As we, as a parish family, are saying our heartfelt goodbyes to Father Tim, two 8th grade boys sat down and interviewed Father Tim. Thank you to Patrick and Jack for taking time out of your day to help us get to know Fr. Tim more and inspire us beyond his time here at Resurrection.
Good Bye – “Go With God” - People of the Resurrection...
This weekend, concluding my time here as your parish priest & pastor, may I please offer some parting reflections?
· First – my gratitude – to God, to Bishop Ricken, Bishop Bob, Abbot Neville & Prior Jim Baraniak, for offering & allowing me the opportunity to be with you here at Resurrection.
· And quickly behind that, my gratitude to you, parishioners, new comers, visitors and old-timers – for allowing, inviting, enduring, encouraging the experience of my presence here in this parish, which is so blessed by God, in so many ways.
· Among other things, I will always remember that I was here, as my folks, Germaine & Wayne, declined; as my Mom met her dying day – receiving that news, sitting on the bench by
the front church doors, watching the sun come up, just before beginning daily Mass, on Mardi Gras last year. There was nothing better that I could do for Mom, than to offer Mass, here with you. And the kindness of so many of you through those days is something I will never fail to appreciate, and try to offer to others in that ‘spot’. Thank you, so much!
It has been an unsettled and overwhelming year in a variety of ways. And, as I said last week, it has become clear to me, both on the routine and extraordinary events of the parish life, that I am not the priest who is able to lead this ‘parish family’ forward at a very crucial time in your history & that of the Church.
I mean that as an honest truth: I am not the ‘right fit’, particularly in staff coordination & fiscal matters & my own level of energy. I accept that. This does not disparage the parish, or me. No ‘blame’; just the reality of things.
As I have told my Diocesan & Norbertine superiors: “My ego wrote a check, in accepting the assignment, which my being is not able to cover.” For this ‘ego’ and pride, I am sorry, before them, before you and before God.
I have also come to more deeply appreciate - both as an outgoing & an incoming pastor – the intensity of grief in the aftermath of pastoral transitions. It’s palpable, beautiful, daunting, powerful, potentially paralyzing - something most of us aren’t very well trained to navigate. If I have neglected along the way to reverence this grief, in you, or myself, I am sorry. In the same breath, I must recall Fr. Paul Demuth’s words to me years ago: “Tim, a parish is either growing or dying, with brief pauses to celebrate and discern.” Please don’t be afraid to go forward from ‘what has been, & what is’.
So, it has been at my request, after much prayer, angst, soul-searching, sleeplessness and consultation, that both Abbot Radecki and Bishop Ricken have given me permission to conclude my assignment here this Friday, March 1st.
I hope, in the ‘Protestant’ sense – I mean that most respectfully – that I have been able to offer some helpful efforts as an “Interim Pastor”, and ‘buffer’ between 30 years of amazing pastors, staff and parochial growth here at Resurrection, and whatever God has in mind for the future. Particularly, I find fulfillment in:
· serving as a ‘canary in the coal mine’ to help sound the realities of changing demographics and the accompanying challenges of growing the parish forward in terms of Faith Formation, welcoming, empowering and ‘welcoming home’ younger generations of Staff and Roman Catholic Christians to ‘make their mark’ here;
· being able to assist folks in spiritual growth through the ministry of the Confessional, and 1-to-1 pastoral visits.
· helping to facilitate the parish’s ‘processing’ the withdrawal of Bishop Morneau from public ministry;
· helping to facilitate the transition of our long-time Business Manager/Development Director, Deb LeSage, from her position, as she fights “the good fight” against cancer for a 2nd time; (Please continue her in your prayers!)
For the Resurrection Parish Family: A “Temporary Administrator” will be appointed to cover the next 4 months; a new pastor will arrive on July 1st. Please welcome them both with warmth, openness, trust and your prayers.
For myself: I have asked to reclaim a 4-month portion of my sabbatical (deferred as I arrived here last year) to ‘catch my breath’, make a good directed retreat, cultivate some balance, energy & equilibrium, and tend to my Dad. I look to begin a new assignment as pastor, in a more modest setting, here in the diocese, on July 1st.
Both to those who have been disappointed by my coming or my being here, and to those whom I disappoint by my leaving at this time, I offer a sincere apology for my shortfall. Please forgive me.
The challenges and opportunities of this stretch at Resurrection have brought me closer to Jesus, more fervent, faithful, even desperate, in prayer…and finding Him always close by. I cannot but be grateful for that outcome, right?!
And I hope in some measure, for some folks, my time here has brought you, somehow, closer to Jesus as well.
Promising my prayers for you all, as the Journey of Faith for all of us continues – please God, toward Heaven’s Gate one day, I will continue to pray…
“God bless us...EVERY one”!
