This weekend we celebrate the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear another familiar Gospel story. The disciples are in a boat traveling ahead of Jesus to the opposite side of the seashore. Jesus is at prayer. The waters become rough and the boat is tossed about by the waves and the wind. In the course of the night, the disciples see Jesus walking on the water toward them. He tells them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter is not quite so sure it is the Lord, so he asks for proof. He wants Jesus to call him forth. Peter attempts to walk on the water but begins to sink. This week’s Gospel may lead us in a number of directions: the Lord’s presence in our lives, our own faith, how we deal with adversity or the “storms of life,” the risks we will take in order to get closer to Jesus, whether we sink or whether we float, whether our boat is moving backwards, forwards, or about to be abandoned. What role does Jesus Christ play in our lives when we encounter more than we think we can handle?
This Tuesday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a holy day of obligation. Mass will be celebrated at Saint John Paul II Parish at 6:30 PM. Please note additional Mass times in our Vicariate in today’s bulletin.
As nearly all of the carpet has been laid in church, I want to emphasize a few things that I am not sure everyone completely understands. Whenever a parish desires to do anything within the worship space (no matter what the cost, no matter how big or small, inside or outside of church), the parish may not proceed without the permission of the diocese. I informed the parish earlier this year that Marge and Jack Luenberger made a substantial gift to the parish for the express purpose of providing us with new carpeting. At the time they made the donation, I told them I had to place the money in a restricted fund and follow the diocesan policy before proceeding with the carpeting project. I had to consult both the Office of Liturgy and the Diocesan Director of Facilities and Construction Services. I noted in the bulletin that if there were other things the diocese felt needed to be addressed in the worship space or the building, they would communicate that to us before permission would be given to proceed with the carpeting. Some parishes in our diocese who desired to renovate their churches or surrounding grounds, etc. went through the same process and were directed to do things like: move the tabernacle from a chapel to the main area of the church, install kneelers, replace glass or pewter vessels, etc. I also informed the parish that when we sought permission to carpet the church, we were reminded of a letter the diocese sent to us in July, 2014. We received another letter in January 2017 reiterating what was in the former letter. In all cases in which diocesan consultation takes place, parishes are being directed to follow the current guidelines of liturgy, art and architecture, sacramental theology, and ecclesiology.