Though seasons change

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Made a road trip today back to the Northwest to pick up a few remaining things and to reconnect again with some wonderful gentlemen who have come to mean a great deal to me. Though life shifts and seasons change, it’s a beautiful moment to get together and remember how good God has been. I am deeply grateful. 

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What now?

10645244_1258324200848411_647404602284917900_n.jpgAlleluia! Alleluia! Christ has risen, he has risen indeed.

What happens now? We know very well what to do during the forty days of Lent. We are to fast, pray, and give alms.

We are to celebrate Reconciliation and participate in devotions such as Stations of the Cross. Suddenly, a season greater than Lent comes with Paschal Joy of fifty days, and we may be unsure of what to do with ourselves. That’s where we have to look to the Gospels throughout this whole octave of the Paschal event. In the post-Resurrection accounts, some disciples returned to their ordinary lives as fishermen, another was in disbelief of the Resurrection until he placed his hands on our Lord’s side, others brought oil to anoint the dead body, others left Jerusalem and spoke about his death on their way to Emmaus. All those who believed in Jesus returned to their ordinary lives until they personally encountered him!

On a side note, I’ve always been fascinated with why there was no recorded encounter of Jesus appearing to Mary his mother, before anyone else. I suspect that he had to appear to his disciples in order to strengthen their faith and did not appear to Mary his mother because she already believed and knew it would happen!

So for us, we must be attentive to the Lord who calls us intimately by our name as we encounter his Resurrection in the Eucharist. To be a disciple is to announce that Christ is greater that our concerns, our inner battles, our imperfections, our illness, our own sins. The glory of his Resurrection assures us of the life to come!

Throughout these 8 days of the Paschal Octave after the Responsorial Psalm, we stand to pray the Easter Sequence which poetically speaks of today’s Gospel. It is a dialogue between the disciples of Jesus and Mary Magdalene after returning from the empty tomb.

Since the 8th century in France, the Church celebrated many sequences in her liturgy. After the Second Vatican Council, the Church retained four sequences: Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, and the Stabat Mater. In the ancient liturgy, the First Reading followed the Gradual which we know today as the Responsorial Psalm. Each Gradual ended with the word Alleluia. The “a” in the last syllable of the Alleluia, was elongated with a very long series of notes. It was a musical technique known as a melisma. A melisma was called a sequencia or jubilus. And from the sequencia or jubilus was born the poetry which we recite today.

We stand to recite the Sequence because it is our Jubilee, it is the extension of our Alleluia. To stand and recite the sequence expresses our readiness to go and announce his Resurrection! Alleluia! Alleluia! “The tomb of Christ, who is living, the glory of Jesus’ resurrection; bright angels attesting, the shroud of napkin resting. Yes, Christ, my hope has arisen!” Alleluia! Alleluia!

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The first paragraph to a new chapter

“Concrete, tender, and humble … this is how evangelization will be joyful. Evangelization cannot be presumptuous.  The integrity of the truth cannot be rigid.  The Spirit proclaims and teaches “the whole truth” (cf. Jn 16:3), and he is not afraid to do this one sip at a time.  The Spirit tells us in every situation what we need to say to our enemies (cf. Mt 10:19), and at those times he illumines our every small step forward.  This meekness and integrity gives joy to the poor, revives sinners, and grants relief to those oppressed by the devil.” – Pope Francis’ homily at Chrism Mass 2017

With these words of the Holy Father, I am happy to share that I have been hired as Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation at Saint Brendan the Navigator Catholic Parish in San Franciso. This will be a full-time position beginning on July 1. Here is the Easter Article introducing me to the parish.

Coming to Saint Brendan Parish as a full-time employee is fitting. Many years ago, Saint Brendan was my second home as a seminarian. The pastor took me in and nurtured my vocation and even to this day has remained a good friend. Many stories, countless memories, vibrations of a laughter seem to whisper in my memory as I sat in the office very recently to fill out paperwork one has to go through as a new employee. If only the walls could speak …! I had to stop but for a moment, take a deep breath … and remember such fond memories and friends who have passed through Brendan’s 1930 rectory.

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2006 – a chapter when Saint Brendan the Navigator Parish was my second home

Being a son of Saint Brendan truly made me appreciate San Francisco, its rich diversity, and through the example of the pastor at that time, I learned how to be a recipient of kind hospitality and its importance to exercise it for effective ministry.

Saint Brendan was built in 1929 as a response to the growing Catholic communities in neighboring Churches particularly Saint Anne of the Sunset, Saint Cecilia, and Saint Emydius at that time. It’s school opened in 1947 and the Dominican Sisters of Adrian Michigan came and established their convent setting a standard of educational excellence that is still practiced to this day. Cheers to a wonderful new beginning!

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2006 – Thanksgiving Mass at Saint Brendan

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2013. A picture with my new boss, Father Roger Gustafson, pastor of Saint Brendan Parish.

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