Sunday, September 8, 2013

From a Bedouin priest: Coming Together

Masses have just ended for the weekend and I'm sufficiently tired, but I am sitting back after reflecting on all the good that is being done in the parish. It warms my heart. Anytime I say Mass, I feel like to exhaust good energy. It happens to many introverts, but this time it is the beginning of the year activities that are communicating something very positive to me.

I really am a Bedouin priest since I have to move my house from church to church and it is a lot of work and there are many things to remember. The spirit is good. Matters are nice and relaxed. A few weeks ago I began to have parishioners introduce themselves to one another so they can build community. I watch their faces become so happy when they greet one another and I see solitary people feel connected right away. Visitors and new parishioners feel welcome and everyone seems excited to be a part of the parish.

I have around 180 names on the email distribution list, which is amazing. One year ago I struggled to communicate through any media and it was frustrating. I had to recreate methods of doing so because the old methods of mouth-to-mouth do not work today. Even email is becoming outdated, but people appreciate the growing wealth of information I can include on the online newsletter. Best yet, people feel very connected and it shows in the joy they bring to church.

We are doing fun things and we like each other.

Even the parish choir is growing. We had Filipinos for the past year. Now we've added a Sri Lankan, American, and two Indians and they are enjoying their time together. Everyone seems to be alive.

The Sunday morning parish is doing so well. This morning I asked if we were going to have a party after Mass next week. A solitary voice shouted, "yes." Everyone then realized what we were doing and they asked what they can bring. It is terrific.

Even the Friday church group experienced a big moment of grace as they want to come along with the good spirit in the rest of the church. The Sunday parish is doing fine. The Saturday evening is where there is much life and activity and I notice that many parishioners who used to hasten to get home and now lingering with new faces and saying hello. The shelter for run-away is an amazing place of prayer.

One year here. All seems to be going very well.


  1. You are serving the Lord with a glad heart and that is contagious. Your people are responding so well and building community. May God continue to bless you and your parishes.