GOD’S EXTRAVAGANT MERCY | Parish Mission 2016
By: Danielle O’Brien
For those who aren’t too familiar with a Parish Mission- in short, a parish mission is what renews one’s faith, commitment and attachment to the Body of Christ present in our faith community. Let’s face it… the Parish Mission is dead-smack in the middle of what is likely your busiest time of the year—but what if Father Bob scheduled it during this specific time for a reason. Yes, it’s also Lent, but, maybe, just maybe, attending the Parish Mission in the middle of mayhem is just what you need. Here are a few words from Father Bob Tabbert on what you can expect this March 6th-8th!DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
Danielle O’Brien: Tell us a little about the upcoming Parish Mission?
Father Bob Tabbert: I think it’s going to be a marvelous opportunity for us to enter into the desert- to go into the heart and have prayerful time to reflect on where we are now with our relationship with God, our neighbors, family, friends and coworkers. Presenting the Parish Mission this year, are two wonderful sisters, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Sisters Colleen Brady and Jo Streva are wonderful. You may remember them from St. Francis Xavier School. Now, they are stationed over in Miami. I admire and have great respect for the both of them.
This year, of course, is the Year of Mercy. Pope Francis has called us to the Year of Jubilee, by which we experience the mercy and compassion of God in our lives.
You know, if we are going to be merciful to others, we also need to be merciful to ourselves.
A Parish Mission is an opportunity for us to get away and get into that boat with Jesus. It’s a time to quiet ourselves and listen to Him and ask, “What is Jesus saying to me right now? What are the areas of my life that I need to reflect upon that need some reforming? How can I deepen my own relationship with God, our Father?”
This year’s theme for our Mission is “God’s Extravagant Mercy.” God never gives up on us, even when we’ve given up on God. God’s mercy is constant in our lives.
On Sunday, March 6th at 7:00pm, we will hear from the Sisters on “What is God’s extravagant mercy?” They are going to go into the scriptures and various encyclicals and doctrines of the Catholic Church on God’s mercy.
On Monday, March 7th at 8:45am and 7:00pm, we’re going to dive into “How is God’s mercy experienced?”
We’ll learn about how mercy is experienced through prayer, relationships etc.
On Tuesday, March 8th at 8:45am and 7:00pm, we’ll focus in on “How do we share God’s mercy?”
Catholics often ask, “How do I share God’s mercy with my family members, coworkers, and with strangers? How do I portray that merciful spirit that might engage them to experience the mercy of God that they may have never embraced before?”
Maybe, for the first time, you and I might become conduits of bringing that powerful, merciful, compassionate love of God to other people. Let’s face it, so many people are dealing with heavy issues. All of us are carrying various crosses. That’s especially why this Parish Mission, especially during the season of Lent, can be a powerful time for us to listen to Jesus and become disciples of mercy. That’s my challenge to each and every parishioner. How can you become a disciple of mercy?
Danielle: Why did you select Sisters Colleen Brady and Jo Streva to present the Parish Mission?
Father Bob: I have the greatest admiration for these two sisters. They have been a great example of faith in Lee County and have touched many people’s lives. A couple of years ago, they presented at our staff retreat and it was so engaging, especially how they bounce off of each other when presenting.
In the past number of years, I’ve had priests present our Parish Mission, but this year I wanted to have a different angle. Religious women bring a different dimension of spirituality. When parishioners attend this Mission, they will leave in awe.
Danielle: Talk about how the Parish Mission isn’t just for parishioners at St. John XXIII?
Father Bob: I encourage everyone to invite someone to the Parish Mission. You may know someone who has been away from the church and need to experience the healing and mercy of God… perhaps they are angry at God. Just invite them and let God take care of the rest. Wouldn’t that be the greatest thing you could do during Lent?! I truly hope to see you and a friend at this year’s Parish Mission!