Dearly Beloved in Christ:
Many of you by now, are probably aware that we are having some problems with the phone lines at the office. At the time of writing this letter, the lines were still down. We have been in touch with the phone company and while they promise that they are working to fix the problem, they were unable to give us a timeline as to when it would be fixed. We thank you for your patience and understanding thus far. Please contact the office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or if you are in need of immediate assistance with a sacramental emergency, kindly call the parish emergency number – 409-354-6598.
As a community surrounded by water, today’s Gospel is close to home. Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, were invited to become more than fishermen and to embrace the vocation of fishing for men. That is, they are to become co-gatherers with the Lord in inviting people to the household of God. This vocation of serving as bridges of fellowship among people is as critical today as ever. With so much rancor, turmoil and division in our society today, there is an urgent need for us to serve as agents of community building.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls those who work for peace children of God (cf. Matthew 5:9). Christ himself is our peace for he is the one who reconciles us to God and with each other (see: Ephesians 2:14). Peacemakers, therefore, are those who work as agents of reconciliation, seeking always to build bridges among people. Having been reconciled themselves with God, with others and with oneself, they are better able to serve as God’s ambassadors of mercy and reconciliation (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Do we daily strive to be God’s ambassadors of mercy and reconciliation? How are you seeking to be hospitable and welcoming today? Are you committed to working for a one Holy Family Parish that is united in the joy of the Holy Spirit and in charity as missionary disciples? May we never get tired of praying and working for peace and harmony among all people. See page 9 for a prayer for unity in Galveston.
Do you know that January is Poverty Awareness Month? It is estimated that about 46 million Americans are living in poverty. When considered worldwide, the number of those who are in the grips of different forms of poverty is
mindboggling. This realization could make one feel inadequate to make any meaningful contribution to help alleviate the conditions of those who live in poverty. The invitation is to do the little we can, starting from our immediate community. In our parish, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVdP) provides assistance to our brothers and sisters in need. Please consider supporting this wonderful ministry by contributing to the SVdP Black Bag Collection next weekend (January 27/28) as well as to their 3rd Annual Sock and Underwear Drive (February 3 – March 11). See page 10 for more information about these important initiatives.
Be reminded that, starting on the first weekend in February of this year (February 3/4), we will be introducing more opportunities for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions) and Anointing of the Sick, 24-Hour Eucharistic Adoration as well as new mass and CCE times. The new schedule is listed on page 8 of this bulletin. The new changes are in bold font for easy identification. These changes are fruits of our collective discernment as a parish through the Parish Town Hall meetings we had last October. Again, note that the start date for these new changes is the weekend of February 3/4 2018.
The Archdiocesan 13th Annual Steps4Students 5k Run/Walk, which helps to raise funds for Catholic education in our diocese, is scheduled for Saturday, February 17, 2018 in front of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Downtown Houston. Our Holy Family Catholic School will be participating in this event. To register, go to steps4students.org and select the “REGISTER” on the top of the page; next, click the “JOIN” button next to Holy Family (Rita Hesse). If you would rather hit the snooze button on that day, you can still support us by making a donation either online through the above webpage or via regular mail to the parish office. Please help me reach my goal to raise $10,000.00 to support our Holy Family School by donating online at https://steps4students.org/myfundraising/?kwofrid=JLYM3E9 or offline by sending your contribution to the parish office. Thank you for supporting Catholic education!
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Jude Ekenedilichukwu Ezuma