Voices of Faith

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

At the heart of our Catholic experience of worship and prayer is the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper as we are fed with the very Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gives us his very self in the Mass even as he offered himself “once and for all” on the Cross for us. We share the effects of his Passion every time we receive the Eucharist. This weekend we turn to the Gospel of John and over the next several weeks we will ponder and reflect on the gift of the Eucharist. We begin today with the miraculous feeding of the crowd in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Then for the next few weeks, we will hear Jesus’ own words of promise to be with us in his “Bread of Life” discourse. I look forward to sharing reflections on the Mass and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, particularly its impact on my own life as a follower of Jesus and as a priest. I invite you to think about how your own sharing in Holy Communion throughout your life—whether you just received the Eucharist for the first time this year or it has been many years— has been a source of strength, help, and life.

As the calendar turns to August this week and as many of us are coming and going with time away to rest and relax, there is a lot going on here at St. Joseph. This week our middle school youth will be participating in Camp SMILE… each day they will gather at the Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks for prayer and reflection, and then head out to various sites around town to complete service projects and share in recreational activities. Keep them in prayer as they open their hearts to the Lord, give of themselves in service, and have fun together. Here on campus, work is well underway to replace the floor in the Multipurpose Room and renovate the restrooms in the School. This is the final project funded by the parish rebate from the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Embracing our Mission Campaign. Our participation in the campaign concluded earlier this year as final pledge payments were received. Let me take this opportunity to express my thanks for the generous support of so many parishioners. The campaign funded many works and ministries of the Archdiocese and several important repairs and improvements here on campus over the past five years.

God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick