Parish Mission: “On the Road: Walking through the Gospels and through Life”
October 13-17, 2012
“It is with great joy and enthusiasm I welcome Brother Mike Moran to St Thomas Parish.We all have fond and blessed memories of his Passionist community member Fr Bob Joerger who presented two missions here at St Thomas in the past.A big warm welcome to Brother Mike.”
-Mary Ellen Van Buskirk
Theme of Talks
Talk 1: The Desert: Going Within
Monday October 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Church
Reading: Mark 1:4-13 The Baptism of Jesus in the Desert by John
Image: Icon of St. John the Baptist
Our quick paced, technologically driven world often prevents us from hearing the voice of God telling us we are the beloved. The icon of St. John the Baptist symbolizes the desert, the wild, that inner place where we stop, let go of the noise and distractions, and just be present with Jesus. It can be a difficult thing to do, since we also encounter our fears. But if we go into this metaphorical desert regularly, we can discover how much God loves us and our passion in life as well.
Talk 2: The Cross: Extravagant Love
Tuesday October 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Church
Reading: Philippians 2:6-11 The self-emptying Jesus
Image: The Cross
In living life and in journeying into the inner desert we experience “wounds of the heart.” Many of us grew up in a Church that emphasized sin, which made many of us fearful of God, believing that we must become perfect before God will love us. Yet God loves us just the way we are, and it is this love that has the power to change us, to heal us if we are open and take the time for it to happen. The cross is all about surrendering out of love, of living life on life’s terms.
Ritual: Veneration of the Cross
Talk 3: Memory: Transforming Our Story
Wednesday October 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Church
Reading: Luke 24:13-35 The Road to Emmaus
Image: Painting of the Road to Emmaus
The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is a metaphor for our lives of faith and our walk out of our parish mission/retreat back into our every day lives. The biblical concept of memory is living and dynamic, while the memory the disciples relate to Jesus is static and going nowhere. Jesus takes the two disciples’ static memory of his death and refashions it into a living memory, one that gives them courage, strength and leaves their hearts burning within them. As with the two disciples, what is real and stable in our lives is not what is behind us, in that place from which we are running, but in what we can become as we learn to undergo being set free from having to live defensively.
Ritual: Anointing with Oil
Michael Moran C.P.
Michael Moran, a native of West Springfield, MA, professes his vows as a Brother of the Eastern Province of the Passionist community in 1974. He holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from St. John University in New York City, after which he worked in various retreat centers and other ministries of his province.
Brother Michael is an artist, specializing in painting icons, translating this ancient art form of the Eastern Christian churches, into contemporary terms. He has also served as chaplain of the Supportive Care Program of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, a program that provides support for people with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers.
A large part of Brother Michael’s ministry is conducting creativity workshops and giving retreat/missions.