Thursday, September 25, 2014

Visions Article: You are Welcome Here!

Another submission to our parish newsletter Visions, this time welcoming our parishioners to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.

Dear Parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church,

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6).

I write to you with a heart of joy having spent over two months in this new assignment as your pastor.  It is a privilege and an honor to serve you!  I am grateful for your warm welcome and am inspired by the fidelity and dedication of so many at our parish.  Indeed, this is OUR parish, not mine.  I thank God for the numerous generations of parishioners who, through God’s grace and their generosity, have provided for such a beautiful Church and community.  I thank God for blessing us with a wonderful staff, faculty and leaders of organizations/communities to bring life in serving God and our neighbor.
As I shared at the first Masses I celebrated here, my number one goal as a priest is to journey with you to Jesus Christ.  I believe with all my heart that God wants each of us to receive His love and mercy every day and to grow in a relationship with Him.  I also believe that God has given us a Church in which to experience this love in tangible and concrete ways.  There is no way I would be a celibate priest if I did not firmly trust in the Church Christ established and continues to guide today!

In a special way, I want you to know you are most welcome to join in the sacramental life in which we celebrate.  If I could wish for anything in the world, it would be that all parishioners would come to Mass every week and Confession regularly.  Whether it has been a week since you last came to Mass, or thirty years, know of my personal invitation to join in our parish family at the Eucharist.  (If attending weekly Mass is a challenge or not possible due to illness or age, please call our office so that we can bring you the sacraments!)  Whether it has been a couple of days or decades since your last Confession, I invite you to experience again the mercy God bestows in the absolution of your sins.

It is my hope to continue building on an excellent foundation here.  Specifically, I want to be a catalyst of joy to the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I hope to foster gratitude and generosity in response to all of God’s gifts.  In the United States of America, we often take these for granted though they are desperately needed for some here and around the world.  Please join me in prayer that we may be faithful to God Who is always faithful to us. 

Know of my daily prayers for you all.  If I, or our parish family, can be of any assistance to you, do not hesitate to call!

May God, who has begun the good work in us, bring it to fulfillment!

God Bless,

Fr. Ben Hadrich 

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