On this Gaudete Sunday, I offer the following from Bishop Robert Morneau, of the Diocese of Green Bay:
Joy has fallen on hard times in this turbulent world. Too easily is our soul overwhelmed by the sheer volume of suffering of so many innocent people. Is joy possible in such a broken world? St. Paul was keenly aware of a turbulent, messy, chaotic world. Yet he tells us to rejoice always, to pray day in and day out, to be grateful. Paul’s fait in God’s presence enabled him to have joy and peace far beyond our limited understanding...let us recommit ourselves to be instruments of God’s joy.
It is rather typical of this time of year that we send and receive greetings from family and friends— some of whom we have ongoing contact throughout the year, and others with whom Christmas is the one real opportunity we have to connect. I have already written that Fr. Chris Trenta will be with us for the 10 a.m. Christmas morning Mass. Earlier this week, we received the wonderful news that he not only passed his defense of thesis for the first of two degrees he will ultimately earn (the STL or Licentiate in Sacred Theology)— he received perfect scores!!!
More good news...Camille Horvath, our new Pastoral Associate, has been officially approved for certification as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. You may ask, “What does this mean?” The following is provided by the Diocese of Cleveland:
The term “lay ecclesial minister” is intended to encompass and describe a variety of different roles that may be filled by laity on the parish, diocesan and/or other Catholic institutional level. Included are such roles as pastoral associate, youth ministry leader, parish catechetical leader, director of liturgy and/or pastoral music, campus minister, pastoral care coordinator in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and/or jails, and in some cases, parish life coordinators. This term does not reflect a specific position title, but is a generic title that includes many varied leadership positions. A “certified lay ecclesial minister” is someone who has been formally accepted into the diocesan certification process, completed successfully all aspects of formation, ...and who has been “authorized” to serve as a lay ecclesial minister in the diocese by the Bishop of Cleveland .
The formal ceremony of certification will take place in February. While Camille has been in full gear of taking on her work at the parish for over two months, she is looking forward to being able soon to introduce herself on a weekend.
Both Bob Zerrer (lifelong parishioner) and Bob Cavanaugh (from St. Francis Xavier Parish in Medina, assigned to us this formation year) are progressing in their journey to ordination in the Permanent Diaconate. Please lift them and their spouses and families in prayer, as they move into the final months of their formation. Finally, we have heard from seminarian Marty Dober that Bishop Perez has decided to extend the period of transitional diaconate. Specifically, this means that instead of being ordained deacons in the late fall of 2018, Marty and his classmates anticipate this step in April. Again, we lift them— and all those in formation for ministry or discerning such a vocation— in our prayers.