Dear Followers of Jesus,
Today’s gospel, Luke 10:38-42, invites us into a scene with Martha and Mary. Martha is anxious about serving and Mary rests at the feet of Jesus. This combination of prayer and service is at the heart of every parish community. We take to heart our prayer, our communion with Jesus, who then calls us into the world to serve the needs of people. Eucharist and justice combine to reveal God’s fidelity within us and in our actions in the world. This is essentially our history on this block. Rejoice in God today. Rejoice in one another today!
Happy 100th Anniversary! This weekend we remember, recall, and rejoice in our history as a parish community. On July 16, 1922, the building of Sacred Heart Church was dedicated, becoming the main parish community on the westside of Colorado Springs. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is much older and Holy Rosary was not yet built; however, we are taking this opportunity to celebrate our combined communities under the centennial of Sacred Heart. Congratulations!
On Friday, July 15, 2022, we will offer Food Truck Friday, with food trucks, live music from “All in Jazz Trio,” and tours of the art and architecture of Sacred Heart Church. Come celebrate with us!
On Saturday, July 16, 2022, Bishop William Wack, CSC, from the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese, will preside at the actual anniversary. Bishop Wack served at Sacred Heart as a deacon and young priest from 1994-1997. He will also dedicate our new sculpture of Our Lady of Sorrows located outside on the southeast side of our church building. This sculpture was created by Dr. Joel Ernster, a Sacred Heart Parishioner. There will be a reception following in the Parish Center gym with live music from the “All in Jazz Trio.”
On Sunday, July 17, 2022, Bishop James Golka, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, will preside at the 9 am and 11:30 am Masses. After the 9 am Mass, Bishop Golka will bless the new Saint André House. There will be a reception following in the Saint André House.
We also welcome our new pastor, Fr. Jarrod Waugh, CSC to our parish community. Fr. Jarrod begins his ministry on Monday, July 18, 2022. Please welcome him and pray for his transition into the Sacred Heart Parish community. I thank God for our new pastor.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to Fr. Randy for his years of support and ministry here. I also want to thank members of our parish staff through the years who worked so hard to make things look easy. To members of the Finance Council and Building Committee in these past years, I am very humbled and grateful. I am also grateful for this year’s class of Holy Cross novices as they prepare for First Profession on July 30, 2022. All are invited to attend.
As I finish my years as pastor, I also want to thank Pope Francis. He became pope just a few months before I became pastor. I remember well when he was elected. I was living in Portland and had flown to our parish in Viera, Florida to preach a parish mission. On the way there, I prayed that the new pope, whoever it was, would be named, “Francis.” I prayed about this because I knew we all needed to start fresh, to come back to the basics of faith in Jesus Christ and love for people. Imagine my surprise when he walked out on the balcony and they proclaimed his name, Pope Francis. We need to listen to him.
I am so grateful for this weekend! It marks a great milestone in our history and the completion of much work on the block of 21st Street and Colorado Avenue. I so appreciate your financial support and your trust in the projects of restoration and renewal in these past years. So much of my nine years has led me to this weekend. Our time together has been marked with divine providence. God’s providence has come to be lived and loved here on this block.
Of course, our parish is much more than buildings. I am delighted to celebrate here with all of you on our anniversary. You have inspired me with how you have lived your faith, how you have worked through many obstacles of suffering, disappointment, and anguish, and how you have come to the deep joy of your life. Thank you so much for your presence, prayer, and participation in these lovely nine years.
Much of my heart will remain at Sacred Heart. This is now the second time I have left the parish. I carry you all with me. I will have much grieving to bring to prayer as I journey beyond Colorado. Thank you for these years. Thank you for providing a home for me. Thank you for our mutual search for God. I leave on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, for my new home in Austin, Texas. Please pray for me, always. Saint André Bessette, pray for us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, console and comfort us.
From today’s gospel acclamation: Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.
With deep appreciation. Farewell.
God give you peace,
Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor