In my last week's article, I announced the good news that our parish continues to grow and is indeed posting an upward growth trajectory. For instance, I pointed out, we welcomed over 230 new families since last March- and this number has since grown. Many more of you are beginning to get more involved in the life of our parish and I am grateful for that. Also, many visitors who come to our Church, spontaneously remark how welcoming we are. Let this always be true and let it be our cherished brand - being a warm and welcoming community!
On my part, as I told you many times, my job as I see it, is to get you all to Heaven. I cannot do this alone. You are going to help me because you have the power to do so. You have the power, given by the Holy Spirit, to set the world on fire. I call upon you to rise up to the occasion as good stewards and support me as your pastor, by giving me your time, talent through actively participating in our many ministries, and of course, through your financial contributions!READ MORE
Adults/Teens: Jesus continues in the Gospel this weekend with the same theme from last week. Last week, in John 13, Jesus told us that the world will know we are His disciples by the way we love others. This week, Jesus tells us what we will do if we love Him - we will keep His word. One of the best ways we can show our love and devotion to Christ is to keep His commandments; to live our lives according to His word. Our actions should follow the example of Christ. Jesus then explains that He will soon send the Holy Spirit to act as the Advocate of He and the Father to us on earth. Jesus tells the disciples that He gives them His peace - and that He gives in a different way than the world. What does this mean? Jesus is telling us that He will soon give the Holy Spirit fully to His true followers. The Spirit will act in the lives of the faithful in real and incredible ways. We, as Christ's disciples, should rejoice that He is in Heaven with the Father and that the Advocate is here for us today! Let us all pray that the Holy Spirit dwell in us and move us to action for the Lord.READ MORE
Let us now turn to the Stewardship of our Financial Resources. In my address, I limited myself to the Fiscal Year - July 2018 through February 2019. As you will quickly notice from the details of the financial figures below, we have been good stewards of our income and expenditures.READ MORE
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us to love one another. What a simple yet profound challenge! Jesus goes a step further and even tells us how Christians will be visible. The world will know that we are the disciples of Christ not by what we wear, or the music we listen to, or even the things we way- the world will know we are His disciples by our love. Jesus has shown us how to love and it is up to us, as His disciples, to share that love with others. Those who do not see love on a daily basis, those who have been deeply hurt by people they cared for, need to see the love of Christ in us.READ MORE
The following were the special events we hosted very successfully this past year which I promised to highlight this weekend:
Vatican Relics Tour: In December, for our preparation for Advent, we invited over 150 saints to be among us here at St Andrew for the Vatican Relics Tour. These saints included St. Maria Goretti, St. Therese of Lisieux (the "Little Flower"), St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Faustina Kowalska. The supreme highlight was that of being able to venerate the largest certified relic of the True Cross in the world and a piece of the Veil of Our Lady.
We were honored to have Fr. Carlos Martins come and begin this exposition with a presentation and teaching on relics which provided for us the catechetical and spiritual basis for the Walk with the Saints that followed the presentation. We literally had hundreds of you come and venerate these heroes of our faith who teach us how to live the Gospel with their lives.READ MORE
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel reading this week, Jesus is speaking to the Jews gathered around Him at the Portico of Solomon. They have asked him to tell them plainly if He is the Messiah and stop leaving them in suspense. Jesus responds by telling them that they do not believe because they are not among His sheep. Those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah are His sheep and He is their shepherd. We are all called to believe in Christ and to trust that he will guide us. We can have confidence that God will never abandon us because, as Jesus says in the Gospel this week, "no one can take the sheep out of the hands of the father."READ MORE
Under Fr. Teilo's Direction we have 382 students served by 50 volunteers helping to run our Religious Education Programs.
This past year we also added a new program for Children with Special Needs, which I am most proud of. Kim Doyle, who is a trained special needs educator, runs this program. Under her, we currently have 13 volunteers serving our Religious Education for children with Special Needs! We have 8 children now receiving one on one catechesis, 2 are in traditional RE with support, and we are providing classroom support for other children and occasional behavioral support for other classes. Three of these children will experience their first Reconciliation and one will be receiving her First Eucharist and Confirmation.READ MORE