Parish Mission: Melbourne Beach, Florida

I’ll be conducting a parish mission at Immaculate Conception Parish in Melbourne Beach, Florida, from March 29th -April 2nd.  I’ll preach at the weekend Masses and at the weekday Mass in the morning at 8 AM. The main mission service will be at 7 PM.

I’m also offering some material from the mission on the internet these day and will use this blog to do it.

Here’s what I going to do.

I like the approach used in the new United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, (Washington, DC   2006). Written with an American public in mind, the catechism, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, begins each section with a short biography of a saint or a prominent Christian–some Americans, like Dorothy Day and Elizabeth Seton are among them.

People introduce us to God.

The theme of this week’s mission is taken from this Sunday gospel, “We would like to see Jesus,” a request some Greeks made of Philip, as Jesus was going into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Philip, of course, brought them to meet Jesus.

Each evening of the mission we’ll ask one of the saints to help us see Jesus. On Monday, we’ll go to Peter, the Apostle, who experienced Jesus in a very personal way. He was his constant companion and Jesus’ choice to lead his disciples. We’ll look into Peter’s experience as it’s described in the Gospel of Mark.

On Tuesday, we’ll ask Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to help us to know her Son. She kept thinking about him, who he was and what he did. She’s a very good teacher of prayer. We can’t know God or Jesus, his Son, without prayer. We’ll look at her through the eyes of Luke’s gospel.

On Wednesday, I want to look at St. Elizabeth Seton, an American saint. We can’t know God outside of our experience as Americans. Elizabeth Seton thoroughly epitomizes the American experience and I think we can learn from her how to search for God in the world in which we live.

On Thursday, I hope to consider St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of my community, the Passionists. He’s not known well enough. He got to know God through the mystery of the Cross, an unpopular place for most of us to meet God.
We’ll conclude each evening with a prayer. On Monday we pray the Stations of the Cross, on Tuesday we pray and meditate on a decade of the Rosary, on Wednesday we have Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and on Thursday we’ll have an anointing of the sick.
Some wont be able to get to church for this mission, of course, but I’ll offer the mission on the Internet for on-liners or mission attendees who want to review what we said in church. That’s at my blog
Invite your friends and neighbors to join us too, either at church or online.

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