This Sunday, May 15th, is Pentecost Sunday, the traditional birthday of the Church. As you will often hear me say, beginnings and endings are important. Pentecost is both the official end to the Easter season, but it also makes us pay attention to the Gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the abiding presence of Jesus with his Church until the end of time.
The Spirit, given to each of us at our baptism, is the one who makes us into the Church. The Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is the gift the Risen Jesus gives to us. It is the Spirit who makes it possible for us to believe; the Spirit who helps us to know and do the good; The Spirit who works for unity in the Church; The Spirit who makes us cry out when we see injustice.
It is the Spirit who gave us Pope Francis and who keeps the conflicts in the Church from destroying us. When you feel the presence of Jesus at communion time, it is because the Spirit is at work in your heart. We owe everything to the Spirit. So give thanks this weekend.
On other notes, I am happy to announce that we have made our Annual Appeal Goal. Right now we are at 101% of goal and climbing. Thanks to all of you who gave to this good work.
I would also like to commend Kathy Coyne and Anne Groener for another wonderful First Communion. Last Saturday, 45 boys and girls received Jesus for the first time and many of them came back on Sunday at 9:15 Mass to receive Jesus in the community that has been praying for them all year.
Finally, the results of the Disciple Maker index are in. We just got the report and once the diocese has taught us how to interpret it, I will share the results with everyone. Let me just tell you that in almost every area we are well ahead of the diocesan average. More later!