September 30, 2018

Friends,

Saturday, September 22nd was the first day of Autumn. There are many people who consider this their favorite season. They enjoy the cooler air, the fall flowers, the change in foliage, the anticipation of sitting before the fireplace, the baseball playoffs and World Series, the football season, the Thanksgiving holiday, Halloween, and the kids off to school.

I like the sun and heat, so I will miss the summer months. Except for my priest clothes, I haven’t worn long pants since mid-June. I’m still holding out, even though we’ve had a change in the temperature. I hope to continue my stretch up to October 1st! I hope everyone has had the opportunity to relax and get refreshed and renewed. We have families who go away for the summer or for a few weeks’ vacation, and some who travel on weekends. Welcome back! You are missed when you are unable to join us.

If you do celebrate Mass elsewhere when you are away, we hope you have a good experience spiritually. The privilege of being together in a faith community (parish) is meant to enhance our relationship with God and challenge us to live a Christian life. For most Catholics today, it’s more than just “going to Mass.” Hopefully for most priests, it’s more than just “saying Mass.” I’ve often said people will return to a parish for three reasons: the music, the preaching, and the hospitality. There are some Catholics who go to church and are oblivious to these three aspects of the celebration. They don’t need or want stimulation. I, on the other hand, appreciate priests and parishes who “go the extra mile” to make their liturgies a positive experience that touches the congregation emotionally and spiritually.

We are very conscious of this challenge at the three parishes of our Collaborative. I’m sure some weekends are more fulfilling for members of the congregation than others. The bottom line for me is that we are privileged to gather at the table and celebrate the Eucharist as Jesus did with his disciples. However, we gather as human beings with feelings, beliefs, and expectations. We need to be engaged in our experiences and if we are, they become more meaningful. The celebrant at the Eucharist can truly convince the congregation that they are participants rather than spectators.

Thank you for choosing to celebrate your faith in the parishes of our Collaborative and contributing to make us the vibrant faith community we are meant to be.

Enjoy Life!

Fr. Coyne

 

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