Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was last year that together as a parish family, we began to rediscover our baptismal call to be true disciples of Christ through Discipleship. He calls us to trust God, our Father, with our entire lives - with our time, our talent, our treasure, and our vocation—and many of us answered his call and promised to give back to Him in thanksgiving for the many blessings He gives us.

Next weekend, is our Discipleship of Faith and Prayer weekend, in which we will revisit the promises we made. We will pledge, before the altar, to give to God some of our time through prayer and through learning our faith. During Mass, we will all receive commitment cards with many forms of private and public prayer and ways of deepening our Catholic faith. We will then take a few moments to consider what the Lord may be calling us to - perhaps Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, some time meditating on the Scriptures, praying before meals, coming to Mass every Sunday, reading about the lives of the saints, or something else. If you already spend time doing these things, good! Then you surely have seen the graces that come from it, and can commit to doing just a little more each week. Once we select how we will spend our time with the Lord, we will sign our commitment cards and place them before Him at the foot of the altar.

Last year, more than 1035 of us placed commitment cards before the Lord. Next weekend will be an opportunity to renew your promise, to make a new promise, or to begin again if you found that last year you were unable to keep it. God is patient and merciful with us.

I encourage everyone at Queen of Peace, including myself, to take this call seriously, and not just to find time to pray and deepen our faith, but to make time, because time spent with God is time well-spent. To spend time in prayer is to spend time with our Creator, our Father, who is deeply and crazy in love with us. When we commit to spending time with Him, we commit to time to receive the love and the graces He longs to give us. Time spent with God is living peacefully in the present, not thinking regretfully about the past or anxiously about the future, but receiving the gift of the present moment with God.

Although we make this commitment out of gratitude for the Lord’s many blessings, it really is a gift to us, both personally and in community. When discipleship becomes a way of life, the parish becomes a praying, welcoming, serving, giving, and celebrating community. The Lord wants to tear down the walls that separate us from Him and from each other. He wants to make of us a true, loving, Christian community, united in Him, so that we are no longer just passersbyers at Queen of Peace, not just spectators, but members of a family of faith with the assurance of belonging. Let us continue allowing the Lord to work in us, to make us one family of faith, “the one body in Christ and individually parts of one another” (Rm 12:5), the only One, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.

In Christ,

Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba, Pastor