In my inaugural letter to you, my Beloved in Christ, I indicated that I embraced the news of my assignment to serve as your new pastor with joy and trepidation. I would like to say a little more about my trepidation because it has to do with transitions in general. As a parish family, we are currently undergoing a transition of clergy staff and we are all affected in one way or the other by this change.
Change is inevitable in life. What is more crucial is how we navigate them. If we approach them with honesty, in the context of prayer, never afraid to dialogue with individuals who can offer meaningful guidance and encouragement, then our chances of dealing with them in a healthy manner so as to experience newness and fulfillment increases exponentially.
This healthy process, I believe, begins with an acknowledgment of how the changes we are experiencing are affecting us. It is common to have ambiguous emotional reactions when we are experiencing transitions. Depending on the nature of the change in question and the circumstances surrounding it, we may feel anxious, restless, uncertain, fearful or emotionally ambiguous. Whatever the case might be, what is more important is how we choose to respond.
Therefore, I am encouraging us, as a parish family, to be mutually supportive as we navigate this period of transition. First, let us strive to be patient with each other and with ourselves. In this regard, today’s Gospel on the Parable of the Sower is providential. Sowing seeds requires patience, implies good faith and inspires hope – facts that are known to every good farmer/ gardener. Also, let us not forget the generosity of the Sower who lavishly sows on different soil types. We too, in navigating this period of transition, will experience occasional failures, disappointments and setbacks. It is my hope that we will never despair in the face of such challenges but continue to be generous in our efforts to build up our one Holy Family parish. We are all in this together! Here too, St. Paul’s words to the Roman community in today’s Second Reading offer us great encouragement.
Secondly and perhaps, more importantly, let us be steadfast in our prayers. Let our prayer for each other be founded on the realization that God is our Shepherd, who always leads His people along the right paths (cf. Psalm 23:3). May we always seek to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, amen!
We are grateful to the archdiocese for assisting the parish to replace a broken AC unit at St. Mary’s Basilica and for the repair works done on the air-duct at the Basilica rectory. As part of our ongoing transitions, the Basilica rectory will become the new residence for the priests in the coming weeks. This will bring more presence to the Basilica and hopefully help with security concerns as well. I will be dialoging with the Pastoral Council and the members of the Master Plan Committee on how to best utilize the rectories at St. Patrick and Sacred Heart.
Finally, may we listen attentively to each other in a spirit of mutual dialogue. As always, may we commit and work to becoming in name and in deed, one holy family, united in the joy of the Holy Spirit and charity, as missionary disciples.
In Christ’s love, I am Yours truly
Fr. Jude Ekenedilichukwu Ezuma