The Women I Love
Jesus, just before he departed from this world, gave a new commandment to his followers: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another” (Jn 13:34). The mandate given by Jesus to all Christians is to love. Through the manifestation of love, Christians will reveal that they are indeed followers of Jesus’ way. I have made many efforts to love people God brought my way so far in my lifetime. I have also received love from many people in my life. I am thankful to God. I am also grateful to those who have shared the love of Christ with me. I am not only appreciative but also want to confess my love for a particular group of lovers: the women of our parish. I love these women.
The Women I love is the title of a novel by Francesco Pacifico (I am not doing a commercial or recommending the novel-this is not an Oniwe Book Club). He writes of different categories of women he loves, showing in the process their equality with him and so forth. I just wanted to borrow the title to describe the women of our parish, the women I love. They are faithful, compassionate, passionate about the parish's growth, loving, caring, giving, encouraging, supportive, sacrificing, and smiling. I love these women. So, I decided to chat with the women of our parish last Saturday morning regarding our struggles and aspirations- as I saw it. What an encouraging attendance and input from these amazing women!!!! There were many things said and suggested to keep our parish alive and thrive despite all odds. The following are some ideas they raised in their own words: “it is good that we come here to get to know each other, enjoy each other’s company,” “covid was a problem for our parish gathering. We must pray and find people to bring back to church;” “the social hall must serve as a place for gathering;” “let’s have programs for kids and young adults because some of our people leave for LCBC for this reason;” “Put up an organization/ministry fair every year;” “let’s have regular coffee and snacks in the social hall on Sundays;” “meet people where they are, no judgment, be open to everybody, and reach out to all, be welcoming to visitors;” “let us let people know that we miss them and want them back to church;” “send cards and make personal phone calls to people;” “get involved in the CCW”; “single girls wanna have fun within the parish;” “let’s have a mass for children once a month;” encourage children to participate in Eucharistic Adoration during Forty Hours;” etc..
Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, the woman I love so much, the women of our parish are women I love too. I hope we can put some of the ideas they raised into action. Let’s make it happen. We set up a committee of three to channel all the lofty ideas presented on Saturday into action within the parish life. I am thankful to our women; they are the kind of women I love. Let us spread the love of Christ. As Christ has loved us, let us extend that love to others, beginning with members of our parish next to you. Tell someone and show someone today that you love them just like the women I love have done.
In His Love,
Fr. Bernard, O.P.