NEWPORT — The weekend after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, more than 150 college students representing 18 different schools gathered here for the first GOFISH Getaway. The social retreat was designed to bring together young Catholics from across Oregon in celebration of Easter.
“A Year of Prayer for our Priests” is a ministry of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. We share the joy of this devotion with all Oregon Catholics. A day each month is set aside to pray for the names of priests serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them and all priests, deacons and religious in your daily prayers.
We are all familiar with the popular riddle, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Although this riddle has no real answer, I would like to propose another riddle along the same lines that does have an answer: “Which came first, the archdiocese or the parish (or the school, or the Catholic institution, etc.)?”
Back in November, I told you how excited I was to be a part of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly, a gathering of 110 parishes and more than 300 people. It was truly a wonderful experience of what it means to be the Body of Christ in mission for the sake of the Gospel. The assembly set pastoral priorities for the next three years, including voicing a strong desire for the Church to continue to emphasize works of mercy in the spirit of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
During this year in which we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, as promised I would like to reflect with all of you on the message that Our Lady left us. St. John Paul II stated that her message is even more relevant and urgent today than when it was first given.
Before diving into the essential message that our Blessed Mother gave to the children of Fatima (Lucia, Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco), it is important to recall that these apparitions officially have been approved by the Church.
Faith communities are rediscovering the theology of hospitality and it is highly related to all of our ministries. We no longer lukewarmly welcome visitors, but enthusiastically expect them. Instead of simply trying to fit them in, we need to plan for the stranger.
Our celebration is a pledge to unite men and women. It is a pledge to acknowledge our unity in the Risen Lord even at a time when our disunity is manifest whenever we read the daily newspaper or tune in the evening news.