Epiphany of the Lord
My Dear Friends in Christ,
HAPPY PARISH FEAST DAY! It has been six and a half years (July 1, 2013) since the Catholics on the east side of Toledo have come together as one parish. I am privileged to have had a part in Epiphany of the Lord Parish since my days as an associate pastor in 2014 to today, my second Parish Feast as your pastor. I am grateful that we are all here together this weekend at our St. Stephen Campus to celebrate.
Epiphany is a Greek word, meaning that something, unknown before, is now made visible for everyone to contemplate clearly. What is it that we celebrate on this feast? Christ made Himself known to the magi who were the first non-Jews to come to know him. Today’s gospel shows how Jesus came into the world to save all, not only the Jews. Our parish is for all who come to worship here. As the Holy Family welcomed the magi, we welcome those who are new to the parish, new to the Catholic faith, and/or returning to the parish or faith after an absence. How do we make ourselves visible as Epiphany of the Lord Parishioners? What are people called to see in us as members of this Parish?
It is important that as we move into 2020, we continue to grow our parish identity as Epiphany of the Lord Parish and create traditions that are a part of that dynamic. What do you tell people about our parish? How do you describe or define us? What new or different traditions would you like to help bring to our parish in 2020?
We are now in our first week of the New Year. We have said goodbye to 2019 and we are coming near to the close of our Christmas celebrations. For some, it means returning to school or work, for others it may mean a change in careers and for me, it will mean my annual visit back to my country to visit my family and my community. It is an exciting time for all of us as together we journey into a new beginning, and I pray that the upcoming year will bring you an abundance of happiness, peace, and joy.
The Christmas season officially ends with the Baptism of the Lord, celebrated on January 12. The beautiful decorations will come down and we will celebrate the ordinary time of the Church year. Before you know it we will enter into the season of Lent. Mark your calendars to “save the date” for Tetelestai– the musical passion experience being presented at our parish the weekend of March 27, 28, and 29. The Pastoral Council will keep you updated, as we get closer, regarding details, volunteer needs, and hospitality assistance.
I will leave for India on Monday, January 6 and will return February 6. Please stay tuned to the parish Facebook page and the bulletin as I will do my best to keep everyone apprised of my experiences while back home. I leave in the confidence that you are in the best of hands with Fr. Melwin, our deacons, and our parish staff. I ask that you keep me in your prayers and rest assured you will remain in mine.
Until we see each other again,
Fr. Gilbert Mascarenhas SAC