Pentecost Spirit

We have finally arrived at the culmination and goal of the Easter Season, the feast of Pentecost. The narrative of this feast tells of the time when Easter finally “landed,” when its power and grace were received by the disciples.  Of the four gospel writers, Luke is the only one who makes a distinct and separate event of the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He does so in order to make clear that it is one thing to have seen the Risen Christ, and another thing altogether to receive and internalize the meaning of the Resurrection.  But that “meaning” is not an idea or insight, but rather the dynamic, empowering presence of the Holy Spirit of the Risen Christ within His disciples.  That includes you and me.

Pentecost is the foundation of our lives as disciples, because we too – two millennia later – are invited to receive the same Holy Spirit and all the gifts that the Risen Christ wants us to have.  We are called and gifted by the Spirit to take our place in carrying forth the mission of Christ, in whatever moment of human history we find ourselves.  Our lives may include times of relative peace and human flourishing, or they might include times of conflict and violence and darkness in the world.  Whatever the context, we live lives of service inspired by the Spirit, sustained by faith and hope in Jesus, and radiating the Spirit’s gifts of healing and compassion and courage. Let us pray for the fulness of the Spirit’s gifts in our own lives, and in our parish.


Pentecost News

Speaking of participating in Christ’s mission, I have some Pentecost news to share! – our new parish partnership with TENN, the Titan Equity Nourish Network.

Well over a year ago, I announced an initiative to find a community service commitment that we could share as a parish, and established a task force to research options for us.  I naively thought we could complete the process within six months.  But only just now have we finally reached a conclusion!

The task force’s early research resulted in three areas of interest, and the group divided up to look more deeply into each area. You may recall that last fall we had a parish-wide videoconference in which three options were presented, followed by a survey of parishioner response to the proposals.  Another group of representative parishioners was convened to make a discernment, and at that point, we realized we needed more concrete and specific knowledge of the options in order to make a good choice.

In the end, only one of the options proved to be viable and fitting for our parish, and it turned out to be the one that had garnered the most parishioner interest, and also happened to be part of the Jesuit world in Detroit. We intend to partner with an organization within the Jesuit University of Detroit Mercy known as “TENN” – the Titan Equity Nourish Network, under the guidance of Fr. Tim Hipskind, SJ.  (Titans are the mascot of UDM.)  Over the coming weeks, you will learn more about the work of TENN and how you can get involved.  Today I am happy simply to announce this good news!  And to say thank you again to all the parishioners involved in this year-long effort.

TENN fosters student and community collaboration for a more food sovereign Detroit, through programs that promote equity and sustainability in the food system, with service opportunities that reduce the immediate effects and systemic causes of hunger and food waste. Two of its principal projects in which we can engage are urban gardens and food delivery to families. This option meets the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Jesuits, bringing together direct service in collaboration with those in need, “walking with the excluded in a mission of reconciliation and justice” especially in the Detroit African-American community, through a “green” initiative that involves caring for the earth and environmental sustainability.  And it proceeds by way of “accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.”  Let us pray that through this partnership, the Holy Spirit will indeed create a hope-filled future in all of us here at Ss. Peter and Paul Church!  Happy Pentecost!