other couples and renew their marriage vows. I was so impressed and emotionally touched to see many of our parishioners do so. I have been offering the opportunity to renew vows on Valentine's Day for years, and this is the first time that this has occurred to me. 

There are many ways to enhance our parishioners' relationship with their parish and the collaborative. The Sunday experience of celebrating Mass in our Faith Community offers us so many opportunities to realize how important it is to be together at the Lord's Table. Whether it be the blessing of throats, the renewal of vows, or so many other experiences, it makes a stronger parish. I feel badly that so many of our parishioners no longer join us and we don't have the opportunity to give them that sense of belonging that is so important to the Catholic Church. 

Father Charles and I look forward to celebrating the liturgy with you. We also need to feel part of our Faith Community. You are very important to us. We both take our responsibility very seriously and we prepare our homilies because we respect you and your time. 

Our interaction, conversation and celebration each weekend is vital to all of us if we want our collaborative to be vibrant and welcoming. We realize the average family has many obligations and responsibilities. We thank you for making Sunday Mass a priority. It means a lot! 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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