31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

 My Dear Friends in Christ, 

As we celebrate the Vocation Awareness Week, I would ask you to continue to pray for the many young people in our parishes. While our young people face many challenges in responding to God’s call, there are some signs of hope for the future of the Church. There is an increase in the number of seminarians studying for the priesthood in the United States as well an increase in vocation to religious life. Please encourage any young person in the Diocese of Toledo who is discerning the call to priesthood or religious life to contact their Pastor for guidance and direction. Pray, also, for the young people in your life to listen to where God is directing them. 

In our reading from Wisdom this week we are reminded that God can do all things. The simple fact that we are here is a sign that God has called us to a purpose in this life. In our Gospel we find, Zacchaeus, a tax collector, willing to go out on a limb to get to know Jesus better. The crowds were shocked that Jesus chose a sinner to stay with- blinded by their own judgmental attitudes. Like Jesus we are called to love everyone, look beyond their sin, and see their goodness. We must “climb up”, see our own sinfulness, show repentance, and choose Christ as the center of our life. When we trust in God’s love enough to admit our failings, then we can receive his gift of salvation. 

Last Sunday, it was wonderful to see all our Religious Education catechists, students, and parents at the 8 am Mass! The students did an excellent job greeting, lecturing, and presenting the gifts. Thanks to the catechists and parents for their hard work preparing the students. Thanks, also, to the team of catechists who worked to organize the Mass and prepare the students. Experiences such as Children’s Masses and the Family Classes (held after Mass last Sunday) are a wonderful way to strengthen the family bond and help young people learn to listen to God’s call in their own life. 

I invite you to come out to our annual pre-thanksgiving Epiphany of the Lord Feather Party at St. Stephen on November 17. If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, please do so. I look forward to seeing everyone there for some delicious chicken paprikas and Hungarian pastries! 

Please keep me in your prayers and be assured you are always in mine. 

It is my joy to serve you as your pastor! 

Fr. Gilbert Mascarenhas SAC 

“True devotion to the Madonna consists in imitating her Son and learning from her how to imitate him.” – St. Vincent Pallotti