It was so wonderful to see so many people at Masses last weekend as we launched the Children’s Faith Formation and Middle School Youth sessions. It was particularly lovely to hear the children making so much noise. One of the hardest things for me over the last two years of the pandemic was not seeing the children coming to Church. It was for a good reason, but we missed seeing them and even more we missed hearing their vibrant little voices. It made me so happy and joyful to see the smiles on their faces. Welcome back to all the families, we would love to see every weekend and if it takes donuts every weekend then that’s what we will do! ☺ This week I started my classroom visits and it is another joy for me to be able to chat with the students at the school, get to know them and they get to know me more by asking me questions. What a true delight! I forgot how much I miss visiting the classrooms and playing in the school yard.
Speaking of getting to know each other, next Saturday, September 10th, we have our Annual Parish BBQ and the event is sold out. I am so excited to see you all! Please come and introduce yourselves to me as I am trying hard to get to know everyone – be patient with me as I learn your names. It’s going to be a wonderful evening, John Angotti will be playing at the BBQ with all the great oldie secular songs with a special selection from Billy Joel. We will also have a DJ, fun activities for the kids and there will be two $1000 drawings for the Cash Calendar, you can purchase tickets online here.
John will be playing at all weekend Masses so come and join us and bring a friend or family member with you as we continue to grow our community. Growing in community is what Saint Simon is all about. This Fall I hope we can grow together in many ways – grow in awareness to take care of our creation, grow in love to care for one another, and grow in faith by reflecting on God’s word and sharing His love with others.
Every year we set aside the month of September to focus on God’s creation. This annual Christian prayer and reflection listens and responds to the challenges of the ethics of “Earth-keeping”. Our ecumenical family around the world unites to listen and respond together in the protection of our common home. World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation begins September 1 and ends on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4.
The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “Listen to the Voice of Creation”, reflected in the symbol of the Burning Bush – both a reminder of the dangers to our fragile planet and an urgency to listen to the voice of creation. Recall in Exodus 3:12, God speaks to Moses from the burning bush. It is a decisive moment because God reveals his name to Moses: the first time he has spoken his name to anyone. Located on Mount Horeb (Mt. Sinai), the burning bush was on fire, but wasn’t consumed by the flames. When Moses beholds the burning bush, God (Yahweh) speaks to Moses and tells him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan, the promised land.
Sometimes we need to pause and look around us at the beauty of the promised land we live in and recognize all created things, from the fruit and vegetables we eat to the mountains and skies we are surrounded by. We need to take in the immense splendor of our created world. Smile because of it, laugh at it, cry with it, walk with it and embrace the grandeur of our world. It is God’s gift to us and we are called to be stewards of this beautiful world.
Many of you already know that our Fr. Chris is doing his doctoral degree on the Stewardship of God’s Creation and so this year he will give a new 4-minute series on this subject for the month of September and help us to take this task more seriously this year. More information on the Season of Creation and events surrounding it are in our e-Bulletin and listed here.
This week is also Suicide Prevention Week, and it coincides with the first week of Season of Creation. It seems appropriate that we care for the humans among us first. After being through the covid pandemic, we all realize how fragile our human condition is and how much we need each other in community. Many have found this time of isolation particularly distressing, and some have struggled with mental wellness challenges. One of the simplest and most powerful ways to prevent suicide is a simple phone call or a home visit. We never know how much a kind word, a smiling face, a word of encouragement can make in someone’s life. We most often will never know if someone is considering suicide or struggling mentally so let’s be kind to every person we meet. Our Hope and Wellness Circle here at Saint Simon meets again on September 19 at 7pm. All are welcome to attend or invite someone you know who may be struggling. The link to the zoom meeting is here and more information is on our website here. In a special way, reach out to our loved ones this Labor Day weekend, check in on them and remind them they are loved.
Finally, I invite you to take home a copy of the “This Day” daily prayer books that are at the Church entrances. It is one way to learn more and reflect on God’s word and share it with others. If you know someone that is considering becoming Catholic, Fr. Chris will be commencing the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) journey for adults with the first meeting on September 18 at 9am. Invite them to learn more about our Catholic faith. For more information, you can contact Fr. Chris here.