Pastor Letter August 1, 2021
August 1, 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
This weekend is our annual parish mission awareness & appeal. The Church reminds us who we are as Church: “Since the whole Church is by its nature missionary & the work of evangelization must be held as a fundamental duty of the people of God, all the Christian faithful, conscious of their responsibility, are to assume their part in missionary work (Canon 781).” Do we see ourselves as ‘missionaries & evangelizers’ to our families, spouse, children, co-workers, neighbors and people we do not even know? Do we also see ourselves having an integral responsibility to spread the Gospel to those we ourselves are not able to reach? How knowledgeable are we about the missions?
Following forth from whom we are as a Church, the local bishop has a special responsibility to foster such missionary awareness and support. “As sponsors of the universal Church and of all the churches, individual bishops are to have special solicitude for missionary work, especially by initiating, fostering, and sustaining missionary endeavors in their own particular churches (Canon 782, §2).” The bishop supports many different ministries to aid us to be “missionaries & evangelizers” in our diocese & beyond.
Each year, the bishop asks every parish of the Archdiocese to have a mission appeal for a specific cause. The Archdiocesan Mission Office assigns such mission appeals. Originally Bishop Roberto Camilleri from the Diocese of Comayagua in Honduras was assigned to speak to us at all the Masses, as well as 3 other parishes here. But since Honduras is shut down due to Covid, he is not able to travel. He has asked me to deliver the appeal with an outline of his talk he sent me, plus some pictures. His diocese is a “sister” diocese to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston since 1998 after hurricane Mitch struck Honduras. 10,000 persons died, and 60% of the country's infrastructure was destroyed.
Fr. Roberto Camilleri arrived in Honduras 42 years ago as a Franciscan missionary from the island of Malta, Europe. He has been a priest for 46 years & a bishop for the last 20 years. His diocese has 755,000 persons with 75% as Catholic. There is the need to train seminarians, religious, lay teachers (catechists) to spread the Gospel. A huge challenge is that 70% of the population is living in poverty. They are striving to meet the human needs of so many through various social ministries programs. Bishop Camilleri sent me several pictures of the Church in action in his diocese to be projected on the large screens.
So what is the purpose of this appeal? To bring greater awareness of our respective role to spread the Gospel. We need to be aware how the Church functions in other parts of the world. We need to be challenged to pray for the Gospel to spread and to assist the missions.
I realize finances for some people are a real challenge. For others, they are much more fortunate financially. However, we all have the privilege & responsibility to spread the Gospel! I invite everyone to make a
contribution in our 2
collection. If you did not bring extra money for such a collection, you may still donate next week by putting your donation in a sealed envelope, clearly marked “Mission Appeal for Honduras”. For those who use Faith Direct online donations, there is a 2
collection designated for Mission Appeal for Honduras.
We need to be more aware of spreading the Gospel in mission areas like Honduras, but how are we spreading the Gospel at home to our children & grandchildren & have you enrolled them in CCE? Have you enrolled your children in sacramental preparation for 1
Holy Communion (which includes 1
Penance/Confession) & Confirmation? Your child needs to be enrolled in both CCE & sacramental preparation since they are 2 separate formation programs, as mandated by the diocese. Have you encouraged your youth to get involved with Youth Ministry? Are you an adult Catholic who lacks the Sacrament of Confirmation? Or any non-Catholics or Catholics baptized only with no other sacraments? Contact the parish office (281-955-7324) for more info. Everyone is invited to learn more about the faith through adult faith formation in classes here or online through Formed.org (an excellent Catholic resource the parish has). Let us all become more faith-filled & knowledgeable.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
Fr. Lawrence W. Jozwiak
“The Cross is the school of love.”
The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.
St. Maximilian Kolbe
“There is no greater love, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” John 15: 13
on Friday, July 30 at 3:13PM