A Message from your Pastor
December 7-8, 2013
If someone asked you, “What difference does it make in your life to be a Catholic?”, would you be able to give a clear, coherent answer? Or would it be difficult to answer? Maybe, the only response you would give is silence? I am sure that those of you who chose later in life to become Catholic Christians, or who switched to the Catholic Church from another denomination, could give a very clear and coherent answer.
People who have grown up in the Church think of their Christianity like they think about their breathing – they don’t – because it is so natural to them that they do not even think about it. You just do it, you just are it! I suppose that is the downside of growing up in the Church. You think the Church is the culture and you assume that everyone else thinks and feels the same way you do. You cannot imagine approaching life without faith, so it is hard to describe to others what faith would add to their lives.
Pope Francis wrote a letter to us recently. He begins his letter by giving us words to describe how being a Christian makes a difference in our lives, and he gives a challenge. These are his words: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.” Then he says, “In this exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy.”
Are you ready to do that? Well, the parish Pastoral Council wants to make your first attempt at evangelization easy, so here is what we are suggesting. Each one of us knows someone in our family or a friend who has stopped practicing their Catholic faith. For one reason or another they no longer attend church and they no longer have a good relationship with God. Next weekend we are going to have copies of the book Rediscovering Catholicism by Matt Kelly at the church entryways. We want each family to take a copy of the book home with the intent to GIVE IT AWAY to a person who no longer comes to Mass. We are giving you a gift that we WANT you to RE-GIFT. We will not be insulted by you giving the gift away. No, on the contrary, we want you to give it away. It is one more Christmas gift for you to give to someone.
Now, I would suggest that you might want to skim through the book before you give it away so that you know what you are giving to this family member or friend. We have ordered 1,500 copies of the book for you to give away. If all of them are taken, we will order more. But what a wonderful thing – to touch the lives of 1,500 people and in a quiet, easy way invite them back into a deeper relationship with God and his church.
Now, I know that the book may sit on someone’s shelf for years before they have the motivation to open it. One way to speed up that possibility of opening the book is to write a note to the person and let them know you would like to discuss the book with them sometime in the future.
Let me conclude with Pope Francis’ letter to you
again, “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by
Each note appears in the Weekly Bulletin
Saint Columbkille Parish Home
200 East 6th Street
Papillion, Nebraska 68046
Saturday, December 07, 2013 08:33 AM