The Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 15, 2022
“[Paul and Barnabas] appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they
had put their faith.”
~ Acts 14:23
Brothers and Sisters,
I wish you continued Easter blessings, especially to our youth whom Archbishop Lori confirms this day, along with the nine deacons he ordained yesterday! Thank you, parents, sponsors, family members, and friends who have accompanied our confirmandi, encouraging, enriching, and challenging them to grow in the faith. Our sincerest gratitude to Deacon Roch, Claudia, and our partner Kristen Fisher with Ablaze Family Ministries, along with the support of our adult leaders and youth peers. Thank you for laying the foundation for our teens to encounter the Lord and welcome the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’m so excited to witness the fruits of your collective efforts!
At every Mass during the Eucharist Prayer, the Church implores God the Father that our celebration of the Mass may lead us into unity by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. It’s good to remember that this unity does not require us to eliminate our diversity. (All we need to do is look at all creation to realize that our God loves variety!) Instead, this unity is realized when we ask the Holy Spirit for humility and how we can use our unique gifts to build up God’s Kingdom together.
At OLPH, we have put forward the discipleship pathway: Belong, Believe, Become, and Beyond as a tool to discover our giftedness, assess our spiritual growth, and ultimately find purpose in Jesus. When we embark and stay committed to the spiritual pathway, we realize the Church that God desires: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Just like the early Christians who raised up strong leaders to spread the Gospel, our parish needs your passion, gifts, involvement, and active participation to do the same. As we anticipate Pentecost, know of my intention that the Holy Spirit may raise strong disciples and encourage leaders right here at OLPH, who might help us advance our mission to bring God’s love out to Ellicott City, Maryland. We want our neighbors and friends to experience God’s life-changing love in a welcoming and genuine atmosphere.
With this on our hearts, join me by setting aside a special time for prayer at our Pentecost Novena, beginning on Friday, May 27. We’ll celebrate the Novena prayers each evening at 7 pm, inviting the Holy Spirit into our parish, homes, and hearts, knowing that the Holy Spirit never disappoints! Let’s open our hearts to how the Lord is calling us to live our vocation out to the fullest: as disciples, lay ministers, spouses, parents, grandparents, children, and siblings, or as priests, deacons, or religious. Like those early disciples, le’s remain committed in faith! God has a role for each of us, and if we say “yes” to our unique call, our community becomes more fruitful — stronger.
Our novena prayers are part of a week-long celebration, rightfully called EXALT, which will honor the Holy Spirit’s guidance and blessings, especially the fruits of 25 years of Eucharistic Adoration which include many vocations discovered and realized before the Blessed Sacrament at OLPH. I pray that we pack the Church in praise of our Lord for Pentecost, especially with the Extended Pentecost Vigil on Saturday, June 4 at 7 pm, with our Mass and time of Exalt, followed by fellowship. To discover all we have planned for the EXALT week, including a Family Pentecost Celebration and our Parish Picnic, please visit https://olphparish.org/exalt. And because I am greedy, may we also set aside June 17-18 for the beautiful Life in the Spirit seminar, where we are taught and encouraged to listen to the Holy Spirit who speaks to each of us. To learn more and register, be sure to visit https://olphparish.org/life-in-the-spirit.
In closing, please join me in prayer, asking the Lord to mark Pentecost and EXALT as a time of spiritual renewal. So all parishioners can discover their preciousness in the Lord and their essential role in our parish and Church.
In the Risen Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett