From The Hand Of Fr. Aaron Ferris…August 28, 2016

Father Aaron FerrisIt is festival time! To be precise, it is time for the festival at St. Anthony’s! Of course there are plenty of festivals going on this time of year. A couple weeks ago was the Kent County Youth Fair in Lowell. In a month St. Mary’s will have its parish festival. I wonder why no one wants to have their festival in February?

I have seen a lot of different versions of parish festivals. I have seen everything from a large carnival to fairly low-key picnics. I have seen them be big money makers, and I have seen them be simply a time for people to get together to talk and have fun. There is no right way to do a parish festival, but they are important in our life together. Festivals are an opportunity for us as a family of faith to work together and to celebrate together.

I have said before, that because our Catholic faith is supposed to be the foundation of our lives, parish life should be one of the central realities of our lives. This includes in some measure where we would go to have fun and to be with our friends (as with festivals, but also in other ways). Of course we need to be engaged explicitly with growing in our faith and our relationship with the Lord, but our faith is not just what we read, learn, or pray about. Our faith ought to shape every aspect of our lives: our faith ought to shape our hobbies and our entertainment; our faith shapes our friends and who we spend time with; our faith ought to shape…fill in the blank. One of the very practical ways that we can do this is by making the parish, both the people and the location, a foundational element of our lives.

I am sure that some of you who have read this have had some thought in the vein of, “But what about the rest of my life? Shouldn’t I be out among the people witnessing to Christ in the world?” Yes, of course you should be out in the world, witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ. However, what makes that life of witness possible? Not just possible, what makes that life of witness fruitful? It is only because our lives are grounded in Christ, centered around Him, and supported by the Body of Christ.

Over the past couple weeks, I have asked you what you have to offer to the parish and community and what you would like from the parish. As of the writing of this article (to be fair, I have to have this in by Monday so there is not a lot of time between each article) I have received only a small handful of responses. I really would like some more, first so that I can get to know all of you better, but also I would like to find those ways that we can make the parish more and more the center of our lives.

We are a part of God’s family, and each and everyone one of us needs to continue to grow in this reality. I would really like to know all those ways that we can more fully live out this family relationship with God and one another.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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