Commitment and Renewal
- Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
- Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
- 16 February 2020
Father John Gillespie, the retired priest from the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, who visited with us last week, has reported that there are to date 74 new adoptions for the “Unbound” mission program from St. Elizabeth Seton parishioners. His heart-felt and personal witness last weekend, along with the appeal from our own retired priest Father Keith Hosey, has born much fruit. This is the second highest amount of adoptions from any parish, but we should also remember that the mission’s first visit to St. Elizabeth Seton a number of years ago yielded 300 adoptions, many of whom remain current. This parish has a zealous missionary spirit that impressed Father John and he wanted me to express his deep gratitude to God and thanks to all those who have supported the “Unbound” mission sponsorship program. You have begun a relationship that will increase in blessing in the coming weeks, months and years. Thank you.
It is also important to remember our own mission right here at home. We are called to go and make disciples of all nations; to baptize and teach all that we have been taught; and to remember that Christ is with us until the end of time. The Christ Renews His Parish retreat program is rapidly approaching for the Men’s Weekend on March 7-8, and the Women’s Weekend on March 14-15. Some of us have been at Seton long enough to remember Father Fred Schroeder, who was our senior associate pastor into his retirement. Father Fred was a great mentor to me when I arrived at Seton as the new pastor back in the summer of 1998. He took me under his wing and instructed me from the perspective of his experience of over 60 years as a priest and pastor. In all that time, he told me that the most important renewal effort and the one that had the most spiritual impact on the Church was Christ Renews His Parish. Father Fred was a great lover of the CRHP retreat for Catholic men and woman. I do not believe it to be a coincidence that his death in early March of 2004 was in the midst of our CRHP spring retreats. Father was waked in the church commons during the Sunday masses of the Renewal weekend and his funeral mass was celebrated the next day. I have to believe that he had something to do with all of that. His spirit of renewal and joy has permeated every CRHP weekend at Seton ever since. We only have the capacity for twenty-five retreatants on each weekend of this 30 hour overnight renewal program. It may not seem like a very big commitment to make, but perhaps that’s what Peter, James and John first thought when they decided to take a stroll with Jesus. It ended up taking them to the ends of the earth and changed the world forever. Our goals are somewhat more modest, but the Master is the same. Christ is the one who calls and renews. All we have to do is answer. The CRHP sign-up table is in the commons all weekend.