Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fr. Chuck's Column, May 6

We have been experiencing a tremendous outpouring a Sacramental Graces here at St. Austin since Easter. Consider the following:  At the Easter Vigil we celebrated the Baptism of six adults, the reception into the church of another nine, and the Confirmation and First Communion of them all. On the following weekend, April 14/15, we celebrated three infant Baptisms. On Saturday, April 21 another adult was Baptized, Confirmed and made his First Communion. On Tuesday the 24th we were graced with Bishop Joe Vásquez’s presence when he Confirmed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit 36 of our young people. It was a positive,    uplifting ceremony. On Saturday, April 28, we celebrated the Baptism of two children, the Reception into the Catholic Church of another two, the Confirmation of three and First Holy Communion for four more. In addition, since Easter we have celebrated three weddings, and next weekend, May 12 & 13, 70 of our young parishioners will celebrate their First Holy Communions. That is a lot of Sacramental Graces! Have you been feeling the Holy Spirit blowing around this place?

For me personally, Saturday April 28 represented a new milestone when for the first time ever I celebrated six different sacraments in one day: An Anointing of the Sick at St. David’s Hospital in the morning, a Marriage at 2 p.m., a Reconciliation after that, and the Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist with the older children completing their Sacraments. Wow! If only I was a Bishop then I could have also ordained someone. Fortunately (on a lot of levels) I am not a Bishop. Six Sacraments in one day was enough.

Anyway, if in some places in our country the Catholic Church is contracting and shrinking, it certainly is not doing so here at St. Austin! All of these sacramental celebrations are wonderful signs of vitality and life. We are truly blessed by the Holy Spirit to have so much life in this place. It is a blessing and also a task. We need to continually shine the light engendered here beyond this place into our homes, workplaces, classrooms, markets and places of entertainment, into all of the world.  What happens here at St. Austin is not just for our sake but for the benefit of all the world.

We have been truly blessed, and that means we also have a greater responsibility for truly being a LUMEN GENTIUM, a light to all the people. 

God bless! 

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