This is the Sunday bulletin text of Fr. Joe Previte, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Cleveland’s Little Italy and the church I regularly attend for Sunday Mass (and daily Mass, before my employment made that impossible). I think it’s a perfect encapsulation of the roles both priests & religious and married men & women make in the complementary, collaborative creation of God’s Kingdom, centered on and nourished by the Eucharist. My emphases in bold, comments in red.
Dear Parish Family,
As we mark the mid-way point of the month of May, it appears that Spring may finally have arrived. The long winter gives way to new beginnings. We joyfully welcomed 18 children to the table of the Lord as they made their first Holy Communion. We look forward to the many couples who will celebrate the sacrament of marriage here at Holy Rosary over the next several months and begin their married life together. And, next Saturday, May 21st, our local church of Cleveland joyfully celebrates the ordination of six men to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. [Be there, Clevelanders – 10am at the Cathedral.]
These two sacraments of service or vocation – Marriage and Holy Orders – are wonderful gifts of the Lord to His Church. Each of these sustains and builds up the community of faith. It is only through healthy, happy, and loving marriages that future vocations to the priesthood (or religious life) can be nurtured. Likewise, devoted priests are essential to celebrating the sacraments and sanctifying the people of God. [The complementarity of the vocations – neither is possible without the other. This only deepens the responsibility of both priests and married couples.]
Both of these are centered in the Eucharist. Just as the Eucharist makes present Christ’s sacrificial love on the cross as He laid down His life for the Church, so too, do spouses lay down their lives for each other in marriage and a priest lays down his life for the people of God. It is in the celebration of the Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that both married couples and priests reaffirm their particular vocations as ones of loving service. [Only in Christ’s offering is our own offering, priestly or matrimonially, possible.]
As a parish community, may we continue to pray for all those living out these vocations of service and love and continue to support them and one another on our journeys of faith.
Fr. Joe Previte