Come to the Town Hall
Stuffed in the bulletin this weekend is the proposed Family of Parishes for our area. The bulletin was sent to the printer on Tuesday and the priests had our meeting unveiling the proposed families on Wednesday. This means that, when I wrote this article, the new families were still a mystery.
With that in mind, I realize that there are a number of questions and concerns that this brings up. I would like to hear what is going on in your heart and mind. Also I would like to talk with you about this process. Most importantly, I’d like to pray with you to surrender this to Our Lord. There are two town halls scheduled. The first will be on Thursday, October 7th at 7:00pm in the Church at St. Joseph. There will be a second town hall the following day, Friday, October 8th at 10:00am at Immaculate Conception in the Church.
I would like to see you there. It will be an opportunity for us to listen to each other, pray together, and look toward the future. I know that there is so much uncertainty, which worries me as much as the next person. Coming together to pray and discuss is vitally important for us. Isolation will breed fear, rumors, and disunity. So please come to one of the town halls, even if you aren’t worried about the Beacons of Light or don’t have anything to say or ask. It will simply be important to gather, listen, and pray.
Marriages at Our Parishes
In the Gospel this week, Jesus speaks strongly about marriage and its permanence. This provides an opportunity to announce a couple changes about marriage preparation and weddings at our parishes.
We have revamped the process of preparation and are utilizing a program called “Witness to Love.” Part of the “Witness to Love” process is that couples will choose their own mentor couple. The mentor couple will be coached on how to witness to their love and the beauty of marriage. Engaged couples will be given some criteria for their mentor couple such as: active Catholics, married at least 5 years, etc.
I’m informing everyone about this so that you are aware; if you are married, an engaged couple may ask you to be their mentor couple. Young couples may admire your marriage and want to learn from you. Please be generous in saying ‘yes.’ Be courageous in sharing the beauty of married love with couples preparing for this important part of their life.
There is another change about weddings and that is concerning the unity candle. The unity candle is not part of the Catholic Rite of Marriage, therefore it does not take place during the Wedding Ceremony. Like many other neighboring parishes, the unity candle won’t occur during weddings at the Petersburg Parishes. In the past the unity candle was utilized, however the marriage ritual is rich with symbolism such as the rings, the sign of peace, and the Eucharistic Sacrifice. A more fitting time for the unity candle could be the rehearsal dinner or the reception.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson