Today, we have our second round of parish assemblies following each Mass. The purpose of today’s assemblies is to seek your approval of the parish mission statement and goals, which the pastoral council drafted since the time of our first parish assemblies on September 13 and 14. We also hope to spend some time with you today brainstorming ideas on how we can achieve our goals. Each assembly will take an hour. You are cordially invited to attend one of them, even if you did not sign up to do so on Goal Sign-up Sunday. To the degree that parishioners own the pastoral plan and help to put it into action is to the degree that it will help us grow as a parish and become more active in our faith. I hope we can count on your participation—if not in attending one of today’s assemblies, then in helping implement the plan later on.
After today’s assemblies, the pastoral council will meet to ponder the ideas from the weekend and turn some of them into objectives, which will help us achieve our goals. The council hopes to release to the parish the entire pastoral plan—together with its mission statement, goals, and objectives—by the end of January. Implementation will then begin at that time and is expected to take five years to carry out.
Again, I hope to see you at an assembly today. May God bless you, and please continue praying for the success of our pastoral planning process.
As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Saint Martin de Porres on Monday, November 3, I’d like to share with you my devotion, my “long time relationship”, with the beloved Peruvian Dominican saint. As you know, my family is from Lima and they have had a devotion to Blessed Martin even before he was canonized in May of 1962 by Saint John XXIII at the Vatican. People from Lima call him “Martincito”, basically meaning dear Martin. My late grandfather, Miguel Torres, was a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Martin de Porres—an institution sponsored by the Dominican Order and based at the Basilica of the Most Holy Rosary. The Brotherhood was in charge, among other things, of the organization of the annual November procession through downtown Lima.
I remember hearing as a child, “Martincito es muy milagroso”, (“Martin is very miraculous”), by several close relatives. Due to our strong devotion to Saint Martin, my family has attributed to him many miracles received through his intercession; so, since an early age, I started “my relationship” with him. I remember going every year with my family to his procession—dressed in the white and black habit of the Brotherhood of St. Martin de Porres. My mother always reminds me that my grandfather vested me with the Brotherhood’s habit at the Basilica of the Most Holy Rosary, when I was one year old. At home we’ve always had, and still do, statues and paintings of St. Martin. As I was growing up, throughout the year, our family made frequent visits to St. Martin at the Basilica in downtown Lima—visits that I continue to do every time I go to Peru, now as a Dominican friar.
But it was when I was about ten years old that my mother told me a story that will be in my memory for the rest of my life. (to be continued on November 16)
—Fr. Juan, O. P.