July 3, 2016
When I got the assignment letter from Cadinal Dolan asking me to serve St. Teresa's Church, I gladly accepted the call for I knew where I was going as I lived in the merged parishes of St. Joseph and St. James. It is like home coming to continue my pastoral work in Lower Manhattan. I like to work with different ethnic groups who bring different dimensions of faith and spiritual life. We come from different countries but we are Americans. The Church gives us the identity to function as persons of Christ Jesus.
In Baptism we are brothers and sisters. Our parents have shown us the House of God that we the parishioners built materially and spiritually. We have to live in our house spiritually and socially to make life happen. It is not a holiday home to appear once in a while but a home to praise God and pray for direction in life. It has also a social dimension where we meet together to show our unity as people of God. We celebrate feasts and various important functions of our life. We come to know one another. I just finshed m Sabbatical in Lima, Peru. I was studying Spanish and lived in a Chruch. I encountered so many parishioners who made me feel at home and took me in as one of them. Coming back to my merged parishes, I though people forgot about me but to my suprise the first one to greet me was a young Chinese girl who did not know how to say good morning in English. Surely, then I was greeted by my English and Spanish parishioners. I know that together we can continue this Unity in Diversity as we move forward as people of God and make our Parish of St. Teresa a welcoming place of worship for all ethnic groups.
We are Americans or on the way to become American Citizens. We will all work together with enthusiasm to make our parish a spiritual house with Christ as our center of life. In fact, we are blessed as we have several other Catholic Churches around us not as our enemies but our own brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Let us collaborate to make our faith known to each other and people around us.
We will try to continue the legacy left by our former pastors like Bishop Sullivan, Fr. Baker, Fr. Serrano and others. We will see the best in one another and bring needed changes for the pastoral good of the people. Let us make our Church a beautiful house of prayer and sanctity.
HAPPY 4h OF JULY TO ALL
It is a day of our Country's Independence and we will have many celebrations on the day. Let us not forget to thank God by participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our forefathers made great sacrifices for our freedom and it our duty to enjoy the freedom by continuing to work hard for our Nation.
- Father Lino Gonsalves