Where was I? Oh my, what is up with September?? It seems like the last several Septembers have held family and friend health crises and serious work stress. This year's September was no different, and all in all, however nicely things seem to have turned out, I'm glad it's October!
This week was a doozy- not just because of my elevator-sized bottom lip (a pox on whoever invented cold sores!) but my Dad's bypass surgery, and a big week at work. Last Sunday was our volunteer luncheon and workshop and this weekend we kicked off our Generations of Faith events.
I come away from the parish events feeling encouraged and proud. At the luncheon we had almost a hundred volunteers present, and looking over that room I could see so many people that I know well (a testament to the connectedness of this parish) and so many people who care so deeply about their faith and their parish. They jumped in to the conversation about the mission of the parish and had wonderful answers, and all their answers folded so neatly into Jesus' mandatum (Matthew 28). As a staff we've worked so hard to teach that mandatum and empower the parish to follow it, and it was just so lovely to hear it echoed in their words, these faithful leaders on the ground in the parish.
This weekend's GOF sessions were full and full of happy people. Again, there were so many familiar faces and a lot of new ones, too. We worked so darn hard to do something for them that would make them glad to be there, to bring them closer to God, to remind them of how important each member of the community- each generation- is in the learning process. We got great feedback.
Every day I'm learning about how people perceive the Church and the parish, how families work, how deep the faith is of people who we might think are not dedicated. I'm more and more convinced that inter-generational, whole-community total catechesis is the way to go. I feel hope for the lowerarchy and the survival of parish life. My faith is strengthened by association, and I think there's a lot to that.