Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A note from Pastor

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

      Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John contains a beautiful prayer that Jesus pronounced at the end of his last celebration of Passover. It was his personal farewell to his disciples as He abandoned himself into the will of the Father and entrusted them with the mission to continue his salvific work on the earth. The first part of this prayer is found in today’s Gospel reading: “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ” (Jn 17:3).

       Why did God make us? “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in Heaven.” Christ prayed that, while in this world, we may know the one who created us, learn how to respond to his love, and become instruments of salvation for others – for those who do not know God, do not love God, and therefore cannot serve him. One of the most popular Fatima prayers (the one the three young shepherds learned from the Angel of Peace who appeared to them before the Blessed Mother did) utters the same: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!  I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.”

     So Jesus continued, “I pray not only for them (his disciples), but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. … Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them” (Jn 17:20-21.25-26).

   As I move on to begin a new mission, these words make me reflect on the reason why the Lord allowed me to know him and discover the immense love He has for me, a sinner: I must announce that love to the others. Cardinal Tobin has asked me to join a missionary outreach serving in one of the most de-Christianized areas in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and has appointed Fr. Paul Cannariato, Pastor of Assumption effective July 1st.

    I am honored and humbled by Cardinal Tobin’s request. He, a Detroit priest, like Pope Francis recognizes the urgency to reach out to the people who live in the “peripheries”, in secularized areas where there is no visible presence of the Church and people need to be evangelized. This missionary outreach is part of the Church’s New Evangelization fostered by St. John Paul II and his successors. It is a great privilege for me to be part of it. God urges me to give back what He has given me first. I am responding to his call, conscious of my human limitations, but confident that Christ will precede me wherever I go and accompany with his Holy Spirit.

       This is then my farewell to you. I ask for your prayers, as I also pray that the work of Evangelization and outreach may continue also here at Assumption, particularly among the youth and those who are losing their faith and the hope in the eternal life. That’s what Christ calls all those who love him to do in any place and at all times.    

With my blessing,

Fr. Paolo                              

May 28, 2017