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Pastor's Weekly Update: Sunday, Nov. 7

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last week I mentioned the possibility of obtaining a plenary indulgence for a member of the faithful departed by visiting a church or cemetery Nov. 1-8. I later read that the Vatican has extended this possibility all the way through the month of November, which is dedicated to the Poor Souls. I hope you will take advantage of these opportunities! Helping someone on their journey to Heaven will win you a well-placed new friend! And teaching our next generation to do so will mean that there will be people here on earth to pray for us during our time in purgatory. I’m sure that I’ll deserve quite a lot.

This week we are moving forward with implementing our Parish Priority Plan that we began working on in 2019 and that was put on hold during the pandemic. A consultant from the Catholic Leadership Institute will be here this week to work with parish clergy and lay leaders to start our implementation process. Our implementation team and parish staff also received training in working together as a diverse team organized by the Diocese’s office of special projects. These are more examples of how we are part of something bigger in the Church beyond just our parish.

Another great opportunity we are taking advantage of this week: Fr. Logan, Johnny Evangelista (our pastoral associate) and I are attending a training this week on how to support victims of trauma. I have come to realize after six years of priesthood that many more people than we would expect live with the consequences of traumatic events in their lives. I’m looking forward to being better equipped to help them find healing in the love of Jesus Christ!

Over the past few years, we’ve been blessed to experience a continual growth in the sacred music program at St. John the Evangelist. We’ve significantly expanded the range of music that we are able to sing and appreciate – both our musicians and the congregation. During the pandemic, we had the challenge of not being able to sing as a congregation, and so our musicians branched out even more, diving into the great treasure chest of the Church’s traditional sacred music. I am so impressed with what they have accomplished these past 18 months! Visitors to our parish regularly tell me that they are stunned to hear the quality of music we get to enjoy week after week. Especially at the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass, our musicians and choir are lifting our minds and hearts to God with music that is on par with some of the best sacred music programs around the country. That this is possible at our little parish in Goshen, Indiana is a testimony to the power of God’s grace and the great people here at St. John’s. Even more importantly, the sacred music at our parish has inspired a greater spirit of prayer and reverence for Christ present in the Eucharist. As I said last week in my sermon, worshiping God in holiness, beauty, and truth cultivates desires for good things in hearts, pushing us to desire the things of Heaven. Even though we are now excited to be able to sing together again, our choir would like to continue sharing more of the traditional music at which they have become so adept. For this reason, we have designated the 11 a.m. Mass on the first Sunday of the month as a “Solemn Mass.” At these Masses, there will be more choral and less congregational singing. I encourage you to let the beauty of this music lift your heart to the Lord. Take the opportunity to let God quiet your restless heart and rest in this beautiful foretaste of Heaven.

Recent read: The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy. The author is one of the most famous American Catholic authors of the 20th century.

St. John the Evangelist, pray for us!

Yours in Christ,

Father Royce Gregerson

Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

La semana pasada mencioné la posibilidad de obtener una indulgencia plenaria para un miembro de los fieles que partió visitando una iglesia o cementerio del 1 al 8 de noviembre. Más tarde leí que el Vaticano ha extendido esta posibilidad durante todo el mes de noviembre que está dedicado a las Pobres Almas. ¡Espero que aproveches estas oportunidades! ¡Ayudar a alguien en su camino al Cielo te ganará un nuevo amigo bien ubicado! Y enseñar a la próxima generación a hacerlo significará que habrá personas aquí en la tierra para orar por nosotros durante nuestro tiempo en el purgatorio. Estoy seguro de que mereceré mucho.

Esta semana estamos avanzando con la implementación de nuestro Plan de Prioridad Parroquial en el que comenzamos a trabajar en 2019 y que se suspendió durante la pandemia. Un consultor del Instituto de Liderazgo Católico estará aquí esta semana para trabajar con el clero parroquial y los líderes laicos para comenzar nuestro proceso de implementación. Nuestro equipo de implementación y el personal de la parroquia también recibieron capacitación para trabajar juntos como un equipo diverso organizado por la oficina de proyectos especiales de la Diócesis. Estos son más ejemplos de cómo somos parte de algo más grande en la Iglesia más allá de nuestra parroquia.

Esta semana que estamos aprovechando otra gran oportunidad: el P. Logan, Johnny Evangelista (nuestro asociado pastoral) y yo asistiremos a una capacitación sobre cómo apoyar a las víctimas con trauma. Después de seis años de sacerdocio me he dado cuenta de que mucha gente, más de lo que pensamos viven con las consecuencias de acontecimientos traumáticos en sus vidas. ¡Espero estar mejor equipado para ayudarlos a encontrar sanidad en el amor de Jesucristo!

¡San Juan Evangelista, ruega por nosotros!

Suyo en Cristo,

Padre Royce Gregerson


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