I am looking forward to the celebration of my 25 years of priesthood at Christ the King on October 25th at the 12:15 pm and 5:00 pm Masses. It gives me an opportunity to look back at the 25 years of grace and ministry with gratitude, humbly accepting my own weaknesses and strengths. One thing I know for sure is that I have not been a perfect priest. God has been good to me and you have been good to me. I am deeply grateful.
I left home when I was 12 years old to attend a Salesian apostolic school and then, at 15, I left for the North Eastern region of India, nearly 2000 miles away. I studied and worked there for 20 years with the Salesians to whom I owe everything. My journey from the magnificent foothills of the Himalayas to the beautiful wilderness of the Bay area has been indeed a joyful experience for me. “John Muir called the Sierras the Range of Light and -- as Light in the sky -- they evoked in him immense religious longings. Before the magnificence of nature, he found himself dumb with admiration, prostrate and humble before the power of the God who created it all.” (Larry Gates) My experience and priestly ministry here cannot be described in words. As a priest, I have found God’s cathedral right here among the hills and valleys that adorn this beautiful place. ” In the words of Bob Madgic, in Shattered Air, “Human frailties – prejudice, envy, selfishness, egotism – tend to dissipate in the thinnest air, and all human emotions boil down to the joy of the moment.” Up there on the mountaintop, over the waterfalls and rocks, camaraderie is magnified and spreads widely. Here, in God’s open sanctuary, we reconnect with life in all its deep and holy mystery. God’s presence is everywhere. As Gerard Manly Hopkins reminded us, “The beauty of Nature leads us to imagine the beauty that must characterize Nature’s Creator.” Being an outdoor person, I have truly discovered myself here. I am grateful. I will share my vocation story in the days to come.
I would like to thank Kate Doherty for preaching at all the masses this weekend on the 4th chapter of Laudato si. Kate has been one of the key persons planning and implementing the various presentations. I would like to thank her for her ministry and leadership at Christ the King. Chapter four deals with Integral Ecology. “Recognizing the reasons why a given area is polluted requires a study of the workings of society, its economy, its behavior, and the ways it grasps reality. We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis that is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” (National Catholic reporter)
I would like to welcome two special people to present chapter 5 next weekend. Fr. Ray Bucher, who worked at San Damiano for many years will preach at all the masses and then, Mary Evelyn Tucker, will do the Monday evening presentation. Mary Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she teaches in a joint master’s degree program between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim. Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998).
The fifth chapter, “Lines of Approach and Action”, sets out various international collective actions needed. It highlights the imperative to switch from fossil fuels to renewables, with the use of government subsidies where appropriate. It identifies the need for international agreements and legislation not only in relation to climate change but also biodiversity and the oceans. Carbon credits are criticized as “an expedient which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”
May God bless us all!
8:00am, 5:00pm (vigil)
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:15am, 10:45am, 12:15pm, 6:00pm (youth mass)
8:00 am, 7:00 pm;
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 12 noon-7:00 p.m. (except summer)