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I would like to invite you to a special event. We are calling it “An Evening of Encounter,” and it will take place in our church on Thursday, October 21, from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm. The idea behind this event is that everyone who takes part will experience the presence of the Lord in a new and inspirational way. There will be inspirational music, a great talk by an outstanding guest speaker, adoration of the Eucharist, and the availability of Confession and individual prayer.

This evening is planned for adults of all faiths. While we are especially hoping for a large number of young adults, the evening is completely open to adults of all ages as well as teens. The evening is planned as a meaningful experience even for those who are not accustomed to attending Mass, and those who are trying to find their way in the spiritual dimension of life. Whether you feel close to the Lord or distant from him (or somewhere in between), this event is for you. In other words, we are casting the net as far and wide as we can, and hoping to reach as many people as possible. Please spread the word and bring your friends!

Gratefully yours,

In this picture you see me with Gary and Mary Ann Sims, two of our awesome parishioners, at last Saturday’s Oktoberfest. Everyone who came to this event had a great time. The brats, sauerkraut, potato salad, pretzels and strudel were all delicious. Young folks enjoyed playing in the field, adults enjoyed contests and entertaining Oktoberfest music, and there was a lot of good conversation. I am so grateful to all who took part, and I am especially grateful to the parishioners who organized the event. Bob and Joia Smart, along with too many generous volunteers for me to mention individually, did a fantastic job.

Before the Oktoberfest, we had a great presentation about the construction project. The architect and the general contractor were on hand to show great visuals of the final vision as well as our progress to date. They answered excellent questions from parishioners, and everyone was energized by the way this long-time dream of our parish is becoming a reality. When you come to Mass each week, you have the opportunity to see the steady progress that is being made. We are blessed indeed!

Another great opportunity to get together is quickly coming up. On Saturday, October 16th, our Parish School is hosting a “Flashback Fiesta” to celebrate the school’s 40th anniversary. It promises to be another fun and festive time for all. This is a reminder that our school is a major part of the parish’s mission to celebrate, serve, and evangelize. You can get more information about the Flashback Fiesta by going to the school web page ( and scrolling down to the “Recent News” section. I will be there, and I look forward to seeing you there as well.

To be sure, the most important time that we gather together as a parish is at Mass, where the Lord himself brings us together, not only to celebrate the Paschal Mystery, but also to rejoice in his presence. Besides the Eucharist itself, the Lord is present within us and we share the common life of grace. It is good, though, that in addition to Mass we find other times to get together and enjoy one another’s company. Tertullian, one of the Fathers of the Early Church, famously said, “See how these Christians love one another!” Experiencing the charity that joins all of us together is not only a lot of fun; it is a sign of who we are as Christians. Thank you for being part of this loving community with me.

Gratefully yours,

Some folks have expressed surprise that our Oktoberfest is in September. I have it on good authority (and have confirmed with Wikipedia) that in Germany Oktoberfest starts in mid to late September, so we are following the Germans’ example. Don’t forget that it takes place this Saturday, September 25, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm, in the lunch area of the school. All the things you enjoyed at the last Oktoberfest will be there (minus the view we had from the bluff): brats, chicken brats, hot dogs, pretzels, biergarten, games, and great parish fellowship. I really hope you will join me there. If you are reading this message after Saturday, hopefully you already have memories of how great Oktoberfest was.

I would also like to remind you that there’s another great event at 3:00 pm in the Multipurpose Room (gym) of the school: an update presentation on our building project. The architect will describe for us the vision for the project, accompanied by great visuals of what the end result will look like. The contractor will describe (also with visuals) the progress made so far. Members of our building committee will also be present. So much has happened already, and there is so much more to come. This presentation will bring all of us up to date on where we are.

It’s exciting to have events such as these. Step by step we are getting back to “normal.” Let’s pray for a quick end to the covid pandemic, and reach out to friends and relatives who have not been to Mass for a while. Invite them to come with you, to the Oktoberfest and hopefully to Mass as well. We have a good thing going here at St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús, and it is great to welcome people back and also to meet new parishioners. How blessed we are!

Gratefully yours,

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