Monday, February 5, 2007

Journey of Thanksgiving

Learn Daily; Live Holy; Love Deeply
Journey of Thanksgiving
Adult Faith Formation Week
St. Christopher Parish
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
January 29, 2007 through February 2, 2007

The week started with a bible study about the meaning of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of St.
Christopher Parish and ended with an intensely spiritual meeting of the parishioners with Bishop Del Riego, auxiliary
Bishop of San Bernardino. How intense was it? Let’s just say that the bishop outlasted his K of C bodyguards.

The second annual Adult Faith Formation Week was a success. It had a different character than the one held last year. There were fewer participants this year, by about 10%. There were about the same number of workshops in the evenings. There were more and better scheduled workshops in the morning. This event was also remarkable by the very conspicuous absence of the need for baby-sitting. The adults who came, came to listen and to participate at a meaningful level.

This event was marked by the added presence of clergy presenters. Five priests from around the diocese, including one from the Diocesan Office itself made a deep impression on the audience. There were also three sessions presided by nuns, all of which were very well received. All in all it is estimated that close to 500+ individuals were touched by the event.

The crowning glory was the closing celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. His Excellency Bishop Del Riego presided and taught, in English and in Spanish before a crowd of some two to three hundred faithful. The key was that we never stop growing in faith and service to God. We are simultaneously called and sent by God. You could have heard a pin drop as he spoke.
After Holy Communion two special activities took place. The meditation Hymn was danced by a young girl in Hawaiian fashion. When the meditation ended, she went to the Bishop’s chair and adorned his shoulders with a lei of fresh flowers. His smile lit the church up and the applause was raucous and sincere. He then blessed the commitment bracelets that are to serve as a sign of unity in the Journey of Thanksgiving (Leviticus 25) towards the 50th anniversary of the foundation of St. Christopher parish. These were then distributed to all the participants after Father Romy slipped his on and invited everyone to join him along the way to the October celebration. This was followed by the blessing of icons and statues of the Child Jesus, candles and many other articles of prayer and meditation. The Bishop was surrounded by the flock, cheering, begging for blessing, touching his garments, shaking his hand, kissing his ring and generally claiming ownership of him for the next couple of hours. Thanks be to God that the
night was balmy and dry.

It was a glorious week when God and His people came together in the spirit of love. Other glorious weeks are on the way. There is an 8 week course on the sacraments that is being prepared as this goes to press. It is scheduled to begin in August of this year. It will be well advertised and be in the Parish Bulletin and in the for all to see in plenty of time for you to make plans to attend. Stay tuned.

It is important for all of us to stay dialed-in to God’s action in us. We do that by listening to teachers as often as we can. We do that by participating actively in the listening portion of every Holy Mass when we hear the Scripture readings and the comments thereafter by the priest. Let me guarantee you that if you stay close to the teachings of God through His Church, you will know why I don’t expect anyone to cry at my funeral.
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