I have just returned from Green Bay, WI followed by Sacramento, CA. It would seem at first glance that these are two very different places, yet the folks in both expressed similar dreams and hopes for their people, and similar desires to be effective leaders at this time in our Church's life. Wonderfully, people in both places also said it seems to them that we are at a graced moment in time; while there are obvious and many challenges in our parishes and dioceses, there also seems a renewed life and focus that can be of benefit in the coming months and years.
People spoke of their hope that all in their community will experience Christ and will have an openness to lifelong conversion in Christ;
They hope that people of all ages, ethnic groups, and stages of faith will find ways to come together as the Body of Christ;
They desire ways to encourage engagement among their members, and are now ready to intentionally shape their life together to encourage such engagement;
They hope that younger adults will find ministry as life-giving as they do;
They find strength in each other and plan to continue to network to enhance learning.
In the words of Fr. Tamayo, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Elk Grove, CA, "we need to grow, and go!" Growing together as Christ's people necessarily calls us out in mission -- we need to grow, and go, out to all the world in love, mercy, and service.
What comes to mind for you?