Get Real

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Dear POP Folks,
 
   A few years ago, the Cardinal invited a program called Good Leaders, Good Shepherds (GLGS) into the Archdiocese.  This course trains pastors in leadership and organization, using principles from the business community and from the Gospels.  This was at least partially in response to the call by God’s people to make our clergy better administrators.  In today’s parlance, it was to help pastors get real.

    One of the messages of GLGS is that people who work at the parish should experience the final product of their labors.  The bookkeeper and the receptionist should witness baptisms, funerals, and First Communions, and see where our money and our labors go.  This helps them to move beyond a focus on phones and forms and to…get real.

   October is the traditional month at POP for the annual Gala Evening & Golf Classic. Those who participate – from underwriters to auction donors to players and bidders – are called to see beyond putts and desserts and credit cards to see the hungry, jobless, homeless people that these two great fundraisers serve throughout the year…to get real.

   October is Respect Life Month.  We don’t just tell people not to terminate pregnancies.  We let them know that we are here to support them materially, emotionally, and spiritually, through and after the births of their children.  In our Outreach Gabriel Project, we don’t just talk about it…we get real.

   Today a growing number of pro-life action groups are funding vans that contain the latest ultra-sound technology.  These vans are parked where women approaching abortion clinics have access to them.  The women are offered the opportunity of free imaging that clearly shows them their unborn children in color and with definition.  The vast majority of these mothers then choose not to enter the clinics. They have seen that “what” they are carrying is actually “who”, and they are able to make a true choice because someone helped them to…get real.

   October is also the month of the Rosary.  The rosary is something you can feel and touch and treasure (it’s real).   It helps you to enter in imagination into the great mysteries of faith, to move beyond simply believing in the Resurrection of Jesus or acknowledging the story of his first miracle at Cana.  As you make these events three-dimensional in your mind – aided by the cadence, the flow of the rosary prayers – your faith deepens.   Your life with God becomes richer, because in meditation you have allowed these events to become alive…to get real.

   Every day in October, we celebrate Mass here on our altars at Prince of Peace.  You are invited to come and to participate as Jesus himself assumes the form of bread and announces:  I am here!  I am, indeed, real….