I'm about to gush about Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish for the billionth time. A quick search pulled the following entries:
Those are just the ones I found doing a quick search. I know I've written about this parish and its pastor plenty of times. In fact, should MY pastor ever figure out I've got a blog, he might be inclined to think I'm playing favorites. *Grin*
Truth be told, you guys know I love my priests - all of them. And I view each of them as gifts. I adore my pastor, but I try not to write about my actual home parish for privacy reasons.
That being said, I LOVE this priest, and I love the community he has built up in Collingswood. If you're ever lucky enough to find yourself in S. Jersey and in need of an evening Mass, stop on by. Fr. John will welcome you with open arms and an educational homily that stirs both your intellect and your heart.
God bless him, he's a true pastor in this regard. He takes time to teach his parishioners, and he teaches straight from his super-sized heart.
He doesn't just teach during the homily, either. He pointed out the liturgical colors of the 4th Sunday at the beginning of Mass, and also touched on why the readings and music were thematically different from those we hear the rest of Lent.
After all, we've now reached the midway point. Though we still face the night, we see dawn on the horizon. The light of the Resurrection - Christ's triumph over sin and death - is awaiting us should we persevere in His Way just a little longer.
The music director chose an entrance song I'd never heard before. I snapped a photo of the missal after Mass so I wouldn't forget it. Have any of you (barring Frank K. or his wife who, I feel, have a terribly unfair advantage - ha!) ever heard of it?
The Recessional Hymn was a favorite from childhood - Lead Me, Lord. All you trads out there, try not to roll your eyes too much at me. I enjoy uplifting songs at the end of Mass, especially when they are warranted and flow with the message of Mass. This was perfect.
Offertory / Communion songs were also fitting. Kudos to the music director - really. In truth, he always does a great job, but last night's selections were just so spot on that I couldn't help but say a prayer of thanks for his subtle highlighting of theme.
But back to the pastor. His homily was STELLAR. He's a homilist who can happily run on for 20 minutes. Best part? He's a homilist you don't mind listening to if he does stretch his time. I love that he's not worried about keeping within a restrictive time limit. He's not afraid to expound or share anecdotes that color God's movements in his life. He shares what's in his heart and what's in his heart is a complete reflection of the Gospel message.
He made a great point about "the poor" last night. So often we talk about "the poor" during Lent, offering prayers and alms for "the poor." We need to shift our view and recognize them as "our poor." These people belong to us. They are our responsibility and God gifted them to us as ways to act in the name of Divine Providence. We can and must reach out with love to these brothers and sisters. I just found that reflection to be beautiful.
Alright, I'm gonna stop now because I'll just wax poetic for another mindless 10 paragraphs. I'll spare you, but be warned... I'll likely be bringing up BTC in the future. BTC and Mary, Mother of the Church (St. Rita's Parish) are my two buddies. If I'm not at my home parish (which I also love), I'm hanging out with one of them.