Hello, People of the Resurrection...Teaching Mass ‘Notes’ – Week 3
This week, the 3rd & final week of our Teaching Mass Project, we cover the LITURGY of the EUCHARIST.
“Eucharist” is a Greek word, which means: “Thanksgiving”.
St. Paul tells the early Church to: “Dedicate yourselves to thanksgiving.”(Colossians 4:2)
In 1974, a group Latin American Bishops declared: “We shall truly become Christians on that day, when we weep, not because we have lost something, but because we realize that we’ve been given so much.”
Of course, the source of our thanksgiving & gratitude is the gift of Jesus Christ! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that all who believe in Him might not die, but may have Eternal Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved through the Son.”(John 3:16)
For such a gift, how could we ever say “thank you” too much? And so one weekend to the next, for 20 centuries, the meal of the Lord’s Supper, the Mass, has been celebrated; the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary offered; the sacrament of His Body and Blood shared, in order to nourish and sustain Christians in the Gospel Life.
In fact, Holy Communion is the “Last Rites” – Viaticum – “food for the journey” through life and to Heaven’s Gate!
Of course, because it’s so familiar and frequent, the Mass can get routine, even boring, as many say. But ‘routine’ doesn’t stop us from saying: “I love you”, or taking a daily shower, or having 3 meals a day. Routine holds our life in place!
It’s frequent to hear folks dismiss the Mass as “boring”. But that’s not playing fair.
Not only is the Mass what we “get out of it”,
but also “what we bring to it”...hopefully our whole selves, and our whole world!
So, as with a family meal, after some visiting & story-telling (Liturgy of the Word) we move to the table.
The gifts (food & drink & charity) are brought forward, and the table set. And, as for any feast, we use our best linen, silverware, dishes, glasses, etc. So it is with the Mass – these objects are ‘consecrated’ and set aside for this singular usage and purpose.
And as the meal is begun we have a prayer: “Bless us, O Lord and these Your gifts...”
So, at Mass, it is the Jewish Berakah form:
“Blessed are You, Lord, God of all creation! Through your goodness we have this bread/wine to offer....”
The priest, both practically and symbolically/spiritually washes his hands.
And the gifts are put out there, and 3 times offered:
1) the Berakah prayer of the priest; 2) the “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands...” prayer of the People; 3) the Prayer over the Gifts of the priest to which the People respond “Amen” (“yes”). A ‘trifecta’ of offering!
Then, to get folks engaged & involved, there’s a 3-part Preface (beginning) Dialogue to the Eucharistic Prayer; it engages the Assembly:
The Lord be with you! And with your spirit!
Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord of our God! It is right & just!
The Preface content sets the seasonal tone; the Holy, Holy, Holy is sung; and the Eucharistic Prayer is launched:
Calling down God’s Spirit upon the bread & wine, as the priest stretches out his hands over the offering...
Articulating the words of Jesus to “institute” the Eucharist – (This is my Body/This is the cup of my Blood...)
We believe that the calling down of the Holy Spirit (Epiclesis) and the repeating of Jesus’ own words changes the bread and wine (though we cannot see it or otherwise measure it scientifically) to be the Real Presence of Jesus. This is Transubstantiation.
The Eucharistic Prayer goes on - to remember - since He said: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) Jesus’ Death & Resurrection. We call down the Holy Spirit (another Epiclesis) on the People of God who share in the Table of Christ’s Body and Blood. And we pray for the Church, the World, the clergy, all God’s People, and for those who have died. Lastly, we pray for ourselves, that we may come to the fulfillment of the destiny of our Baptism: Eternal Life in the Risen Christ.
Then, the Great Amen has us all saying: “Yes”! to all of this. It’s like the Best Man’s toast at a wedding supper:
Through Him, with Him, in Him, O God Almighty Father! All glory and honor is Yours, forever and ever! Amen!
We pray the Lord’s Prayer – a vision of Heaven and blueprint for the earthly Church
We ask for mercy in the Lamb of God one more time (realizing how overwhelming this gift of the Eucharist is) and then...
We share in the Holy Communion of His Body & Blood, which intimately binds us to Jesus and to each other.
Important silence is offered in this intimate time – “Talk to Jesus in your heart.” – a closing prayer finishes the Eucharistic Prayer.
And please note: Just like a banquet or dinner: “It’s impolite to ‘Eat & Run’”. It’s only a few minutes more, so please stay! Thanks!
Announcements may be included and then, a Blessing & Dismissal conclude the Mass....sort of.
The dismissal, in Latin: “Ite! Missa est” – Go out into the world! The Mass ‘is’ as we are broken and poured out, bringing Jesus to daily life, and to others! It’s never really ended, but just beginning again!
As we make ALL OF OUR LIFE a Mass, a Eucharist, a Great Thanksgiving Offering...
“God bless us...EVERY one”!