The Movement of the Spirit

Something wonderful is happening in our midst. Many people have commented on it, some have named it and others have simply noticed that something feels different. The “something” of which I speak is the subtle, gentle, yet powerful, movement of the Holy Spirit within our parish.   It is truly an exciting and awe-inspiring miracle to witness! Let me comment on just a few of the ways the Spirit is moving.

The Alpha program launches at St. Peter’s on Monday, September 18. This program is used around the world to bring people to Christ and to deepen the faith life of believers. Dedicated volunteers and staff have been working for over a year to bring this program to fruition. We expect God to move powerfully through this amazing program.

The Adoration Chapel is under construction and will be ready to receive adorers very soon! This has been a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. The graces that will flow from the hours spent before the Blessed Sacrament will transform our hearts in powerful ways. This will be a place set apart for each of us to meet the Lord at any hour of the day or night.

Our worship continues to be a source of great blessing and grace for all of us. Each week, we welcome visitors to our parish. Some are folks passing through, while others are people searching for “the right place.” St. Peter’s is welcoming new members each week.

We are in the process of meeting with the various ministry groups to discuss ways to draw each of us deeper into the mystery of God’s saving presence at every Mass.

In addition, we look forward to the installation of beautiful stained glass windows above the altar in the near future. These windows will feature St. Peter and will be a visible sign of his presence as our patron.

Our focus in preaching on discipleship is also bearing much fruit in our parish. Each week people comment on how their hearts have been touched during the Mass and through their own private time in prayer. Our parish is alive, and the Spirit is moving powerfully in the hearts of the people of St. Peter’s! As with all things, God works in his own time in each of our hearts. Our call is to remain open to how the Lord wants to work in us.

This weekend, we have a short but powerful reading from the prophet Jeremiah that offers a wonderful reflection for us to consider on what this movement of the Spirit looks like in our hearts:

“I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.”

This reading reminds me of a beautiful conversion story that an old friend shared with me several months ago at a healing Mass. I had not seen my friend in many years. The person I knew back in the 1980’s was a free spirit who was unapologetic about her fast lifestyle. I must say that I was somewhat surprised to meet her at a healing Mass! We began talking about the old days, and soon she shared her beautiful conversion story with me.

Several years ago, Patty’s sister had invited her to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Patty told her sister that she was definitely not interested in any kind of religious trip. After diligent prayer and some amount of coaxing, Patty’s sister and mother convinced her to join them. Patty reluctantly agreed, but she made it clear that she would not participate in any religious activities on this trip. However, God had other plans! Patty attended Mass one evening, and she was completely swept away by the power of the Spirit. She renounced her past life of pleasure, went to confession and devoted herself entirely to a new life lived for Christ. She used words similar to the ones in the passage above to describe her newfound faith in Christ.

What does God have planned for you and me as we begin this new season? Are we open to allowing the Spirit to work powerfully in our hearts? Are you and I ready to step out in faith and to go deeper in our walk with the Lord?

My brothers and sisters, the Spirit is moving powerfully at St. Peter’s! This can be a time of great renewal, if we are open to what God can do in our lives. Let’s journey together, supporting each other in prayer, confident that God has great things in store for us. God is so good!

In Christ,

Deacon Tim

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