September 29, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

My view is changing daily. When I first arrived, before the newly paved parking lot, the tree line encroached much more closely to the rectory. I miss the trees. I miss the shade in the summer, the colorful leaves in the fall, the branches that captured snow in the winter and the buds in spring signifying new life. There is still a tree line, I just have to look a little farther for these same signs that nature and its rhythms are inviting me to experience the beauty of a world greater than anything I could ever contemplate.

Where there was once a pavilion, there is a larger structure taking form. A concrete expression to all the planning for the hope that, “Someday we may have a parish center.” Now, the question is becoming “What do you think?”

You can view it in the pictures that capture its development. I believe that these pictures contain more than just the start of a building. For there in the multi-purpose room, is the first outline of a gathering place for our parish family. Hospitality will be shared with those who gather in the Church for Mass. And Mass will be celebrated. Prayers services will be experienced, rosaries will be prayed, candles will be lit, hymns will be sung and incense will fill this space. Families will celebrate their baby’s baptism and their child’s first communions. Wedding receptions will be blessed. Families who have entrusted the soul of their beloved deceased will gather to console one another in the light of the promise of the resurrection. Children will gather to learn from generous and devoted catechists. Games will be played, snacks will be shared and projects will be undertaken for those in need. From the kitchen countless will be fed and through the efforts of our parishioners many more will be nourished.

Into our parish offices will come those in search of assistance, guidance and consolation. Unimaginable, countless and grace-filled moments are already coming into form. How many people drive down Tuckahoe Road today and slow down to watch the progress saying, “That will be our parish center”? How many take pride in what their sacrifice is making possible? How many others thought: “I’m building that”? The outline of this vision already stands there today, because of you, and so many others who will come after you.

As my view from the rectory window changes, I can’t help but also think about the people who built this parish, in an empty field, generations ago. I remember so many of them from my childhood. How many envelopes were stuffed with small bills to start this parish? We remember that we build upon their sacrifices and vision and after having done our part, will entrust this work to those who follow us. The wonderful fact is: the building isn’t over. The work that began all those decades ago continues. Every Mass and every prayer offered together, every celebration, every marriage, every funeral, every baptism, every gathering builds on what came before.

Yes, the view from the rectory window is changing. But what never changes is the true building up—of faith, of belief, of a spiritual life that guides so many through the passage of time and leads to salvation—that kind of construction never ends.

While I miss the trees, I am hopeful for the view that is and for the view that will be. I hope you are too,

Fr. Pete