Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

The chimes of Saint Jerome are ringing once again after many years of silence. Many thanks to our generous benefactors who donated for this cause over the past two years. The pandemic delayed the job of restoration of our bell tower. Once again, Saint Jerome Parish is making a statement through the sounding chimes that announce the hour strike for prayers, announcements, or simply a communal call to be with God in our liturgies. There is something very coincidental that happened here.

Last weekend, Saint Ignatius Parish officially closed during the celebration of the last Sunday Mass. By Canon Law, the parish has now ceased to exist. It was a bittersweet event to see many people who gathered again for the final moments to thank the Lord for the gift of faith and the parish that they loved so much over the years. The process of Renew My Church ushers the parishes of Saints Jerome and Ignatius together with Saint Gertrude to create a new reality in the area that will bring people together in the continuation of the mission of Jesus Christ in our parishes.  Was it a sign or simply a coincidence that the sounding chimes after a long period of silence suggest that this moment of change that prompts us  to give a warm welcome the people of Saint Ignatius Parish who have opted to join our parish? The Gospel readings for the past two Sundays speak of the signs that Jesus performed during His public ministry. Perhaps we should also read the signs of the times according to the different circumstances of our involvement that would accompany us to accomplish the mission of Jesus Christ.

In addition, it is worth revisiting our Parish Mission Statement as this new reality confronts us. What is it that we would like to accomplish together as a community of faith in the coming years? How can we contribute as individuals and as families to continue building the Kingdom of God in this local church in this new reality? Have we thought of our vision for our children while we remain faithful to our Sunday obligations? How shall we make ourselves truly focused on the invisible realities of God’s grace that are brought to us by our Sacramental celebrations?

These are questions that we ought to ask as we re-construct our Parish and Finance Councils. It is worth reflecting on the vision of Jesus Christ for us in the coming years as we continue to Break Bread together. Each of our roles as members of this parish ought to be identified according to the signs of the times that are presented to us by life’s circumstances. You will hear it announced from the pulpit the invitation to be a Parish or Finance Council member when we are ready to convene the initial process of our council formation. Hopefully, our reflections may bring us clarity up to what degree we would like to commit ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ for the service of the Church.

Thank you for those who joined us during the Rally for Peace and Non-Violence last Friday evening. I am certain that our presence together brought the message of Peace and Non-violence to the neighborhood. Kermes is next week! Please support our major fundraising event of the year with your patronage.  Our presence together will always make a difference. As Jesus says, whenever there are two or three people gathered in His name, He is in their midst. Let it be our constant reminder that together, we find Jesus in our midst.

I will see you again next week. God bless.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,