Today’s psalm 98 lends itself well for ushering in the archbishop’s visitation to our parish, which is scheduled for next weekend. I think this is an opportune time to put ourselves into his shoes, to take a step back and view our parish “from the outside in”, as it were, and realize just how special our parish is. Clearly, in ways too numerous to mention here, we are a blessed parish. This parish visitation, together with our ministries fair, is the ideal time to acknowledge and celebrate ourselves as a parish.
The archbishop will make himself as available as he can, to meet with parishioners. He will preside a St. Mary’s school mass at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Saturday morning, he will preside our usual 8:30 a.m. mass, which will be a mass of anointing. Please let this be known to all your fellow-parishioners who might benefit from the anointing of the sick. This mass will be followed by a one-hour reception in the church basement, where he will be able to mingle with parishioners. Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. the archbishop will declare open our parish ministries fair, and will remain there until 10:30 to visit our various ministry tables, and meet parishioners. Finally, he will preside our 11:15 mass and go down to the church basement for a reception where he will again be able to meet parishioners. All the rest of his time with us will be devoted to meeting the various movements, ministries, and committees that together make up St. Mary’s parish. He should be able to leave on Sunday afternoon with a very good idea of who we are!
Let’s make it a learning experience for ourselves as well. I’m thinking in particular of the ministries fair which will take place in the church basement Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. This is an opportunity not to be missed. By circulating among the tables, you will be able to discover ministries at St. Mary’s that you probably didn’t even know existed! Or you will learn something you didn’t know about a ministry you knew existed. You will learn what type of ministry each movement or ministry offers, for your benefit or perhaps for the benefit of someone you know. Refreshments will be served for the duration of the fair. Who knows, you may even be inspired to join one or another of our many ministries. Every table will have a sign-up sheet. You leave your name and contact info, and someone will follow up with you.
This weekend will be a fine opportunity to meet with our real pastor, who is the archbishop of Vancouver, to rub shoulders with one another, and to re-discover and to celebrate our parish. May this visitation be for us, as Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth was for her, a time of grace, a time to remember and to celebrate that “the Lord has done great things for us, and holy is his name…”
God bless our parish visitation,