December 16, 2012
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
It was Christmas Eve about 25 years ago when my Godfather, Jim Carlin, stopped by our house to pick up my mom on his way to Mass, and as they were going out the door my mother asked if I wanted to join them. My response was that if I didn’t go to Mass the rest of the year, why should I go on Christmas? Years later, I learned that on the way to Mass that Christmas Eve, my mother broke down crying wondering why I lost the faith, wondering what she had done wrong. She is a woman of faith who did everything she could to pass on the gift of faith to her children. It was painful for her to witness my exit from the church when I was young. My Godfather confidently assured her that one day I would come back. I am sure many of you have similar stories of being a lapsed Catholic or having lapsed Catholics in your family.
Well, I did come back to the practice in my faith, and I now have a vocation to witness to the beauty of living as a disciple of Jesus. Not every cradle Catholic returns, but that should not stop us from praying for them. This Advent and Christmas, let’s pray that the grace of God draws people back into a relationship with Jesus the Christ.
Our faith is such an incredible gift from God, and it saddens us when people we love no longer share in that gift. We cannot force them into a relationship with Jesus, but through our prayer and example, we can invite them into that relationship. I am so grateful that my mother and Godfather prayed me back into the Church; maybe we can pray some of your loved ones back, too.
Fr. Kevin Carlin Kennedy