By Fr. Rich, O.P.
We’ve seen many changes in our community and in our Church since we first conducted our parish renewal program last January. I’ve seen many signs of the Kingdom here at Newman. We welcomed 24 new Catholics into our faith family. We’ve made numerous physical improvements to the building to keep our space comfortable and up-to-date. And this past November, we formed a Parish Welcome Team whose members are charged with personally welcoming all new parishioners.
Our universal Church has recognized seven new saints in Heaven. We, however, are still struggling to heal the deep wounds caused by the abuse crisis and eradicate the sin which allowed such tragedy to happen. Remaining hopeful in these times is not easy; however, I believe that transformation and purification can occur.
As we begin this new year, I ask you to prayerfully consider how you can do your part. How can you awaken your heart and transform this community?
We are each called as individuals, responding as a disciple, to pray, to study, and to serve. We are also called to participate in this call communally to make Newman a force to be reckoned with on campus and in Columbia.
If you have not received your annual parish renewal information in the mail, you can find the same information online at www.comonewman.org/goodfaith or pick up a copy in the Gathering Space. This information gives you a framework to prayerfully discern your faith commitments.
As your family plans, we as a parish make plans. When each household responds to the call, we as a parish can truly transform our community. How is the Lord calling you to share your gifts of prayer, service, and treasure?
I have faith that the Holy Spirit will guide our Church toward healing and transformation. I have faith that you are called to be a part of the Spirit moving within our own community.
Imagine: what would our faith community look like if we each fully engaged in our call as disciples to accompany those around us into deeper relationship with Christ?
If you did not do so at Mass this weekend, I encourage you to complete and return your intention card to the parish or fill out the form online. This card is the avenue in which you can communicate with me and the parish about how you plan to invest in Newman’s mission. The card gives information on how to share your gifts and asks for you to declare your commitment to the parish. By March, we will be able to share the parish’s overall increased commitment. If you have any questions regarding this program, or how to give electronically, please contact the main office.
Thank you for your participation not only in this program, but in the life of the parish.