Preparing the Way of the Lord

We hear in this Sunday’s Gospel about the call to prepare the way of the Lord. In this context, it is helpful to ask how we can, as a practical matter, make our parish and the world around us a place where Jesus Christ is welcomed upon earth.

I thank the parish staff, with our Deacon, secretary and youth and religious education directors, and all the volunteers who are building up this parish in so many ways, as catechists and in youth ministry, as sacristans, ushers, lectors, and in music ministry, in maintaining the website, cleaning the liturgical cloths, in the Ladies Council and the Knights who provide so much service in this parish. And I would like to ask the people who have time to do so to consider how we can make this parish even better.

Regarding liturgies, we are down to four lectors now, and we should have six. Lectors provide the readings, announcements, and intercessions for Masses, and are meant to develop a love of Sacred Scripture.

We would also benefit from two more catechists or catechist assistants for our religious education program, which meets at 10 on Sundays. We currently have six catechists for the four classes; it would be very helpful to have two catechists or assistants per class. One does not need specialized training for this role, the calling is for a solid faith and willingness to make the effort to share it with children.

We would also very much appreciate the help of more sacristans; Barbara Hiler fills this role, but it is a bit much for one person.

The youth of the parish are encouraged to join the youth group and/or the youth choir; they meet on alternating Thursday evenings. The youth group helps develop faith, prayer and good friendship together, and the youth choir will be providing more beauty to our Masses. High schoolers can also be lectors at Mass.

Regarding parish groups, we currently have the Ladies Council, which meets on the third Wednesday of each month; they keep the church and the grounds up and arrange for many of the parish events, as well as assist each other with community and prayer.

The Monsignor Heller Council of the Knights of Columbus joins together Catholic men of this parish for prayer and good works for the benefit of the Church and the nation, and to be good examples to a world desperately in need of them.

In January, we will also be forming a new Marian devotional group that will probably meet weekly for prayer, education and beneficial works in this area.

I would encourage everyone to consider these, or other initiatives that you can think of, to make this parish fulfill the call of Jesus to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth and a city set upon a hill. See Matt. 5:13-16