They say, “time goes by fast when you are having fun.” I must be having a lot of fun since I cannot believe it has been over three months since I came to Holy Family. It has been a wonderful three months because of your warm welcome and the help of the staff in getting me acclimated. I thank God daily for you and for sending me to this wonderful community.
In addition to settling in, I have been meeting with many parishioners to get to know you better and talk about the future for Holy Family. These meetings have filled me with hope and excitement. Holy Family is blessed with many talented and gifted people who are ready to share their time, talent, and treasure in order to make sure that Holy Family will continue to be a beacon of light, ensuring that the Light of Christ will continue to shine in the world at present and future.
My focus for the next few months is to prepare our parish to function in this hybrid time of COVID and normalcy. As you may have observed, our Mass attendance is about 60% of what it was before the pandemic hit. Some people have a good reason for not returning to Sunday Masses and in-person ministries. Others have felt more comfortable watching Mass on the internet. Our mission statement says that we are a Eucharistic Community. The COVID months showed us the consequences of isolating ourselves from the outside world and its negative impact on people of all ages. We are social people who need to interact with other people. Our God is a God of love and calls us to share that love with one another. We cannot do it in isolation. We need one another. Without the Eucharist, we are like a branch cut off a tree that in time will wither and die.
Finally, Archbishop Gomez declared a Jubilee Year starting September 8, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the San Gabriel Mission. This is a reminder to us that we are called to continue the work of St. Junipero Serra and evangelize the people of our time by bringing them Christ through the witness of our lives and words. So, I leave you with the words of a prayer written specifically for this Jubilee year so you can pray it for the people of Holy Family and the whole Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Thank you for all you do for the glory of God and for your support and love. I am truly blessed and privileged to be your pastor.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your servant, St. Junípero Serra, and for all the missionaries, native peoples, and immigrants who established Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, that Your Kingdom might extend to the ends of the earth. Help us to walk in their footsteps as missionary disciples. Guided by their example, may we be always faithful and courageous in proclaiming the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Father, look upon Your family here in Los Angeles with mercy. Taught by the Word of Truth and fed with the Bread of Life, may Your Church here always seek to do Your will, and be the sign of Your love for all peoples, who are sons and daughters of God, all of us loved and desired by You, and born for greater things. Renew us and strengthen us and cleanse our hearts. By Your grace, may we follow Jesus with joy and holiness of life, and together with Him build a new world of faith and a city of saints. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, may we continue always forward in the mission of St. Junípero Serra, making Jesus Christ known to every heart in every nation. We ask this, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Albert Bahhuth