June 23rd 2:30 to 6:00 pm
Celebrate Father Barnett’s Ordination Anniversary and Farewell Potluck in the Parish Center
To Jesus Through Mary:
Consecrated for the New Evangelization
The New Evangelization in Pasco
To undertake the New Evangelization, Blessed John Paul II invited the Church in America to enter a pilgrimage of conversion, communion and solidarity flowing from a fresh encounter the Risen Lord Jesus. Taking up this theme, on October 11, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI opened a Year of Faith. During this year, he invites all Christians to reflect upon the precious gift of faith which converts us to Jesus, draws us together in communion, and impels us forward in solidarity.
At St. Patrick Parish, the Into the Deep! Pastoral Plan identifies the specific means by which God wants us to form a parish family, to generate a civilization of love, and to offer him beautiful worship. Through this faith lived in love, the parish as a whole and each individual parishioner will become agents of the New Evangelization and the true protagonists of history right here in Pasco.
A Renewed Encounter with Jesus
The challenge of the New Evangelization is vast. Yet it does not consist in programs or in policies. Certainly, we need adequate structures and effective programs. But all of them are useless unless we ourselves are evangelized.
The New Evangelization needs new evangelizers. It begins with each one of us. Each one of us, and our parish community as such, must return to the Origin of our life: the encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus. Each of us, and all of us together, must begin by humbly imploring a sincere and profound conversion to Him.
We must beg Jesus for the gift of faith, a true experience of communion, and the transformation of our lives and our structures which will enable us to reach out in solidarity to others. Only in this way can the New Evangelization bear fruit here in Pasco.
To Jesus through Mary
In order to take up this challenge both as a parish community and as individual Catholics, I invite all parishioners, especially parish staff and those who serve on one of our advisory committees or Into the Deep! Commissions, to join me in in doing two things: consecrating ourselves individually to Jesus through Mary, and renewing the entrustment of our parish to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
To prepare for this consecration, I ask that you spend a short time each day praying and reflecting on a series of readings which I will supply. I will make these materials available via our website (www.stpatspasco.org), Facebook, e-mail, and hard copy, in both English and Spanish.
Preparing for Consecration
Mary is the first and best disciple of her Son, and Jesus himself chose to submit and be obedient to her. St. Louis de Montfort popularized the practice of consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary. In the method he recommended, used by countless Christians across the world for centuries, there are four preparatory periods, each devoted to a particular theme. Under the guidance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as we progress together from conversion through communion into solidarity, we ask that our humanity will be restored in the image of Jesus Christ, “the human face of God and the divine face of man.”
The first period is dedicated to casting off “the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience. “ Thus, in the first period we will meditate on the Fatherhood of God, on his mercy, and on the goodness of creation which he has entrusted to us as his stewards.
The second period is devoted to gaining a true knowledge of oneself. Recognizing the dignity of each human person and our individual and communal vocation to holiness, each of us will strive to identify the weaknesses and sins which afflict each of us and all of us together—as individuals and as a parish. These sins impede our communion with Christ and each other, and prevent us from growing to our full missionary stature.
In the third period we will strive to gain a true knowledge of Our Lady. As Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Spirit, Mary is herself the Temple of the Holy Trinity and Mother of the Church. In the melting-pot of peoples which is America, the mestiza (“mixed”) face of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the model of perfect inculturation of the Gospel. Just as Mary was transformed from within by the Real Presence of Jesus, the Virgin Mother of Guadalupe will help the Gospel penetrate the hearts of the men and women of our parish and through us—both as individuals and as a parish community—it will permeate our culture and transform it from within.
The final period of preparation is devoted to gaining a true knowledge of Jesus Christ. Like us in all things but sin, Jesus fully reveals us to ourselves and brings to light our supreme calling. Recognizing in him our dignity as adopted sons and daughters of God, we will pray that the love of Christ will renew our humanity, draw us into greater communion and fill us with charity to undertake the exciting work of the New Evangelization—both as individuals and as a parish community.
Yes, we have a great mission ahead of us. It is the mission of the Church, and it has been entrusted to each of us. Please join me in preparing for it. I close this invitation with the words of Blessed John Paul II in 2001:
Let us go forward in hope! A new millennium is opening before the Church like a vast ocean upon which we shall venture, relying on the help of Christ. The Son of God, who became incarnate two thousand years ago out of love for humanity, is at work even today: we need discerning eyes to see this and, above all, a generous heart to become the instruments of his work…Now, the Christ whom we have contemplated and loved bids us to set out once more on our journey: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). The missionary mandate accompanies us into the Third Millennium and urges us to share the enthusiasm of the very first Christians: we can count on the power of the same Spirit who was poured out at Pentecost and who impels us still today to start out anew, sustained by the hope “which does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5).
God bless you and your families.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Daniel J. Barnett