Excerpts from Archbishop Miller's homily at the conclusion of his parish visit to Holy Spirit Parish March 18.
Dear parishioners of Holy Spirit Church:
As many of you know, yesterday I visited your parish – the fifth such visit in the archdiocese. Within the next five years or so I hope to make a pastoral visit of each of our 78 parishes.
I have had the experience of meeting so many people who are engaged in the life of your parish family. During my visit, aside from celebrating the sacrament of anointing of the sick, I had the pleasure of visiting with nearly every parish group, including your newly formed pastoral team or pastoral council, finance council, teachers in the PREP program, the lectors, music ministry representatives, the altar servers, the coordinator of Development and Peace, the recently reconstituted CWL and the Knights of Columbus. I see many of you here this morning and I wish to thank you and Father David for taking the time on a beautiful Saturday to talk with me, your pastor and one another.
We listened to one another. I heard of your contributions to building up the parish, often over many years of dedicated service. And I offered my own observations on certain questions that came up in our discussion. Your love for your parish and your pastor were evident and inspiring.
My sincere thanks go to all those who organized the visit – and I know
that it is always challenging to get so many people to come together.
So many spiritual gifts and good works are present among you. I certainly urge those who are not yet engaged in building up the parish family through involvement in one or more of its activities and organizations to do so. Everyone has gifts and talents to offer the community. You need the community, but the community also needs you.
Dear parishioners: continue to build on your successes, inviting ever more parishioners to share in your many ministries, especially those who are younger and not yet as fully integrated and engaged as those who have found a home here for many years. Welcoming new members to your ministries and planning for the future are necessary if your community is to flourish as the good Lord wishes.
It was pointed out to me in more than one meeting the need of Holy Spirit Parish for a new parish centre to replace the current hall. It is challenging for you to gather together in a place that provides space for the religious education of your children and adults, that allows groups and organizations to meet, and for the parish family to come together in fellowship and service.
It is my prayer that you will work together – for it is a task that belongs to the whole parish family – to plan for the facilities that will meet the needs of the growing community of Queensborough. You have a wonderful heritage to build upon, and a new parish centre and rectory will serve you well.
would hope that Holy Spirit Parish will grow ever stronger as a community of
disciples who live the Gospel strengthened by the power of the Word of God and
nurtured by the sacraments, and as a community of men and women who go out to
others – first of all to their own families – to share this good news of the
love and mercy of God revealed in Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.