5th Sunday of Easter
Dear Epiphany Family,
We thank and praise God for the gift of Fr. Melwin and his service here at Epiphany! His “yes” to the Lord, first given in India, has helped bring Jesus to our parish family in a powerful way. Let us both congratulate him and most importantly pray for him as he prepares to begin his new assignment as pastor of St. Michael Ridge and St. Isidore, Marysdale and the Bend (all in rural Defiance county) this summer.
Year by year priestly assignments have become more difficult to fill due to retirements of priests outnumbering ordinations. While it is difficult for our parish to lose Fr. Melwin and not have another associate to come serve us, there are many needs for priests throughout the diocese. We have been blessed by Fr. Melwin and other international priests who have come to the diocese to help lessen the shortage, but we all must pray for and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. I write this message on Good Shepherd Sunday (4th Sunday of Easter) which is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, continues to call men to the priesthood and men and women to the consecrated religious life, but our prayers and encouragement are needed to help them to hear His voice. We are all also called to listen to His voice in our lives and respond to our first common vocation to follow him more closely and grow in holiness. Let us pray:
Father, we’re your people, the work of your hands.
So precious are we in your sight that you sent your Son, Jesus.
Jesus calls us to heal the broken-hearted,
to dry the tears of those who mourn, to give hope to those who despair,
and to rejoice in your steadfast love.
We, the baptized, realize our call to serve.
Help us to know how.
Call forth from among us priests, sisters, brothers and lay ministers.
With our hearts you continue to love your people.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.