On Saturday morning, a number of us gathered in the Church at 9am for the start of our Ministry Morning called Catch the Spirit. We began with a prayer service, lead by Father Jerry, with music by Bernadette Petersen. That was followed by our speaker, and after that we went over to the Parish Hall for some other great talks. But I am getting ahead of myself!
Our speaker this year was Father Pat Butler, who is the pastor at St. Edward the Confessor, my home church. If you have ever heard Father Pat speak, you know that we were very blessed this day. He spoke to us about so many things. At the core of his message was the importance of the Eucharist.
He spoke about the best places to pray. For Fr. Pat, the best place is the ocean, at night, under a full moon at high tide! That doesn’t happen too often for someone in this part of the state. Of course we pray in church, but is that the best place to pray? For some it is, for some it isn’t.
Then why do we go to church?
We come to be nourished by the Eucharist and by one another. The old Latin at the end of the Mass, as Fr. Pat told us, holds the meaning of the word Mass. Ite, missa est! This means – go! You are dismissed! That is why we come, to be together in community and prayer, through the Eucharist. He said so much more than this, but that is my summary for now. We come together to go forth, I just love that thought and how we are to evangelize in the world.
After the talk we all went to the parish hall to hear various speakers. Kelly Stiffen gave us an update about the Pastoral Council and Christine Goss said some things about our website. She mentioned that we have a parish Facebook page, so if you are on Facebook, please “like” us!
Maryann Haskell talked to us about our new “All Are Welcome” evangelization initiative. We want many people to come to our parish, we have so much to give and we actively seek all the gifts of others. This is a very exciting time at Immaculate Conception!
Then we heard from Dona Fragnoli about welcoming and team building. Dona is just a terrific speaker – which is probably why she made it her career! The thing that stands out to me is that Dona had us write something that challenges us on a 3 x 5 card. We all come “with a card.” Our cards reveal something about ourselves. If we could be more patient and caring with one another, imagine how different things could be.
Then we heard from another gifted speaker, another person whom God has asked to be a speaker, Emily Sederstrand. Emily offered us inspiration and hope with her words. She spoke beautifully about how God leads us to places high and low, yet is always with us.
Many thanks go out to Fr. Pat, Kelly Stiffen, Judy Broder, Maryann Haskell, Maria Groves, Sean Caron, Christine Goss, Dona Fragnoli, Emily Sederstrand, and others. And a big thank you to Fr. Jerry who, as our pastor, makes all of this possible.
If you were there, then you know, but please feel free to speak up in the comments! If you weren’t and you want to know more, ask in the comments!