Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 30, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Greetings once again from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. This past week we completed the first of the two sessions for the STL program which means we are now over half way done with the summer program! I continue to be sustained and encouraged by your prayers; please keep them coming! This past week I attended the Rivers of Living Water Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, celebrating the 50th anniversary of charismatic renewal in the US. It was an amazing weekend conference with over 7,000 in attendance and was one of the most multi-cultural events that I’ve ever attended with English, Filipino, Hispanic and youth/young adults tracks all happening simultaneously. One of the highlights of the conference was the closing Mass on Sunday celebrated by Bishop Sam Jacobs. Near the end of Mass, he invited all men and women who were considering a vocation to the priesthood, religious life or the permanent diaconate to come forward for a special blessing and to be recognized. Would anyone come forward I thought? To my surprise and great joy, what appeared to be nearly 100 people came forward, even several young boys accompanied by their fathers! It was a reminder to me that if there is to be any renewal within the Church through the presence of the Holy Spirit, one of the fruits must be vocations, and many of them!

In Pope Francis’ message for the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations he said, “On this day dedicated to prayer for vocations, I urge all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations. When the Apostles sought someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot, St. Peter brought together 120 brethren (cf. Acts 1:15); and in order to choose seven deacons, a group of disciples was gathered (cf. 6:2). St. Paul gave Titus specific criteria for the selection of presbyters (cf. Titus 1:5-9) Still today, the Christian community is always present in the discernment of vocations, in their formation and in their perseverance.” It is my prayer that St. Pius X – we, as a community, fully realize the joy and necessity that vocations are for us, and for the whole Church. I feel it is essential, as the Pope reminds us, to see ourselves as participants who help call forth vocations within our families and our parish family, through prayer and encouragement for our young people to live heroic lives of discipleship and service.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Saludos otra vez desde el Seminario Mayor del Sagrado Corazon aquí en Detroit. Ya falto nada mas de dos semanas en mis estudios; ya puedo ver la luz al final del túnel! Cuento cada día con sus oraciones que verdaderamente me habían sostenido. Nos veremos pronto. Este fin de semana pasado, fui a Pittsburgh para participar en el conferencia nacional celebrando el quincuagésimo aniversario de la renovación carismática acá en los EEUU. Fue un encuentro poderoso y tremendo con el Espíritu Santo con casi siete mil personas y muchos Hispanos. En la Misa de la clausura, el celebrante, el obispo Msgr. San Jacobs invitó los que estaban pensando algo sobre una vocación sacerdotal, diaconal y religiosa a presentarse a delante para recibir una bendición especial. Bendito sea Dios, casi cien personas se presentaron y recibieron su bendicen para seguir a delante.

Pues, Nuestro querido Papa Francisco dijo eso sobre la importancia de vocaciones para la iglesia; “Animo con fuerza a vivir esta profunda amistad con el Señor, sobre todo para implorar de Dios nuevas vocaciones al sacerdocio y a la vida consagrada. El Pueblo de Dios necesita ser guiado por pastores que gasten su vida al servicio del Evangelio. Por eso, pido a las comunidades parroquiales, a las asociaciones y a los numerosos grupos de oración presentes en la Iglesia que, frente a la tentación del desánimo, sigan pidiendo al Señor que mande obreros a su mies y nos dé sacerdotes enamorados del Evangelio, que sepan hacerse prójimos de los hermanos y ser, así, signo vivo del amor misericordioso de Dios.” Es mi deseo que cada uno de nosotros no veríamos como participantes en la promoción vocacional en nuestra comunidad y nuestras familias; la Iglesia, nosotros, necesitamos muchas vocaciones santas, jóvenes que quieren seguir a delante para servir nuestro Señor y el el pueblo de Dios.

In Christ/En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

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Author: Very Rev. Cal R. Christiansen

Fr. Cal R. Christiansen is Pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

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