Dear Good People of Saint Mary,
Still enjoying the vibrant memories of such remarkable joy at all of our Easter Masses at the Expo Center, I wanted to share with you a photo I took before the 10:15 Mass began. It was, by all accounts, full. 3,500 souls gathered to celebrate the Resurrection. We welcomed probably about 2,000 at the 8am, and much more than last year, about 2,500 at the 12:30pm.
The music was beautiful, I was so grateful and pleased at our teams of ushers and greeters who welcomed every single person to Mass on Easter. And I was struck by the simple and genuine goodness of so many people all at once, people I haven’t caught up with in a while and others who had returned for the holiday. You are a good family to belong to.
As with any temporary space, there were some technical imperfections – we do our best, I can honestly say – and I also only got one critical email about the day… Out of How Many? That isn’t a bad record. I thank all of you for your good hearted support and wonderful participation in the day. As I’ve said before, if you remember what it used to be like before we started going to Expo, you know what an amazing advance this is, and we still work at making it better every year. Imagine. If we had about 8,000 people for Masses on Easter Sunday — plus another 700 at the Vigil — that would mean that we would have needed to schedule 13 Masses in the church on Easter morning! As my friend says, “Nuff said.”
I did offer an introduction at the Masses on Sunday that was detailed but, I felt, important to give those attending Mass an idea of what we hope to be about in the coming year, as a preview. I explained that we are a community with a clear vision: to seek a real relationship with God, and a real relationship with the community in the context of our everyday lives.
We want to promote a culture where you can truly feel that the Church is at the center of your life.
This involves personal responsibility, an active commitment to prayer and service. Our parish is only as generous as each of us, with our time, our gifts and our resources to grow and add to our 90 ministries, to continue our parish tithe of 12% of all income to the poor.
Watch in coming weeks for our new schedule filled with adult education opportunities, Catholicism, Bible studies, book discussion groups, Life in the Spirit Seminars, Prayer and Life Workshops, hopefully a discernment group and a massive prayer ministry to come. We are adding parish health ministry and reaching out to our poor and homeless in new and effective ways with our partnerships in the community of Fredericksburg. We want to be intentional disciples of Jesus.
Go to the website www.stmaryfred.org and click on the SUBSCRIBE button – and you will get updates and announcements to keep in touch.
May God bless you.