Dear Brothers and Sister,

In the ritual for Mass, the Church provides a communion antiphon that calls to mind the significance of the sacred Eucharist we are about to receive. These antiphons are used when a communion hymn is not sung. The options for this Sunday’s communion antiphon are simple and very familiar scripture passages that make for a nice reflection.

Ps. 42: 2-3 Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God.

Throughout our local area we advertise the R.C.I.A. program, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adult. This program supports and educates individuals that desire to enter the Catholic Church. People come to this program from many spiritual backgrounds. Some are unbaptized, others are baptized in another Christian tradition and are now requesting full communion with the Catholic Church, and a few are uncatechized Catholics who have not received the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. No matter their background, they come with a deep yearning for faith – to know and experience God. It’s a very powerful time in their lives and the lives of those preparing them. The transformation that takes place is evident by their excitement when making their profession of faith at the Easter Vigil. Their thirst for the living God is celebrated and proclaimed in their willingness to embrace the life of a disciple.

In this program it is easy to see individuals yearning and thirsting for the running streams. But what happens after, when the program complete and classes are over? Well… only God knows the human heart. I’m reflecting on this question: Do they have people in their lives and in the church that witness to the living God?

For me this takes some self-reflection. As a priest, do I model yearning and thirsting to know Jesus in a more profound way? If I’m just “doing” the rituals, is that an excitement that is contagious? Think about your engagement and participation in the Mass, parish life, prayer, and the care for others. Does it express a yearning for the running stream or a soul that is truly thirsty?

We live in a very challenging time as we continue to deal with the reality of this pandemic. This by no means is an excuse for us to be a deer in the headlights and stop living and evangelizing our faith. Be creative, be thirsty, and be a model of the living God that can support the yearning and thirst of others.

Jn 8:12  I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light life.

I’m sure that all of our hearts and prayers are flooding the ears of Jesus for the many people who have experienced tragedies in recent days. Locally and abroad our brothers and sister of all backgrounds have been faced with challenges that many of us cannot even comprehend. Jesus said that he is the light of the world. It is our responsibility to bring this light to those that may be in any form of darkness. There are three meaningful ways we can do this.

First, we ourselves must not ignore the plight of others. In doing so, we blind ourselves to our call to the service of our brothers and sisters. After the washing of the feet of his disciples, Jesus says to them: as I have done so should you (paraphrased). By being aware of the needs of others, even a world away, we practice the principle of solidarity And unite our hearts and minds in mutual support and care. Secondly, remind or inform others of the challenges that people are facing, and stay focused on the human person and their needs. It’s admittedly difficult to not become distracted by other conversations, stories, and opinions. Lastly, do what we do best: trust in the true light of life. Our trust must be firm because theirs may be wavering or may not even exist. Our trust in Jesus’ words will express hope and comfort that Jesus walks with them as he walks with us as our light of life.

This weekend we celebrate Labor Day, a civic holiday that reminds us of the dignity of work. As we continue to move through this pandemic our ability and understanding of work have been transformed. Obviously, there are many different forms of human labor. Some we see but many people perform tasks that are not seen but are essential to the progress of humanity. Let us say a special prayer of thanksgiving for the perseverance of so many in their work through these challenging times.

This week I blessed the new Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium. The St. James chapel has been transformed into a beautiful space for spiritual growth and faith formation of 3-to-6 year olds. I love it when we get a glimpse into God’s plan for us. I didn’t realize until that blessing that the emblem that is on the front of the alter shows Jesus surrounded by children. Coincidence? I don’t think so. For more information contact Colleen Houk. (or visit

Information about the Poland and Eastern Europe Pilgrimage is now available on the parish website, or you can call the parish office. There is a general information meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 30th at 7p.m. in the St. Clement Hall.

A letter from Bishop Malesic is attached regarding updates on our Covid-19 response. You will notice that masks are being encouraged. Please consider your response to the new challenges, especially in large gatherings and when receiving communion. Link: Bishop Malesic’s message.

Let us stay strong in the light of Christ as we yearn to serve him in and through our neighbors.

Christ Joy!
Fr. Workman