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June 30th Pastor's Message

Read this week's message from Father Don

 

Dear parishioners

I was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Rosary Cathedral on June 28, 1986, during the World’s Fair which pushed Vancouver into the international spotlight and launched its rapid, and still on-going, expansion.


A changing church


The past 38 years have produced great transformation not only in the city and its culture but in the local church as well. There has been a notable decline in mass attendance, weddings, and parish volunteers, accompanied by growing public criticism of the Church. 


On the positive side, the past four decades have brought an increase in adult faith formation, evangelization resources, and apostolic movements like Catholic Christian Outreach and Couples for Christ. More surprising has been the appearance of deeply committed Catholic young adults eager to spread the Good News of Christ. 


Equally notable has been the change in the make-up of the local parishes, where a great influx of immigrants has significantly increased the percentage of Asian, Indian, African and Hispanic Catholics.


We should not be alarmed by these cultural shifts and changing demographics for the history of the Church and the world is full of such changes. It is during times of great change that the creativity of the Holy Spirit is most visible.


Personal growth


Significant changes in my personal and priestly life have also taken place since 1986. 


I have become more aware of the great variety within society and the Church, and convinced that there is no longer one standard path to spiritual growth. I have started to recognize that God works in mysterious and hidden ways, not always as we expect or desire. 


The creativity of the Holy Spirit in our unstable age has encouraged me to embrace greater openness and creativity in my ministry while the challenges of ministering in such a confusing social environment have convinced me of the vital importance of daily personal prayer.


The priesthood is a beautiful life and not as different from the life of a serious lay Catholic as some people expect. As a priest I have known both joys and sorrows but, above all, have known the constant companionship of Jesus Christ, the merciful Lord who is ever close to those who call upon him.



Love

Fr Don








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