Happy Easter to one and all! Thank you for joining us for worship on this Easter Sunday – we’re truly glad you are here! The quote above is from the Book of Revelation, 21:5. It is from a passage which describes how Christ defeats death and establishes “a new heavens and a new earth.” The Resurrection of Jesus marks the beginning of this new creation. He is the one who makes all things new – including you and me! In his Easter message to the clergy of the Diocese, Bishop Callahan quoted an old priest friend: “Jesus did not just put us ‘back on track’ in the Paschal Mystery—He rebuilt the whole railroad!”
This is radical newness that Jesus summons us to by his Resurrection. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17.) Pope Francis writes of how this radical Easter newness is meant to be a continual source of renewal in the Church:
With this newness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities,
and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness,
it will never grow old.
Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him
and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity.
Whenever we make the effort to return to the source
and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel,
new avenues arise,
new paths of creativity open up,
with different forms of expression,
more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world.
Every form of authentic evangelization is always “new”. The Joy of the Gospel, #11
Our parishes have begun to rediscover “the original freshness of the Gospel” through the ALPHA Course which began in February and ends in a couple of weeks. The weekend of March 21-22 almost 60 of our parish members participated in a retreat by which they were renewed in the Holy Spirit. On that retreat faith was strengthened; lives were changed; deep healing was experienced; and the “new wine” of the Spirit was poured out into people’s hearts. We plan to run ALPHA during the summer and again in the fall. I invite you to be part of ALPHA in the coming months.
Pope Francis writes of “new avenues” and “new paths of creativity” that flow from a renewed encounter with the Gospel. St. Charles Parish is beginning to embark on a new venture in terms of creating a space for parish gatherings, meetings, offices and other programs. Ever since the old convent “Welcome Center” was torn down St. Charles has been without adequate and accessible facilities. There is so much more our parish could – and should! – be doing, but we are hampered by our current lack of space. I want to invite all our St. Charles parishioners to join us on Thursday evening, April 16th to “dream together” what a new parish center could be for our community. Please see the attachment to this bulletin for more information.
God bless, and may the New Life of Easter fill your hearts and homes!