Just one last promotion, as we venture for the first time at St. Mary’s into this unique and highly fruitful form of primary evangelization that is Alpha.
On this Saturday, February 23rd, was held the first of a series of thirteen gatherings intended especially for people who are far removed from the Church, either because they have left the Church, or have never known Church life. The formula is extremely flexible. The gathering begins at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and ends at around 12:30 p.m. It includes teachings offered by means of very high-quality video presentations, discussion, fraternity, and even a meal! You don’t have to sign up, or commit to the entire series. All you have to do is show up, and if you like the experience, you come back for more. This experience promises to be an opportunity to strike up friendships that are more lasting than most, because they are based on a shared faith-quest.
So I appeal to you, our parishioners, to make this offer known to those in your lives, whether they be family or friends or co-workers, who are very far removed from the Church, and who you think might benefit from this experience. Simply make it known to them, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. May God bless our labours, and use us to bring more people to himself, to his Gospel, to his Church.
On a more personal note, just one day short of three weeks after my ankle-replacement surgery, I now know that my recovery will be a far greater challenge than I had anticipated. Much pain, and twelve weeks on crutches, not just six, as I had been told prior to the surgery. This means a much longer absence from parish liturgical and other activities than I had anticipated. It also means a high degree of creativity in terms of how I while away the hours of each day. I take this opportunity to thank Fr. Gabriel for stepping up to the plate and assuming much of the work that we normally share. I thank the valiant staff and ministry leaders of our parish for being who they are, entirely reliable, such that I know that life will go on, even though I will be more absent than present.
The good news is that I saw my surgeon for a first post-surgery visit last Thursday. He is very pleased with the degree of healing that has already taken place. He has removed the temporary cast, as well as all my stitches, and harnessed me with an “aircast” boot. He seems to be optimistic for the remainder of the recovery process. So it’s just a matter of living it out, one hour, one day at a time, trusting in God’s providence, and accepting the time it takes.
As you can see, prayers are still very much in order. So please, a little prayer for me, that I will live with grace, patience, confidence and acceptance this time of healing that is asked of me, and that by the grace of God, life at St. Mary’s Parish will go on in my absence, as vibrant and as joyful as ever.