Dear Sisters and Brothers of Saint Therese Parish,
Well here it is May and the very beginnings of the summer season. I have never lived through a sum-mer season in Montauk but I would imagine it is quite something. The beauty of the waters and the influx of people are certainly signs of life. Everything is budding and beginning to bloom; parishioners are returning; businesses are opening; workers here say they are very busy with building, renovation, landscaping. And folks are slowly coming back to church, both regulars and visitors. After a year such as we have had, it is good to feel some sense of “normal” while keeping each other safe; a chance for renewal as we re-gather.
There are certainly signs of life here at Saint Therese as we enter this beautiful month of May. On the very first day of the month we have First Communions! We’ll post the pictures. Do you remember how excited you were on the day of your First Communion? And your proud parents and grandpar-ents? These children are well prepared and I hope will always know how very much they are loved by the Jesus they are receiving. It is always so heartening to see families come to Mass and Communion together. At one time or another in most of our lives we do find that faith, family and friendship are what will most sustain us.
And the month of May brings us weddings and wedding anniversaries, a Baptism, ordination anniver-sary, and those special devotions to the Blessed Mother as this month is dedicated to her throughout the Church. And the beginning of the “blessing of boards” which I believe Father Tom Murray initiat-ed for those surfers and others who will be enjoying the ocean waves this summer. Beginning this weekend we will be blessings surf and other boards outside the church right after the two Sunday Masses.
I’m coming up on being forty-four years a priest and in my ministry I’ve seen it over and over -that God gives us seasons of grace in our lives because He wants to do something special in us. And some-times all we really need to do is show up, let go of the control, and let God do in us what God desires to do in us. Who knows? Maybe this is that season for you, and me. Sometimes a parishioner, or visi-tor, or someone who has been away for a long time, will just feel drawn to come into the church for a visit...and feel deep within the movement of God. They didn’t expect it when they came out here and Montauk winds up being a place of profound grace for them. So let’s be open, both to how God might work in us this summer or in someone whom we welcome to our beautiful parish.
I’ll leave you with words from Pope Francis that I read early this morning: “The parish is not an out-dated institution . Precisely because it possesses great flexibility it can assume quite different contours, depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community.”
Blessings and peace,
Father Bob, C.P.