We kicked off our 60th Anniversary two weeks ago. The reception after each Mass was well appreciated. The 5 pm Mass saw the cafeteria filled with parishioners having a wonderful fellowship. Thanks again to the Martin de Porres Society and other parishioners who hosted all the receptions. Thanks to the Anniversary Committee who have lined up more events in the coming months, earliest of which is the St. Matthias 60th Anniversary Cook Book. In this context, there are two initiatives that I like to invite us all to consider.
The first is SPIRITUAL DIRECTION. Many will remember Pat Leposa who did the ministry of spiritual direction (SD) here at St. Matthias for a number of years until she moved out of state two years ago. In her parting message to our community, Pat wrote: “If you are moved to draw closer to the God who loves you, and to seek out a new perspective in your life, then I urge you to consider Spiritual Direction.” She had recommended Mr. Bill Isele as a good spiritual director who could continue this ministry for our parish. With the pandemic, we could not follow up with this possibility. Recently I met with Mr. Isele and he was open to be available to those who wish to have spiritual direction with him. He was trained at the Quellen Spiritual Center in Mendham, NJ. Last week he wrote in our bulletin: “Have you heard of Spiritual Direction (SD)?” Be on the lookout for more details from him in the coming bulletins.
The second is RETROUVAILLE, a proven program for married couples who struggle in their marriage to put the pieces of their marriage back together and rebuild loving relationships. When I was the Director of the Family Life Office of our Diocese, this was a program that I supervised with a wonderful team of couples coordinated by Rich and Annette Colasuonno. The presenters are ordinary couples who share personal stories of their marital struggles and the tools they utilized to rediscover their love. (The word Retrouvaille means rediscover). This weekend program is all about improving communication, building a stronger marriage, and helping couples rediscover the love they had for each other.
We may know many couples having difficulties in their marriage. Some may have tried interventions and counselling. What I have seen with the couples who attended Retrouvaille is an amazing rediscovery of their original love and they returned home happily with a renewed hope. It made me see for myself that no marriage is beyond hope as long as there is openness.
During this 60th Anniversary of our parish, it will be wonderful if many of our parish couples who are experiencing marital problems can rediscover their original love and feel new life. The next Retrouvaille session will be on August 19-21, 2022. If interested, call Rich at 732-236-0671. Take a flyer from the church and give to someone you may know will benefit. Also check out their website: www.helpourmarriage.org
On this Ascension Sunday, let us be upbeat and hopeful about living happily by strengthening our family life. Remember the promise of Jesus: “I will be with you always, even to the end of times” (Matthew 28:20)
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal