Each Sunday morning at about five minutes to eleven, I have a moment of wondering if anyone will show up for Mass. So far, someone always does. The one person who is always there – Sundays and Thursdays, both – is Michael Swan. Mike will be 60 this Thursday! – and we will celebrate with a cake for him and two of the guys at Iglesia de San Romero who also have birthdays this week. Thanks for always being there, Michael!
When a suggestion was made this week for a radical change in the way we do things, I thought Michael should be the first person to run it by. …and he has given it an enthusiastic Yes! The idea we are considering is that in the Spring, we’ll move the Sunday morning Mass out west of the city, and have that be our Spanish Mass (or a bilingual Mass, if we were to decide to do it that way). We are a small enough community to make this decision by consensus – and there is no hurry. Spring is a long way away. So please pray. May we be the church God dreams of us being, and may we get there together.
This idea came about because I had lunch with Mimi Youngman this week. Mimi has often had a prophetic role in my life, and it was she who first suggested that we hold Mass in the dining room at St Joe’s. This week, after hearing the story of our Migrant Mass this past summer and how it has evolved, she said she had a concern for the people who told me back in June that they would like a Mass, but never came. It is very likely that they weren’t comfortable leaving their homes. We certainly have seen this fall that people’s fear of “la migra” is based in reality. I don’t know if a Sunday Mass would be any more comfortable, but perhaps we could change the location each week. Another thought is that we could have more than one…could go out multiple times each week and celebrate in different people’s homes. (realistically, I don’t see myself doing that while working three part time jobs… another thing to put in the hands of God).
Each week our bulletin is translated into Spanish (with a lot of help from Mary Wilkins) and then put on a blog in South America by Rev. Olga Alvirez, the first Columbian woman priest. Here is a link to an article about Olga:
http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-colombian-woman-priest.htmlIt took some courage for her to allow herself to be interviewed, but she says she’s had some surprising and lovely support since it came out.
Our friends in El Salvador, along with the rest of Central America, have been dealing with heavy rains and flooding. They would appreciate our prayers. Donations to Shekina Baptist Church in Santa Ana for flood relief can be made on line at
We invite you to come to St Joe’s next Thursday, November 3, at 4 in the afternoon to hear Gustavo Monzone and Alicia Rouch speak about their Catholic Worker houses in Mexico. Also next week, there will be two evening talks on immigration. I’ll be speaking as part of panels at both of them: Wednesday, November 2, 7 pm at Downtown United Presbyterian, and Friday, November 4, 6 pm at Friends Meetinghouse on Scio Street.
Hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy all the gorgeous fall colors. I saw a tree near my house today that was entirely bright, flaming red. Let the changing seasons be a reminder that God isn’t done with us, yet! There is always hope of change and new growth!
Blessings and love to all,
Two quotes from facebook this week:
“Church isn't community in the Sanctuary but a sanctuary in the community”
Rev. Colin Pritchard
“Be wary of great leaders. Hope that there are many, many small leaders.”
Pete Seeger at Occupy Wall Street
Come join us, any Sunday you like!
Oscar Romero Church
A Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620