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Beginning the weekend of September 5th & 6th, we will no longer require online signups to attend our weekend Masses. As our parishioners enter the church, our ushers will monitor the number of people in attendance. Please note that we are only allowed a total of 250 people in the church for any one Mass. We would like to encourage you to arrive early so that you can get a seat in the main church. For those who arrive after we have reached our maximum of 250 people, we will have overflow seating in the Commons Area.
Father Peter Williams – Bulletin Article – September 20th:
During my four years in seminary preparing to be ordained for a life of service as a Catholic priest, I discovered the communal life to be a source of great strength and joy. This doesn’t mean it was always easy, for there were aspects of the communal life that I experienced as burdensome and certain people that I found difficult to connect with and love well, as there were surely people who found me difficult in different ways. For the most part, however, being together each day with a shared purpose and in a current of trust was tremendously life-giving. There was a sense of belonging, the tangible witness of other people’s faith to call me on, and the many gestures of authentic love that steadied me and called me to make of my life a gift for others. There was both encouragement and accountability to follow Jesus in every day life.
And yet, there were moments when I sensed that communal life at seminary was all too easy and comfortable. I simply had to show up at the meal times and there would be food prepared and people to engage with. Simply by minimally paying attention there were ample opportunities for socializing, exercising, and all sorts of others spontaneous encounters that were edifying. As I neared the end of my four years in seminary, I sensed quite clearly that the indispensable need for community as a priest would have to become much more intentional when I was assigned to a particular parish. It would have to become something I prioritized and sought out. It was one of the reasons that after a year of living priesthood I joined a fraternal group of priests that met each month to pray together, relax together, partake in a meal together, and share the joys and struggles of life. It is also one of the primary reasons that after five years I joined the Companions of Christ – a fraternity of diocesan priests committed to a common life of prayer and fraternity in households, attempting to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience within the context of ordained diocesan ministry, and being dedicated to new evangelization.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we face at the moment as a parish is how to live meaningful community given the constraints of the pandemic. Precisely because one of our core values at Saint Ambrose is that together we live and grow in faith, being a meaningful part of community is not optional. We all need a community of faith and we all have a corresponding responsibility to intentionally invest – for our own good and the good of our neighbor. And yet, admittedly everything feels and looks a bit different at the moment. How do we invite and actively welcome others into this wonderful Catholic community here at Saint Ambrose? How do we strengthen meaningful connections to others, cultivating an environment where all can flourish? How do we accompany each other in faith so to continue learning and growing in Christ? I don’t have easy answers for these questions, especially given that the normal ways that this happened are not available to us in the same way, but they are very much alive in me…and I hope in you.
I remain convicted that the present time is a tremendous opportunity for us as a Church. All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His goodness! I continue to ask for the grace to see where God is working and calling me to cooperate, surrendering my disappointments in what is different and feels difficult (i.e. no SAW Fest this year). After all, no obstacle is insurmountable for God’s grace. Please accept my encouragement to prayerfully discern how you are called to live the intentional community as believers during this time, staying connected and contributing the gift of your faith and talents for the good of others.
In Mary’s Arms,
Fr. Peter Williams
*On Wednesday September 30th the Impact 133 Men’s Group will host an evening for all men in the parish to come together outside for prayer, nourishment, and community. Everything will be held outside at the outdoor chapel: 5:30 pm Mass / 6:15 burgers and beer / 7:00 bonfire. More information to follow.
Q & A with Fr. Peter: #1
Other Sites to Stream Live Mass or Watch a Recorded Mass:
Places to Find Readings for Mass:
While you cannot receive the Eucharist in this manner, you are invited to make a Spiritual Communion, praying the Act of Spiritual Communion listed below:
Act of Spiritual Communion:
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Here are some other resources to keep your faith strong during these times:
Visit Formed.org for Catholic media – from video to books to audio – for all ages. A link for this is on our site below.
Find online resources to help you and your family grow in faith:
Join each day in praying – with Archbishop Hebda and faithful Catholics throughout the Archdiocese – the daily Litany in Time of Need, 11:05 am on Relevant Radio 1330am, or on the Relevant Radio App, or on their website: https://relevantradio.com/