Every day we need to reflect on and count our blessings from God. How often do we do this? When was the last time we truly offered a heartfelt, and soul stirring prayer of gratitude and thanks to Almighty God? We need to pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace of gratitude and thanksgiving to touch our hearts. We need to pray for ourselves and for others, that the Holy Spirit will renew our entire being, and fill us with hope and trust in the Lord. Prayer changes things and moves all things, in God’s divine time. Please join me in helping to foster a spirit of prayer within our parish community in order to encourage us in our faith. May we remain dedicated in prayer for the continued repair, renewal, and restoration of our parish, the city, the southeast Texas community, and this nation. Let us prayerfully give praise and thanks to God!
I read this article online from a website titled, “The Amazing Parish,” and I wanted to share it with the parish community.
5 SIGNS YOUR PARISH IS HEALTHY
1. The Pastor, Employees, and Volunteers all strive for excellence valuing accountability, and responsibility, so that the parish runs smoothly.
2. The Pastor receives support from parishioners, and is not the only one keeping things going.
3 Pastors are not only administrative leaders, but also spiritual ones. Parishioners have the opportunity to pray with their priests, and learn from their witness.
4. The parish places front and center the vibrant celebration of the Mass,encouraging parishioners to delve deeper into their faith and parish life.
5. Prayer-The parish is constantly praying for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR PARISH HEALTH:
1. Participate in the spiritual and community life of the parish.
2. Offer your skills and talents to your pastor-you never know how you can help the parish thrive.
We must realize and understand that being a Christian and following Jesus will bring into our lives rejection and opposition. Whoever believes that being a Christian means that it’s supposed to be a “cakewalk,” is sadly mistaken and deceived. We have a choice to make in our lives: we can choose to pray for a fire of passionate faith within our hearts, or be passionate in a negative sort of way in being concerned about being comfortable, or in apathy in regards to our faith. Do we have enough to persevere in division, especially when it comes down to losing relationships with people who are in our lives because we decided to side with God and stand up for our Christian faith? Always know and believe that our prayer to the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit will help us in the difficult and challenging situations we will have to face in deciding to side with God, or side with those who reject God.
On August 15th, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, body, and soul. The solemnity of the Assumption is usually a Holy Day of Obligation, but because on the calendar it falls on Monday of this year it will not be a Holy Day of Obligation. We will have Mass that day at 7 am only in the church, and no other Masses that Monday. Any Holy Day of Obligation that falls on a Monday, Friday, or Saturday is dispensed from being recognized as a Holy Day of Obligation except Christmas and New Year’s Day. I wonder if you knew that just as we have an “Octave” period, meaning eight days of liturgical celebration, just as we do at Christmas and Easter, there is one for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Eight days later following the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, on August 22nd, is the feast day of the Queenship of Mary, commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary being crowned as Queen of Heaven and earth. Let us continue to ask for the prayerful help of Holy Mother Mary!
Rev. David Edwards
Pastor, St. James Catholic Church