Fr. Kevin’s Column 6/13/21

Dear friends of God,

This weekend we celebrate the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time. We are back to the “ordinary” of Ordinary Time. We call this time “ordinary” time not because it is boring and unimportant. The name simply comes from the fact that the weeks are counted. Ordinary comes from the word ordinal which means number. After the fifty-day feast of Easter, we celebrated two Sundays that were solemnities or feast days of the Church. These were our feast day of Holy Trinity and this last week we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi. I was speaking to a woman from our community last weekend who said that as a parish when you were discerning names for our parish, she had suggested the name Corpus Christi. Even though I love our name Holy Trinity, I connect deeply with the understanding that as a parish and as baptized people we are invited into the life of the Holy Trinity to become a community of love. I also have a deep appreciation for Corpus Christi. We are fed by the Word of God and nourished by the Body and Blood of the Lord to become the Body of Christ for the life of the world. Just as we celebrate the body of Christ broken for us and his blood outpoured for us, we are called to share the unity of Christ even amidst our fragmented world. Either name would serve as a reminder that God is continually making us his own out of love for each one of us and the community that he has called us to be in this time and place.

It is difficult to believe that I just celebrated 20 years as a priest for our Church of Saginaw. June 10th was a particularly hot Sunday afternoon at St. Mary Cathedral. That was before the renovation of the Cathedral and the use of air conditioning in the church. Surrounded by my family and friends, as well as brother priests and people from around the diocese, Bishop Ken Untener ordained me for priestly service. I am an emotional person and I cried for much of the Mass. They were definitely tears of joy. That day continues to inspire me in my call to ministry.

In these years of ministry, I have served across the diocese but I have primarily been assigned to the west side of the diocese with three different assignments in Midland, once as an associate pastor and twice as pastor. My first assignment as a pastor was in Gratiot County in Alma and St. Louis. The parishes were the Church of St. Mary and Mt. St. Joseph. I also served as a pastor of the school in Alma. It is always a special gift to pastor a Catholic school. I am fortunate to serve here in Pinconning with our own marvelous school. In Gratiot County, I also had the opportunity to minister at Alma College as well as the state prisons in St. Louis. I learned so much in those six years from all the experiences that I was graced to have as a younger pastor. Bishop Ken told me before he died that there was sometime particularly important about a priest’s first assignment as pastor, and that those experiences would continue to affect the priest for all of his years of ministry. I have found this to be true in my own life.

The beautiful gift of any ministry and this is certainly true of parish pastoral ministry, is that I continue to encounter opportunities for growth. Each parish has taught me something important about what it means to be a priest, a Catholic Christian and as a human being. Any call to ministry flows from our baptism into the life of Jesus Christ, and Jesus is always present to us in the gift of the Holy Spirit. In a real way, Jesus is the teacher within each of us calling us to be his students and to take up our own crosses and follow him. Thank you for the gift of following Jesus with each of you as Holy Trinity Parish.
 
Much Love,
Fr. Kevin