I love our faith community at St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish. It is a welcoming, vibrant, praying and serving community. And we have been blessed with pastors who have been molded after the heart of the patron saint of parish priests – St. John Vianney, whose memorial we celebrate today. The Church did not choose a great theologian, like Thomas Aquinas, nor an eloquent preacher, like John Chrisostom, nor a miracle worker, like Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, to be the patron saint of parish priests. Instead, we have in St. John Vianney a very simple priest, a devoted pastor, a dedicated minister of the sacraments, specially the sacrament of reconciliation.
Fr. Andy, Fr. Thuc and Fr. Ernesto have truly been instruments of the Lord in creating, molding and caring for our faith community. People come to St. Lawrence to pray, either as a community, in small groups or alone before the Blessed Sacrament. We seek and give support to one another specially in times of troubles. In each others presence, we hear the words of the Lord, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
In good times and moments of happiness, we come together in joy and thanksgiving, breaking out into songs and clapping. It is a good place to nurture and strengthen one’s faith.
Lord, teach me your statutes. Psalm 119
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”