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Liturgy and Worship
Good news of great joy!
from Fr. Muir on August 10, 2014
IT WAS A SURPRISING CALL TO GET JUST BEFORE HEADING OFF FOR A COUPLE WEEKS TO VISIT MY FAMILY IN VERMONT. But it was a delightful one. The Bishop's representative told me that, after my first year at St. Rose as Parish Administrator, Bishop Olmsted would like to ask me if I would accept being made Pastor at the parish. "Do you accept?" he said. "I do accept, gladly," I responded. We chatted for a few moments and concluded the call. I looked out the window and smiled.
Though it may seem like a minor technicality on the surface, there is a difference in parish life between an "administrator" and a "pastor." Both do the same essential thing: oversee the care of souls in a parish by sacred teaching, sanctifying, and governing. The difference is in what they are. A pastor is the shepherd given to these people. When a man is appointed to be a shepherd in the life of a parish, what is highlighted is the relationship between him and the parish. A pastor doesn't just do shepherd-like jobs. He is a shepherd, in a particular way.
The "canonical" reality of a pastor in a parish makes visible the invisible reality of Jesus, the one Shepherd of the Church. The naming of a pastor highlights is that this priest is consecrated to be and to live "in the person of Christ the Head" for this concrete "sheepfold" within the Church.
CHRIST LEADS US as our gentle Shepherd...he "lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10:11). This is my hope, too, in my life. I'm asking Our Lord to give me the grace to set aside my own plans, agenda, projects...so that I may be conformed to Him who loves His Father, and offered His life for those the Father entrusted to Him. That's how Jesus shepherds us: loving self-sacrifice to the Father's loving will. That's why He's the good shepherd. And that's what I hope you'll remember in your prayers to God for me: that He'll make me a good shepherd, a faithful, generous, and gentle pastor.
I'M DEEPLY GRATEFUL to everyone who has made my first year at St. Rose and Good Shepherd such a happy one...to Deacon John, the parish staff, our robust groups of volunteers, our families, all our parishioners, and to the wider Anthem community. I'm also humbled and thankful to build on the foundation laid by our founding pastor, Fr. John Coleman, and furthered by Fr. Mark Harrington. These men are like older brothers to me, and it's a joy to follow in trail they've blazed.
Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me" (John 10:14). I beg your prayers that this grace will be granted me in abundance...the grace God gives to a shepherd of souls...the grace to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about a great communion of love and truth...all towards the fresh and green pastures of eternal life.
Asking St. Rose Philippine's Intercession with Confidence and Gratitude,
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