I was driving to work this morning after our Thursday Prayer Service for Fr Chris, and it dawned on me just how much this parish family means to me. After the prayer service is over people linger to chat; they share joys, sorrows and trivial matters. They go out for coffee or breakfast; they share birthdays, anniversary’s, dinners; but mostly they share a love for this community we call St Isabel’s. And who helped to form this community? Our Pastor who can no longer share it with us. It does not matter how much money we have earned in our lifetime, how expensive a home we have, what kind of car we drive, or the type of clothes we wear. Fr Chris accepted us all, and by doing so we accept each other. We care about each other in good times and in bad; we are here for each other in the cheers and the tears; and we are here for Fr Chris.
There was only a handful of us at the prayer service this morning; but as Nancy Venuto said, “Where there are two or more gathered together”. We may have been small in number, but there were a lot there in spirit. This is a fight for Justice that is not going to wither away because some supporters are away for a few months. This will not fade into the wind. We want our family together again; and we want our Pastor back, the man who created that spirit of family within us.
We want to be able to give our widows and widowers a bereavement luncheon. We want the pastor that knew the deceased to say their Mass. We want the Pastor who has been part of our lives for the last 14 years to be there for our celebrations, our prayers, and our times of need. We want to come together as families do: cooking together in our kitchen, having fellowship in our hall, decorating the church for festive times. We want and need someone who ministers to our lives and our needs.
We need to be joyous again. We need our family back, and that family includes Fr Chris.