Guest column from Father Joshua Allen:
We have a number of exciting things happening at St. Brigid this spring…new life in the world, and new life in the Parish. I wanted to take this column to update you on some of our recent developments.
Brumbelow Road Entrance:
As you have undoubtedly seen, we are working on a new entrance to the Church & School campus. The Brumbelow road project is progressing, albeit slowly. Essentially, we are on hold because of weather. The ground needs to be graded, and this cannot be done unless it is dry. We really need two weeks without rain, and this has been an unusually wet year! For those of you who enjoy our North Georgia lakes, it’s great news. For a little parish in Johns Creek trying to get a new entrance finished, it’s the pits. I began wondering a few weeks ago which would happen first: the completion of the project or Atlanta winning a Super Bowl!
Nevertheless, we anticipate the new entrance being done hopefully by the end of May. Friends, remember: this is your Annual Appeal dollars at work. Whatever is submitted to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal above and beyond our requirement is returned to our parish. When it is a large enough amount, it allows for large capital improvements like our entrance. If you have not contributed to the Annual Appeal this year, please consider making a donation!
Corpus Christi Procession:
This year on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ—known throughout the Church as Corpus Christi—we intend to have a Eucharistic Procession here at the parish. Many of you might remember Eucharistic Processions from your youth in parishes—especially up north. Our procession will begin immediately after the 7:30 AM Mass on Sunday, June 2, probably around 8:30 AM. We will process (hopefully!!) to our new entrance, up Brumbelow, past the Bank of America, and back through our second Old Alabama entrance. It will be a wonderful way to witness to the Eucharistic faith that we profess as Catholics. We will finish with Benediction on our front steps, and then we will begin the 9 AM Mass. I hope your family can make it, and that this can become an annual event for us.
If you knew, you might be surprised at just how many families experience the loss of a child before birth. Many families endure the difficulty of miscarriage, and they do it alone. This is not the intention of the Church, and at Saint Brigid, we never want families to feel alone when they lose an unborn child! This is the reality of being pro-life: losing a child in the womb is every bit as difficult as losing a young child.
In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, a new ministry called Embrace has been formed, specifically ministering to families dealing with miscarriages and the deaths of young children. We are starting this ministry here at the parish, and I encourage you to look for the information that will be in forthcoming bulletins about it.
Please know that if there is ever anything that we can do for you, all of our clergy are ready and willing to assist families who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or who have lost their baby. Please know that those children should have funeral Masses! They were part of our parish too, and we love them!
Also look for the announcement of an Embrace ministry Mass, celebrating the life of all of the children in our parish who have died before birth or shortly after. For more information, or if you are interested in helping, please contact the parish office.
High School Discernment Group:
I mentioned at a few of my homilies recently the number of young men who are considering vocations to the priesthood in our parish. There are really a lot of them. I know of around 30 young men between 8th and 12th grades who are considering the priesthood more or less seriously. And I’m sure there are more…these are just the ones to whom I have spoken.
I once visited the parish of a priest friend of mine: they had produced 12 priests, and there were 18 seminarians from that one parish. Now that’s some serious generosity! Vocations tend to build upon one another: when a parish program gets strong, the number of guys who overcome their fears and respond generously to God increases dramatically.
My friends, I think Saint Brigid could do the same! We are forming a discernment group for High School guys which will begin meeting on a regular basis. Our first meeting will be in June…please look for details to follow in the Bulletin.
Our Lord has called each of us by name, and he has already decided whether we are meant to spend our lives as priests, as religious, or as married men and women. The difficulty lies in discerning the life to which he has called us. One thing is certain: doing the will of God can be scary, but it’s the one sure way to happiness! Never be afraid to be generous with God, for he will not be outdone in generosity!
I hope you have a wonderful week! See you next Sunday.