What are ways to re-connect with God (as a family and with others)?
Attend Weekly Sunday Mass
Come pray in the church
Pray in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
Join Bishops Disciples Together on the Way weekly challenge
Fr. Michael Schmitz Year of the Bible podcast
Formed.org /register and enter the parish code: a8b5fe
Ushering, Lecturing or Singing
Prepare & cleanup after Mass (Sacristan)
Visit the Sick or
bring them meals
help with Religious Ed
help with Youth Group
Caring for our facilities
Become a Knight
This fall, and the coming Liturgical year through next Easter season (June)I am encouraging, inviting, even challenging each of us to “Re-Connect.” One of the lingering effects of the pandemic seems to be a greater malaise about doing things, including, especially, the essential things in life: worship, prayer, serving other, using our gifts to build up society and the Kingdom of God. I think this is true for us as a country, and we as Catholics have not been immune to this effect. You might think of it as a theme for this year: “Re-Connect” with God and with others.
What are ways to re-connect with God (as a family and with others)? Weekly Sunday Mass, of course, but also praying daily. Some ways to help you re-connect with God (and help other parishioners re-connect with God): join (or start again) our Bishop’s Disciples Together on the Way weekly challenge. This week we are starting an at-home retreat together. Perfect timing. Go to the diocesan web site to sign up ( dioceseoflansing.org )
– Or start Fr. Michael Schmitz Year of the Bible podcast. You can find this on your podcast app, and it’s easy to start from the beginning (it just takes a little scrolling!).
– Or go to formed.org ( formed.org/register and enter the parish code: a8b5fe): dive into a series or even a movie. There is so much good stuff here, it’s almost too hard to choose! Or go to rescueproject.us These engaging videos will help you encounter Jesus in a deeper way and strengthen your faith and your ability to live it.
– Come to the church while it is open and pray in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This act of faith in His Real Presence, making the effort to pray with the Eucharist, is always something that brings great grace and blessings to us. Sit with Jesus, talk with Him, read the Bible, pray for others, let him heal and love you.
At the same time re-connect with others: other parishioners, your neighbors, your co-workers, your family, and not least, your community through service. Many of our brothers and sisters are staying away from Sunday Mass no longer because of covid but because they have fallen out of the good habit. It can be hard to “get back in the swing of things.” If you are reading this and it’s been awhile since you’ve been to Sunday Mass, or maybe it has become an occasional thing (or not at all) since covid, then please know we miss you and need you, and even more, God is calling you back to His presence. Come back to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Mass!
And for all of us: what are ways that you can re-connect with serving each other at the parish? There are opportunities at Mass, of course: helping with ushering, greeting, lecturing, singing, preparing and cleaning up after Mass. There are other opportunities too: visiting the sick or bringing them meals, helping with religious ed or our youth group, caring for our facilities, becoming a Knight (for our men), helping with Christian service (like around Thanksgiving and Christmas time). I am so grateful and encouraged by those in our parish who are faithfully doing these things. We are blessed by them. We should also be challenged and humbled by them: they should not be the only ones doing what they are doing. Each of us has gifts to bring, skills and abilities and just your presence that we need. We need you.
I am also thinking of many other ways we can and should re-connect with one another: inviting others to a parish activity, or to your home, or to some service in our community. The ways of doing this are as varied as each of us and the unique gifts he has given each of us. We are made for God and one another. We are not meant to live most of our lives behind screens or through screens. Let’s be intentional with making lots of time to re-connect with each other, sometimes even beginning with our own family at home!
Some upcoming opportunities to re-connect with God and others, and even both, here at Good Shepherd: our Women’s Welcome retreat on September 17-18. Our Parish fall festival the following Sunday, September 25 after 11:15 Mass. Join us down at St. Robert on September 15, at 6:30 PM for an evening of praise and worship and being strengthened and encouraged to live our faith with a talk and discussion on abortion by a woman who has a powerful and remarkable story. Our Knights fish fry’s begin this week: delicious!
As we dive back into a new school year, I think God is inviting us to be renewed in His Spirit, and in the zeal and power and love and self-control that His Spirit brings to us. Let’s Re-connect with God and one another.
+ Fr. Jonathan