Is it Autumn Yet?
I was told by those who drove recently on scenic Route US 22/322 that the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors-from green to pretty golds, oranges and reds, and I noticed a couple of days ago that the temperature is beginning to dip into the 40s. I am a Fall foliage fan and would not mind driving up to New England just to observe nature's rites of passage from Summer green to Fall bright colors. A change will soon become palpable in flora as we begin to lose daylight. Change is everywhere. Things are changing in the world, in our country, in our lives.
We shall see some beautiful changes in our parish life as well. In the weeks ahead, we shall be having the launching of our new Youth Group program under the direction of Shawn Marker. Upcoming Youth activity will be a positive and welcome change for our young boys and girls. In weeks ahead, I shall return to share more details about this event. There will be a change in the utilization of our parish center as our children return to religious education classes in-person and online. That change will also become more evident as Fall leaves start to fall. This Sunday, Catechetical Sunday, we recognize and pray for our catechists, all the dedicated religious education teachers. They give generously of their time in sharing our Catholic faith with our children. Thanks to all of you.
There is yet another change- change in the number of years of enjoying God's generosity (Matthew 20:16). Wednesday, September 23, the feast of St. Pius (Padre Pio) is the 20th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood! The years ticked by fast and my hair color is changing fast as well. There is nothing terrible about that, as the Prophet Isaiah says to us, "my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways" (55:8). Change in hair color from black to sprinkles of grey is a sign of wisdom. Wisdom to know that my priesthood is a gift and a privilege, an office not earned by my worthiness. You have all been of immense support along the way. There will be no rewarding and happy priestly life without the love and support of you all, my marvelous parishioners and friends. I hope you can join me for the parish mass on Wednesday as I lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of God in thanksgiving (See Psalm 116:13). Please pray for me to conduct myself "in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Philippians 1:27).
In Christ my life,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP