People of the Resurrection...
One last thought from Saint Augustine this week. As 5th century Bishop of Hippo (modern-day Tunis, in Northern Africa) he wrote to the People: “With you, I am a Christian; for you, I am a priest.” I sure hope you like that as much as I do!
Then “Happy Birthday” wishes are in order for the whole parish family of Resurrection!
This past week, on September 3rd, we turned ‘55”. Back in 1963, along with Nativity Parish in Ashwaubenon, and St. Thomas More Parish in Appleton, Resurrection Parish was founded, by Bishop Stanislaus Bona. He named Rev. Bill Spalding as the Founding Pastor.
Maybe you were a ‘Charter Member’ that day, as several hundred families were peeled off from St. Matthew Parish; land was given – on the condition that the parish include a Catholic Day School – and temporary worship space was made available at the St. Joseph Orphanage Chapel on the diocesan campus? The 2nd session of Vatican II was just convening that month. Father Spalding was in his mid-40’s – twenty years a priest.
What a privilege to be ‘in on the ground floor’ - to gather, plant and grow a parish family! What a daunting challenge as well! A kind of “missionary challenge”, I think! Having been a ‘charter member’ of St. Pius X in Appleton, in 1957, I remember well such ‘founding excitement’, and fast-paced growth!
In many ways, Fr. Spalding and our Founding Fathers and Mothers couldn’t have imagined all that would unfold in the next 55 years. But they stepped out in Faith and tended this new part of the vineyard, with great sacrifice; and they have passed it forward – for several generations.
We stand on their shoulders, and reap the short-term harvest which they planted. Now, we take our turn to ‘tend the vineyard’ here at 333 Hilltop Drive. Hopefully we are still most eager to pass the Faith forward to our children, grandchildren & future members! We continue to plant; others, not born yet, will someday reap, please God! And all of us, across the ‘Generations of Disciples’, will be – please God - gathered together on the final day, in the Eternal Harvest of the Church in Heaven’s never-ending feast!
Of course, we’re also a human Church, and holy; we’re a humbled, sinful, broken Church, in part; wounds of abuse and negligence scar our souls. But in this Hope, “which does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5), are we not honored, excited, and grateful to be a part of that amazing parade of witnesses which stretches back to Jesus and forward to Eternity?! Join me in treasuring your part, our part in this Great Enterprise, praying…
“God bless us...EVERY one”!