Voices of Faith

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

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Dear Friends:

The Gospel of John presents a series of titles for Jesus, many of which draw on metaphor to help us to appreciate his power and presence in our lives. Today we are invited to connect with him as the “Good Shepherd,” who guides the flock with tender care. The sheep get to know the shepherd’s voice as a matter of instinctive trust. Today is also Mothers’ Day, and we are reminded of that natural bond that is formed between a mother and her child. Getting to that point with Jesus takes work on our part, and it requires practice… actually taking the time to listen to him. Just being here at Mass on Sunday helps us to gain familiarity with him and to build our level of trust.

Parish council elections are underway (details on voting are on page 6 of this bulletin). I am excited that so many parishioners are interested in getting involved in the leadership of our community. I rely on the council to guide our strategic planning and vision. The council discerned and created “A Vision for Saint Joseph” three years ago, and a major part of the council’s ongoing work is to assess our progress and set the goals for each year. This helps us determine our “mission priorities,” the projects and works of our ministries, and the use of our resources. Moving forward, the next several years will see even more decision-making regarding future goals in the next planning cycle.

Fr. John will be leaving on Tuesday for a pilgrimage in Spain. He and a classmate will be making the Camino de Santiago, participating in the centuries-old tradition of pilgrimage to Compostela in honor of St. James, the patron of Spain. They will hike more than 100 miles over 10 days in a spirit of prayer and devotion. We offer our prayers for their safe travels and a fruitful time of reflection on their way!

One more bit of news… Archbishop Lori recently appointed a new director for the Office of Clergy Personnel. Fr. Jim Proffitt is currently the Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Severna Park but will take over in Clergy Personnel in July. He will be taking up residence here at St. Joseph at that time too and will be assisting us occasionally on weekends. We look forward to welcoming him here. And Bella will have a new friend as well… Fr. Jim will bring his dog, Tucker with him!

Happy Mother’s Day to all our Moms!

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick