All are invited to:
1. Adoration this Friday, 7-8 pm, SAA Church.
2. The new 6 pm Sunday night Mass, starting this Sunday, Sept. 10.
Recently, Kiwi Nomad wrote the following:
"I am not from your parish but I am a bit of a stray sheep in catholic terms. But over the past year or so I have been going to Mass a bit and trying to pray. Over the last five months I have been backpacking in Europe. I cycled for five weeks in the Loire and it seemed like the history of Christianity was in the landscape almost. I also surprised myself by spending sx days at Lourdes in May. But I have still not got to the stage of going to Confession or Communion. I am nearly ready to head home and don't know what I am going to do re faith. I tried to have a talk to the local priest before I left. I think he is a very holy and good man, but he didn't seem to be able to understand that I was struggling with a faith that to him there is no doubt about. Yet I feel there are issues I want to talk about. Not sure what I am going to do about it."
Kiwi, thanks very much for what you wrote; I truly hope that you find your way. I don't know where your home is, but you're always welcome to come here. I would be happy to sit down with you, and discuss your issues. One of the most attractive parts of priesthood for me has always been the outreach to "lost sheep". Having been a lost sheep myself, I feel a special connection and identification with those who have strayed from Christ.
Also, I look back on the time when I met Christ for the first time. I was raised Catholic and went to Church on Sundays, but never really knew Christ until I was about 21. That is when I met Happiness! I had looked far and wide for it (for Him), and have completely treasured it ever since. Jesus talks about the joy that comes with finding that which has been lost in Luke 15. He speaks of great "rejoicing" in the return of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son.
The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of my favorites, and one that the Church uses predominantly in welcoming back those who have strayed (particularly with Confession). The son left his father and squandered his inheritance on a "life of dissipation". He realized how much he had messed up, and went back to his father, asking for forgiveness. As the son got near his home, "his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion" (v.20). He said, "let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found" (v.23-24).
Kiwi, I will offer the same compassion and joy to you or any prodigal sons or daughters who come back to the Father through me.