Wednesday, November 18, 2009

7 years of grace

This year, St. Michael Archangel Church celebrated its church feast on 8 August 2009 to commemorate seven years since the church was consecrated as the first and only Catholic church in the entire Nong Bua Lamphu province. This was indeed a special occasion for us and was worthy of celebration.

A church feast is not simply a party where people gather to meet each other to eat and drink. It is first and foremost an occasion to offer thanks to God for every blessing that He has bestowed on His people. Second, it is an opportunity for the church community to celebrate itself and share the Christian joy with guests – both Catholics and non-Catholics – who come to join in the festivity. Third, it is an opportunity for the church community to evaluate its work in carrying out the Christian mission bestowed upon it by Jesus Christ and plan for the future.

It was with these multiple purposes that St. Michael Archangel Church organized its church feast this year. As the newly appointed pastor of this parish, I am pleased to share with you that in the past seven years, the church members, including The Divine Word brothers, the Sisters of Charity, and the laity, have been active in witnessing to the Good News among the people of Nong Bua Lamphu as well as people far and wide who are acquainted with the Catholic Church here. Whether it is the ministry of helping people with HIV/AIDS, youth education, or other pastoral work in the parish, the members of the local church have carried out their work with the purpose of making God’s love known to others.

By any standards, St. Michael Archangel Church is a small parish. But we are proud of our Catholic identity, and we are learning to live out our Christian calling with increasingly greater zeal. We have faith that with our humble efforts, God will continue to bless us and guide us so that with each day, we can discover new ways of proclaiming the Good News within our community and to the greater community around us, and therefore contribute to the mission of making God known to all the ends of the earth.

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