April 23, 2017

Happy Easter—Divine Mercy Sunday: Today marks the octave of Easter. It is the eighth day of our celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. The eighth day, one more than the perfect number, marks for all Christians new beginnings. Today we celebrate not only the empty tomb but also the mission of the Church. Our Easter mission is to spread the Gospel of the Lord and the message of

God’s Mercy. How fitting it is to mark the last day of Easter Sunday with a special focus on Divine Mercy. The liturgical texts of today concern the forgiveness of sins, the ultimate example of God’s Divine Mercy. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” Our own Pascal Mysteries—be they individual, community, parish, or Church—will be successfully met only through Divine Mercy. Let us rejoice and be glad as we immerse ourselves in the power of the Risen Lord’s mercy.

Please join me at St. Colman Church today at 3:00: Today at 3:00 p.m. Saint Colman Parish will celebrate a special Divine Mercy service. It will be an opportunity to worship together at the hour of Mercy. If Easter flew by for you and the hustle of life has already taken over with its stress and anxiety, this special service will put everything in perspective. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to experience God’s peace. See you at 3!

Important definitions for understanding the On Mission process.
CHURCH: The Body of Christ spreading the good news of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. (Remember, when speaking with the vocabulary of On Mission for the Church Alive!, it is impossible for the Church to close.)
PARISH: A local (as a general rule territorial) Catholic community where people join together to worship, be educated in the faith, receive the sacraments and serve those in need.
CAMPUS: All the buildings located on the property of a specific site.
REGIONAL CATHOLIC SCHOOL: A Catholic elementary school that is the ministry of several parishes.

Please check the On Mission for the Church Alive! Website’s glossary (found under the ABOUT tab) for updates on new terminology being introduced: such as implementation, groupings, and blueprints.

April 16, 2017

Happy Easter: Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen! Father Daniel, Father Elmer, and I would like to extend to you our deepest wishes of joy this Easter. Christ’s resurrection is at the core of our faith and the point from which all hope flows. Christ has done the will of the Father, offered Himself willingly for all of us, and defeated death. He is the resurrection and the life. As Pope Francis has said: “Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised Him and made Him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.” Let these be our guiding principles also: love, mercy, goodness, truth and life. By our witness the world will see a reason to hope and will come to experience the presence of the Living Lord in their midst.
Remember that we now enter into our fifty days of dwelling on the celebration of the paschal mystery – – a time to surrender in joy, faith and love to the Holy Spirit and our ever growing knowledge of Salvation History and a time to journey once more in the baptismal mystery of death and resurrection which is constantly at play in our lives, but never more to be feared!

Praise the Lord, we’ve grown: It is with great Easter Joy that we welcome into the Church and our parish family those who were admitted during our Easter Vigil. Ryan, Jacob, Anthony, Brent, Janet, Rachel, Tyler and Julianna, be assured of our continual prayers for you and our willingness to help you grow in the faith. We are excited to work side-by-side with you as we share our unique God-given gifts with each other and our community.

A special thank you to the students of East Catholic for exemplifying the Bishop’s vision for the Church Alive: I wish that everyone had had the opportunity to attend the opening of the East Catholic School, Inc. Middle States Review. The school kids did an absolutely fabulous job of sharing the history and identity of the school and how it is the joint venture of six parishes which have formed one community. I couldn’t help but to think of the tremendous pride that Bishop Zubik would have had if he were there. His vision of the Church Alive! was communicated with the greatest clarity I’ve ever heard. To hear the students of East Catholic teach those present what it means to be
Church was truly inspiring.

East Catholic and On Mission: Remember, when looking for East Catholic School, Inc. information as it pertains to On Mission for the Church Alive! be sure to follow the educational component of the On Mission process. Saint Maurice Parish and East Catholic School, although they are located on the same CAMPUS, are two independent entities, and what happens to one may have absolutely no impact on the other. Please be careful not to assume that information that comes forth about one would necessarily apply to the other. Keep in mind the distinction between the terms parish, school, campus and Church.