Saturday, October 25, 2014
[This weekend, our guest writer is Nate Addington, Catholic Campus Minister for the College of Wooster and Ashland University]
We hear a great deal about hospitality and the way we should interact with those we encounter in all three of our readings today. The concept of extending hospitality to the stranger was rooted in the Jewish culture Jesus found himself in (Gen. 18-18) and a great deal of our Gospel narratives revolve around the notion of welcoming the stranger and caring for the guest (Luke 14:13).
As a campus minister, I am continually aware that college students can often feel like the aliens in our first readings- an outsider in a foreign land, unfamiliar with the local [diocesan] customs and [parish] practices. Plugging into a parish is hard work. It takes an earnest effort, and a willingness to step out of our comfort zones as we meet new people.
Thankfully, I know many of our local college students have felt very much at home here at St. Mary Parish. Several sing in the choir, and volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Others have shared stories of being invited over for family meals, and even being offered a seat around the Thanksgiving Day table.
Next week, we welcome the family members of the College of Wooster students who are joining us for the 2014 Family Weekend at the college. We invite those visiting, and all St. Mary parishioners, to join us in the parish hall following the 11:00 AM Mass for a reception and social gathering.
May we all strive to attain the model established by our Savior; to love the Lord, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. And, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Peace and every good thing,
P.S. As Pastor, I would like to thank Nate for his joyful witness to the Gospel and his exuberant efforts to accompany our college students in their relationship with Christ and the Church !