Parish
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Priests’ Convocation 2011

The Presbyterium of the Diocese of Tucson is holding its annual convocation in my neck of the woods…a mere 30 minute drive via back road that’s why no wonder, I was fashionably late again and didn’t go unnoticed. It started with a welcome address from Bishop followed by PAC update and Health Care benefits. Later in the evening, had the chance to listen to the scholarly presentation of the highly respected prelate in America, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta. He touched on the new translation of the Roman Missal and repeatedly said, “not a perfect translation but a more faithful rendition”. If I get a copy of the text, I’ll post it here tomorrow.
Before the break, Bishop Kicanas left a point of reflection for us to ponder, quoting Gerald O’Collins, he said, what’s the most powerful pastoral experience you had this year?
About a month ago, I received an email from an individual letting me know that he and his wife have been coming to the parish for Mass for the past couple of months. Both were unbaptized and never been to any church except St. James. And so the story goes. One Sunday morning, on the way home (actually, half way) from a 700 club meeting, the idea of attending a church service suddenly came in, interrupting the whole conversation whatever it was. As I was told, St. James was the first church they saw, parked, got in and liking it, so far. Now, they’re interested in the RCIA program in the fall and quote, extremely wanting to be Catholics. For over 9 months of ministry, I’ve relentlessly called and invited Catholics back even to the point of knocking on their doors, tapped parish leaders and highly encouraged folks in the pew to take part in this campaign and yet, the testimony of this couple leaves tremendous and endless possibilities in the area of evangelization. Be careful what you wish for. It just might come true.
Over all, what amazes me about St. James is the growing understanding and recognition that cultural diversity is a powerful vehicle and force to enrich the community and never a cause for division. Amen.
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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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