Something new…

Every once in a while we need to stop and look around and ponder what we see.  When I look around I see lots of new and wonderful things that weren’t here a year ago.  We have a new space, the San Damiano Center at the corner of Florida Ave. and Madison.  It has allowed us to hold sacramental preparation for our children here in the locale of the church.  The space hosts Bible Study, workshops, meetings, and even retreats.  Two weeks ago it hosted the first Dismas Ministry meeting.

The Dismas Ministry is part of the “portfolio” under the banner of Franciscan Care Ministries lead by Fr. Sean and a whole host of wonderful parishioners.  Other ministries in that portfolio are “Bereavement Care,” “Divorced and Separated Care,” “Franciscan Hands of Hope,” an expansion of the Eucharistic Ministry at Tampa General, all the while continuing the prison ministry, and ministry for the AA community.  So much good being done for the greater glory of God – and so much of it new in the last year.

One of the things that surprised me when I became pastor was the absence of social events – the community getting together because we wanted to share a meal, some fun, and our friendships.  But this is just another area in which there are new things!  Last Fall, we had a parish gala (there is another coming up – Oct 12th – Save the Date).  Next weekend, we will have a parish picnic at the Sacred Heart Academy campus – in the words of Bob Barker – “Come on down!”

This year has seen a wonderful growth and energy in our Children’s Faith Formation programs (Sunday catechism, children’s liturgy of the Word, and sacramental preparation).  We have so many new and vibrant volunteers – that it almost all seems new.

In every corner and aspect of the parish, there is something new, lively, and Spirit-filled.  We seem to be on the leading edge of Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.”  Our end of the earth is here in downtown Tampa – and what a change we have seen in one year.  I can’t wait to see more people catch the Spirit and can only imagine what we will be able to see a year from now!

Every once in a while we need to stop and look around and ponder what we see.  When I look around I see lots of new and wonderful things that weren’t here a year ago.  We have a new space, the San Damiano Center at the corner of Florida Ave. and Madison.  It has allowed us to hold sacramental preparation for our children here in the locale of the church.  The space hosts Bible Study, workshops, meetings, and even retreats.  Two weeks ago it hosted the first Dismas Ministry meeting.

The Dismas Ministry is part of the “portfolio” under the banner of Franciscan Care Ministries lead by Fr. Sean and a whole host of wonderful parishioners.  Other ministries in that portfolio are “Bereavement Care,” “Divorced and Separated Care,” “Franciscan Hands of Hope,” an expansion of the Eucharistic Ministry at Tampa General, all the while continuing the prison ministry, and ministry for the AA community.  So much good being done for the greater glory of God – and so much of it new in the last year.

One of the things that surprised me when I became pastor was the absence of social events – the community getting together because we wanted to share a meal, some fun, and our friendships.  But this is just another area in which there are new things!  Last Fall, we had a parish gala (there is another coming up – Oct 12th – Save the Date).  Next weekend, we will have a parish picnic at the Sacred Heart Academy campus – in the words of Bob Barker – “Come on down!”

This year has seen a wonderful growth and energy in our Children’s Faith Formation programs (Sunday catechism, children’s liturgy of the Word, and sacramental preparation).  We have so many new and vibrant volunteers – that it almost all seems new.

In every corner and aspect of the parish, there is something new, lively, and Spirit-filled.  We seem to be on the leading edge of Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.”  Our end of the earth is here in downtown Tampa – and what a change we have seen in one year.  I can’t wait to see more people catch the Spirit and can only imagine what we will be able to see a year from now!