Feast Day of St. Peter 2016

My dear friends,

Happy Feast Day of St. Peter! As Peter was among the first disciples called by Jesus for the spreading of faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is fitting that Fr. Galtier would name the first parish in Minnesota St. Peter’s, for it has been from this parish that the faith started and spread throughout the state.

Given our special history, wouldn’t it be wonderful if St. Peter’s was able to play a key role in helping to lead our local diocese in a great renewal of Faith, so badly needed in our times? May God give us the grace to rise to the occasion. Though we may feel little and insignificant as a parish, with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can make a difference.

Let us listen to our Holy Patron, St. Peter:

“Come to Him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . . you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1Peter 2:4-5;9-10).

Can you and I hear the encouragement in these words, the summons to hope, the urgent appeal to remember who we are in Christ and to embrace our calling? What the Lord needs in these times is an emboldened Christianity that refuses to cower or apologize to the world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though we may often feel just as weak as St. Peter, who denied the Lord three times, we too can find strength in our weakness by the power that comes through the Holy Spirit. How amazing to see the difference the Holy Spirit can make, taking a cowardly man and giving him the grace to die for the One he previously denied.

It’s also amazing how the Catholic Church, now numbering 1.2 billion people around the word, started with a small band of disciples, set aflame with the Holy Spirit. Again, what God is able to do with those who fully open themselves and surrender all to Him.

Personally, I try not to be about numbers. This can be a danger, but I do pray to be faithful to God’s will as it reveals itself day by day. This is what I hope to do together as we move forward: that each of us will pray for the grace to be open and faithful to whatever God wants for our own personal growth in the faith, as well as for the spread of the faith beyond our parish.

I’m excited for our future together. I’m excited because the Lord is always leading us to fresh, green pastures, to places of greater renewal for the Church He deeply loves. May our patron, St. Peter, continue to inspire us by his life and his words and support us with his loving prayers.

Jesus bless you,

Fr. Steven

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