The life of any parish must revolve around, and evolve from, the celebration of the Eucharist and the other six Sacraments. Vatican Council II reminds us that the Mass in the source and summit of everything that we do as God’s chosen people. The celebration of the Eucharist defines us and gives us purpose. Through the celebration of the Eucharist the sanctifying work of Jesus continues into the present. Because we are united with Jesus through the Sacrament of Baptism, we become His holy, priestly people. Therefore, we can stand with Jesus before God in this perfect act of worship. This sacred work, the Liturgy, brings us the holiness that only Jesus can give and enables us to consecrate our lives to Him and to the spreading of the Gospel.
However, over the centuries Christians have been challenged to sustain this holiness. To accomplish this, faithful Christians have used a variety of devotional practices to extend the sanctifying action of the Eucharist into daily life. These devotional practices have strengthened the hearts and minds of the faithful over the course of our history. They have been public and private, specific to a particular culture or universal in scope. Properly used, these devotions have helped Christians to be mindful of Jesus, to conform their hearts to Him and to turn their attention to the celebration of the Eucharist.
Today our parish community is still in need of these grace-filled helps for holiness. We live in a society that does not value God or the truths of the Gospel. Our children confront the difficulties of trying to live out the Gospel with friends who seem not to care about Church, God or morality. There are 168 hours in the week. Apart from the hour that we spend at Mass each Sunday, we are continually bombarded for 167 hours with the attitudes of the world. Does anyone really think that one single hour, humanly speaking, is sufficient to maintain a sense of God’s presence in our hearts? No, we do need more, in both the private and the public spheres of our spiritual lives.
In order to help our parishioners grow in holiness, we will begin a Parish Spiritual Life Committee. This committee will meet regularly under the direction of Fr. Harrison, study the teachings of the Church and plan appropriate devotions for the people of the parish. It will be an “executive” committee, i.e., they will actually plan and carry out the spiritual programs. Through consultation with the Liturgy Committee, the CCD staff, the CYO, the school community, our senior citizens and other members of our parish they will be able to develop plans for the spiritual life of our parish that flow directly from the celebration of the Eucharist and find their fullest expression at the Altar of Sacrifice.
If you feel that the Holy Spirit is leading you to this ministry to the parish community, then, please contact Fr. Harrison at the rectory: 215-379-1364.