Pastor’s Weekly Message 9-27-20

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

In the current time of uncertainty, unease, and fear that we are experiencing, in a world gripped with pandemic and a nation grappling with the profound issues of racial inequality, I find myself turning, as Jesus Himself did, to the psalms. In the psalms we find the depth of human emotion and the breadth of human experience. This week our psalm refrain is “Remember your mercies, O Lord.” Last week at Mass I preached about the infinite mercy of God. Just as the psalmist is begging God to turn a merciful eye to him, it is also a reminder to us to remember God’s mercies in our own lives and seek to share that with others.

The parable of the two sons in today’s Gospel reminds us that we are defined more by our actions than by our words. In this difficult time, we have witnessed so many actions, from the simple but profound actions of our essential workers, continuing to go to work each day to provide for their community, to the heroic efforts of our firefighters and first responders during the recent fires to save lives and properties. We have an opportunity this weekend to take action ourselves to offer comfort, hope and support to those who have lost so much in the face of recent natural disasters around our nation.

Bishop Danny has asked all parishes in our Diocese of Monterey to take up a special second collection to support the USCCB Disaster Relief Fund. This fund, administered by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, aids the work of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services in areas of our country suffering the effects of natural disasters, helping with the immediate humanitarian needs as well as long term recovery efforts. I ask you to consider what you can contribute to this vital work.

On September 17, 1987 St. Pope John Paul II visited Carmel Mission and said of our home, “this serene and beautiful place is truly the historical and spiritual heart of California.” This rings just as true today, even or perhaps especially, as we navigate our current challenges. Our courtyard where we celebrate the Mass is a sacred space. Your homes when you participate in the streaming Mass are sacred spaces. Pope John Paul II in his address from that same courtyard celebrated the life and the witness of our own St. Junipero Serra. St. Junipero’s life of service, of mission and of love are an inspiration to me in my life as priest, and as your pastor. This week we celebrated the fifth anniversary of his canonization on Wednesday, and I was struck that St. Junipero’s example of hope and courage is still being lived out today in our community, in your faith, your service, and your stewardship. Thank you.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, renewed hope and great peace,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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