Fourth Sunday of Easter

This week in our Diocese and Parish the Annual Bishop’s Appeal begins.

As we know, the Bishop’s Appeal is about we the people of the Church in the Diocese of Albany supporting the mission and ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our Parish and our Diocese in ways that we cannot do alone.  Do take a look at the brochure that you may have received at home.  These same brochures are also located at the main entrance of Church near the Parish Bulletins.

We the people of St. Mary’s, Crescent have generously supported the Bishop’s Appeal in the past, for which I thank all of you.

So in this year of the Lord 2017, I ask for your support and generosity again.  Hopefully, you will be able to make your gift or pledge in the amount you did last year.  And, if you were unable to do so last year, I hope that you can do so this year.

Bishop’s Appeal envelopes were mailed to parishioners this past week.  Additional Bishop’s Appeal envelopes are located at all the Church entrances near the Parish Bulletins.

This week is also the Fourth Sunday of Easter also referred to as: Good Shepard Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The Gospel shares with us the image of Jesus as “the Good Shepard.”  And John’s Gospel also reminds us that the “sheep follow the voice of the Shepard.”  Translated to the times in which we live, “the people of God listen to the voice of Jesus and respond by living as faithful Disciples.”

Listening to the voice of the Shepard on this World Day of Prayer for Vocation that calls to single life, to marriage, or to being a Priest, Deacon or Religious.

The voice of God, the voice of the Good Shepard that comes through prayer and silent reflection as we discern our path, our career, our vocation…

At a meeting I was at last week, one of the people present lamented the fact that some of our Parishes do not have Priests, as well as, the fact that the number of Priests is becoming less and less and less.  In a few weeks we will ordain one Priest for the Diocese; yet some 40 Priests attended a “pre-Retirement Orientation” this past week in anticipation of their Retirement in the next year to 7 years or so.

Truth is, many people presume for themselves or for their children that someday they will marry.  But there are other possibilities.  I have always been a bit critical of “Career Days” that schools hold.  Not for the people invited, but for the people not invited.  In my 43 years as Priest, I have never heard of a “Career Day” that included:  a Priest, Rabbi, or Iman or other religious persons.

There is no doubt that we need to pray for vocations, but we also need to encourage others in all the possibilities of life.  When is the last time we spoke highly of Church Vocations or let our children know that a Church Vocation is also a viable and healthy option in life.

On this Vocation Sunday, let us:

  • Pray for ourselves and others in our Vocation of life that we will be faithful to our God given calling.
  • Pray for Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life, and Diaconate…

…now and in the future.