On one of the many occasions when Jesus entered the temple, he said “my house shall be a house of prayer” (Is 56:7; Lk 19:45). Many, if not most of us consider our parish an extension of our own home. Some of our most treasured memories take place here: baptisms, First Communions, Sacrament of Confirmation, weddings, anointing of the sick and funerals. The church is also a place of life-long learning for children and adults. Our parish home is a meeting-place of friends and a refuge where we are sure to find Christ, our friend. Prayer is a beautiful dialogue between God and us in which we listen and speak to each other.

Through our baptism we truly become a living house of prayer as St. Paul says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19). Over the course of this year we will be renovating our house of prayer with a fortified foundation of communal and personal prayer. Two thousand years ago one of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1). Through our liturgies, homilies, retreats, website and bulletin resources, bible studies and faith formation programs, our Lord will teach us how to pray and to discover in prayer a place of “light, happiness, and peace” (Roman Canon).

However, God’s house, our house of prayer, must extend beyond the walls of the church. Shortly after his election, Pope Francis told journalists “Ah, how I would like a church that is poor, and for the poor.” Throughout the year, each of us will be given several opportunities to embrace the joy and responsibility of responding boldly and generously to this call to be a house of the poor.Jesus told us that the greatest commandment in the law is to love God and your neighbor as yourself. And so, will journey together this year to rediscover the joy of living this twofold commandment by becoming: a House of Prayer and a House of the Poor.

Fr. Brendan, Administrator

A House of Prayer and a House of the Poor: To get started, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you will find daily reflections by parishioners, including Fr. Brendan