Have a very grace-filled season of the Ordinary Time!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2016
Fr. Agustin, welcome back!
On July 15, Fr. Agustin was urgently admitted to St. Joseph Hospital and since then he was on medical leave for three months. We now welcome him back! In August, his doctor predicted that he would have only a few months to live. Thus, on Saturday, September 24, we gathered together with Father at his Mass of Thanksgiving and Farewell at St. Norbert Church. There at the celebration we received great news from Father that through many prayers and the new chemo treatments, Father now can live for years. It is indeed a living testimony of faith, a miracle of each day! With Fr. Bruce’s permission, I would like to print here his article of that glorious Saturday morning. We thank you so very much to Fr. Bruce and St. Norbert Church for graciously hosting the Mass and Reception on behalf of our Community and the Diocese. May God bless you all!
AN AMAZING, UNREPEATABLE MOMENT
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For those who were fortunate enough to make the time to attend Mass with Fr. Agustín, Bishop Vann, Bishop Djomo, several clergy and a massive crowd from multiple parishes on Saturday, September 24, it truly was a rare and inspiring event. In my 30 years of priesthood, I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. With a difficult and potentially very short prognosis, Father took the time to celebrate one more Mass with the people he has loved, cared for and shepherded. And even though he gave us surprisingly good news in that he has been approved for a new cancer treatment which may potentially extend his prognosis, this particular moment will stand out as uniquely life-affirming and life-giving, in large part because of his generous heart. In his unmistakably dulcet, stentorian tones, he launched the homily with his now familiar refrain, “I do not have cancer; my body has cancer. I am not dying; my body is dying. I live.” He again proclaimed his unshakeable faith in the promise and person of Jesus in the same warm, confident, earthy, genuine terms that have become his trademark, stirring waves of laughter, tears, amens and alleluias throughout the assembly. It’s impossible to relate all of his wise and sometimes wisecracking quips, but one image in particular struck me when, illustrating his point about our fragile physical nature, he opined that, like a building, his body has “termites.” Maybe that’s because pastors always dread that diagnosis when it comes the buildings under our responsibility. On that impossibly beautiful morning, we basked in the glow of Father’s signature wit and wisdom, warmed ourselves in the light of the Gospel, and feasted on a truly eucharistic Eucharist. After the Mass at the reception in the gym, the masses swarmed him, clamoring to spend one more precious moment to thank him, to pray with him, to pray for him, and to ask his blessing. The line was formidably long and slow, so some of us tried to encourage visitors to be brief in order to allow everyone to see him and in deference to his diminished energy. However, it became clear that it wasn’t the visitors who were going slowly – it was Fr. Agustín himself, spending as much time as he could with each person, treating each one as the most important person in the room at that moment. Someone asked me what to do to speed things up, and I said, “Nothing. This is how he wants it.” At a certain point, I had to get back to work, and a few hours after that, heading back to the rectory, I noticed a few cars outside the gym. Assuming it was the clean-up crew, I walked over to see how things were going and instead discovered Fr. Agustín still at it, greeting and praying with the last few visitors. Walking him to the car at last, I asked him if he wasn’t exhausted, to which he replied, “Not at all. Every hug, every prayer is like free medicine.”
Such a blessing and inspiration. We are all better people for having him in our lives.
Congratulations to our School Decathletes!
Official Websites for Jubilee Year of Mercy
Pink & Cream Envelopes and Finance Report
Christian Service’s monthly Pink Envelope has been replaced by the monthly Cream Envelope of St. Cecilia Restricted Building Fund. At present, the total amount in the Christian Service account can run basically throughout the period of two fully fiscal years of 2016-2018. Since we are now in need to raise funds for our new one-story Administrative Office and new two-story Parish Center, I presented the replacement of two envelopes with the Christian Service’s leader, Peter Ruiz, and the Church Finance Council. We all have come to conclude to do so for the two year period. Meanwhile, we are thankful to you for your generosity of any extra amount that you would like to contribute directly to the restricted Christian Service fund. Beginning in October 2016, on the third Sunday of each month, we will have a monthly second collection for our St. Cecilia Restricted Building Fund, and on this third Sunday please help us to use your Cream Envelope as an act of thanksgiving to the Lord and of sharing your humble wealth. In November 2016, we will present to you the annual thorough financial report of the last fiscal year 2015-2016’s revenue – Fr. Bao’s first year with you, including the current status of the total amount of our St. Cecilia Restricted Building Fund.
Your-Giving-Gift to the Church Building Fund
Please consider Your-Giving-Gift to support St. Cecilia Building Fund. Please use the parish vanilla envelope designated for Building Fund, and write your ID Envelope number on it. The community is deeply grateful to you for the loving amount you have contributed throughout the year and in particular Your-Giving-Gift. Please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Bao at 714-544-3250, Ext. 14.
Please use the “Proud to be Catholic” white envelope or the Parish yellow envelope designated for PSA, or please click on the link above to contribute your PSA donation. And when you are asked the name of the Parish Designation, please select St. Cecilia. Thank you very much! May God bless you!