April 17, 2016
In our readings this week we hear of unrest in the early church AND of unification too. The Acts of the Apostles gives us an understanding of the early persecution against Paul and Barnabas who were expelled from their town because they had a new idea. To include the Gentiles in the community was seen as a way of watering down or demeaning the faith of the People of Israel. The gospel story is one where Jesus tells us that those who are his sheep hear his voice, they follow him, they are safe and all this is done because Jesus and the Father are one. These stories are good examples of what it is to be divided AND united.
This is a good context to share something that might possibly be divisive or uniting in our community. Over these last weeks since my arrival I have been humbled, moved and amazed at all this community does. Furthermore, as things get closer to FIESTAS 2016, it is clear that we have a GREAT many other things coming on the horizon. The faith of the people here AND the way we reach out to the visitors or pilgrims who come to pray with us is truly impressive and impactful.
It is my hope to continue to grow this idea of being a community united and not divided. To that end, after great prayer and conversation with the staff, deacons and other advisors in the community that I would like to announce a new mass schedule for our weekend celebrations of the Eucharist. This schedule will not affect some and will or, could affect others quite a bit.
As of May 21, 2016, two weeks BEFORE FIESTAS 2016 we will move to this weekend schedule:
Saturday evening, the Sunday Mass of anticipation at San Felipe will be at 4:00 pm. Later that evening, at 6:00 pm we will celebrate another Sunday Mass of anticipation at San Jose Mission in Duranes. This can be a very good thing for the people who like to go to an early Sunday Mass at San Felipe, then be free to go to dinner or have other Saturday evening events. The San Jose Mass is a return, I am being told, to a former reality where the community there used to have a Saturday evening Mass years ago.
Sunday, the Mass schedule will begin as it does right now with the first Mass of Sunday morning being at 7:00 am; the second Mass of Sunday -- that will remain completely in Spanish -- will be at 9:00 am; the third Mass of Sunday will be at 11:00 am. This will give us plenty of time between the Masses to clear parking, have some time to do donuts and coffee on the first Sundays of the month and not be so very rushed between the Masses. This will also accommodate all the people who desire and enjoy praying the rosary before the Mass AND the music ministers who rehearse before Mass and review with the congregation the new music that is being introduced to the community.
I do hope and pray this schedule change will be one that most people will see as a good thing to help our community worship together and do so in the best way we can. Certainly, there will be some adjustments and time of confusion for a few weeks. Soon, though, I do believe all will be on board quickly and the community will not only get used to this new schedule but see the wisdom in being able to spread out our celebrations a little bit and focus all our energies in the best way we can.
This also means that the weekly confessions will be available on Saturday from 2:30-3:30 pm and, as always, by appointment any time. The celebrations of weddings at San Felipe on Saturdays will have to also begin no later than 1:00 pm.
Again, this schedule will begin on the weekend of May 21, 2016. Let us pray that this change will be something that is truly good for our community. Please join in the praying that all will positively respond to this as we grow as one united community of faith and love.
May God bless us all today and always!