Two very different things today.
The first, inspired by the fact that today is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Since I have arrived at St. Mary’s, I am haunted by the notion that we must sponsor a refugee family. I haven’t moved on this for two reasons. The first is that at an information meeting we organized with the help of Diane Chua, the person from the Archdiocese responsible for helping parishes to sponsor refugee families, the turn-out was most disappointing, suggesting to me that there is little enthusiasm for this undertaking in the parish. The second reason I have held off is that we are in fundraising mode, which makes me reluctant to solicit our parishioners for yet another cause. But a voice in me whispers incessantly that the sponsoring of refugees is such a fundamental imperative for Christians, and that the desperate plight of millions of displaced persons in our world today is so grave that we simply can not wait for more favorable circumstances. One thing, however is clear: I cannot, of course, do this alone. So I am reaching out to you today. If this is to happen, we need a group of parishioners who will assume this task. I believe that a group of five to seven people would suffice. If fewer than five people respond to this plea for help, then I will simply take this to mean that this is not God’s plan for St. Mary’s Parish at the present time. If, on the other hand, enough people manifest an interest in this, then I will gather us together, and we’ll take it from there. If you are interested, please contact Theresa at the parish office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will forward your email to me. God’s will be done.
On a lighter note, a Dominican event on the horizon which promises to be pleasant: next Saturday, January 26th, we are celebrating a Festival of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of our 13th century brethren whom we love very much, and whom we would like to make known to others. Our Festival will begin with a Mass in our church, presided by Archbishop Michael Miller. The rest of the day will be spent in the church basement. There will be a nicely varied series of talks on different aspects of the giftedness of St. Thomas Aquinas. There will be a noon meal, performances, and a time of Eucharistic Adoration with hymns composed by St. Thomas. The day will end between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. We planned this event with a young adult clientele in mind, but all are welcome and there is no need to pre-register. Just show up! I take this opportunity to thank Fr. Gabriel together with members of our Dominican Lay Fraternity and a few of the Nashville Dominican sisters for having planned this event.