In a past life, the Conway Communiqué was the name of my weekly bulletin column. A new assignment brought a new name: The Shepherd’s Voice. But I liked the Communiqué, so I decided to rename my weekly email to the parish to that. And then I decided to start publishing the weekly emails here, if for no other reason than it allows me to correct the typos I included in the original email…
“This is the will of God, your holiness…whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (1 Thess. 4:3,8)
Today’s reading comes from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which scholars believe to be the oldest book in the New Testament. Opinions vary, but the letter may have been written as early as 50 A.D. The letter itself is a follow-up to Paul’s visit to Thessalonica as part of his second missionary journey. We find a brief account of this visit in Chapter 17 of the Acts of the Apostles. Paul and Silas weren’t even in Thessalonica for a month, but they had great initial success, converting both Jew and Greek alike. But some, motivated by either fear or jealousy, incited the rabble of the city against them, to the point that Paul and Silas were forced to flee under the cover of darkness, lest they be killed.
Long story short: the proclamation of the Gospel is not merely an academic exercise. For Paul, it was quite literally a matter of life and death. For those to whom Paul was preaching and corresponding, there was nothing else at stake except the very salvation of their souls. What does being a disciple mean to you? Is it an invitation to grow in holiness and deepen your relationship with God? Is it something that you are willing to devote your entire life to? Or is it just an empty word that bears no fruit?
Some news and notes:
- As promised, the weekly email has a new name. “The Conway Communiqué” was the title of my weekly column in Immaculate Conception’s bulletin, and I wanted it to live on in some way. So now I have “The Shepherd’s Voice” and the “Conway Communiqué”. And I have my blog, which you’re already reading. As a wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility. (That wise man was either Spider-Man or Voltaire. It’s unclear.)
- Apologies to anyone who was trying to contact the parish office yesterday afternoon. What should have been a routine upgrade to some of our telephone hardware instead turned into, shall we say, an adventure. Everything seems to be back in order today.
- I can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend already. Please note that there will be Mass at 9 AM on Monday, but the parish offices will be closed.
- Please pray for Joseph Lanz, Jr., whose funeral will be celebrated on Monday. Please also pray for Cole Jackson McLane, Danica Jo Tolomeo, and Andrew Francis Rossi IV, all of whom will be baptized on Sunday.
- This weekend we welcome Fr. Moses Mary Apreku for our annual Mission Appeal. Father comes from the Diocese of Ho, in Ghana. Please be as generous as possible.
- Speaking of second collections, next week (September 9-10), the second collection will be in support of the Bishop’s Education Fund, which provides tuition assistance for Diocesan Catholic schools. Also, the weekend of September 16-17, the second collection will be in support of Catholic Charities USA and their response to Hurricane Harvey. We’ve received a few calls already asking about food or clothing drives in support of the hurricane victims; at this point, we’re being told the best means if support is financial. It allows the relief agencies the most flexibility to respond.
- Did you know our parish turns 25 years old on November 1? If you don’t think we’re going to celebrate that, you’re crazy.and remember, I subscribe to the idea that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over-doing. Look for more information on this soon. Meanwhile, we’re looking for pictures of our history – especially from the early days when we worshiped at St. Barnabas, and from the construction and first days in this property, but really, from any time will do. Please drop them off at the office and make sure your name is on them so we can return them to you.
Enjoy your holiday and have a great weekend! Know that you’re loved!
See you at Mass!