Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, June 21

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers!!! Your vocation is both very special and especially difficult. You deserve our gratitude and praise, and today we tell you THANKS!
This week we celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist. During the Church year we celebrate only three birthdays liturgically: Jesus (on Christmas, of course), Mary (on September 8), and John the Baptist on June 21. So Happy BD John the Baptist!
John’s ministry consisted of pointing away from himself and pointing instead to Christ. John is a role model for us all. For 18 years here at St. Austin parish Mr. Michael Flahive has been pointing people to Christ as the Director of Adult Faith Formation.  Having faithfully and successfully served in this role, he is now retiring as of the end of this month. An opportunity to congratulate and thank him on a job well done will take place this Tuesday evening, June 23 at 7 p.m. There will be a short prayer service based on Evening Prayer (Vespers) and a more formal thank you, followed by a reception in Hecker Hall when everyone will have an opportunity to thank Michael personally and directly. I hope you can attend.
Unfortunately, a good friend from my Alaska days, Mr. Lou Gazay, has just died and I will be presiding at his funeral out of town on that day. I will be with all of you thanking Michael Flahive, just not in person. He has done a great job of both educating and bearing witness to our Catholic Christian faith.
Fortunately he is NOT moving away. Instead he is moving his office down the hall and will transition into a ministry of spiritual direction. He has completed the Diocesan program and certification for spiritual directors and will continue offering spiritual direction as his new ministry. Congratulations, Michael.
A team of parishioners has been assisting me in interviewing replacements for his position. Given our Paulist emphasis on evangelization, and in keeping with the recent change of the Diocese of Austin moving from an Office of Catechesis (i.e., religious education) to a new Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, I wanted to change the title and direction of Michael’s position to Director of Discipleship Formation.
We all need to become more active in promoting and sharing our faith. We all need to move as parishioners from being passive customers to active disciples who share their faith, who evangelize. I see this not as a major change from our previous practice, but another step in our growing understanding of discipleship. Jesus calls us to be disciples. I hope the new person in this position will assist and motivate us to more fully live our discipleship.
I am not entirely sure just exactly what this change entails, but I am excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn, to deepen our faith, and to actively share it with others. The Gospel is GOOD news and should be shared. So I ask you to keep our search committee in your prayers. Thanks.
God Bless,

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