Priest's Letter - November 2021
I am writing this letter in the evening of November 1, Feast of All Saints and Eve of All Souls. Tonight at church during High Mass I rediscovered the obvious: that praying for the dead does a lot of good to the living. It connects us to each other, to our past, to the people that went before us. It helps situate ourselves in the right relationship with life and death, with our present situation, and with each other. The "flock" was small, perhaps due also to the fact that this letter is late and the event was not announced properly. In any case, new flowers were planted in Rebecca's Garden today, before High Mass, and the place is getting spruced up and filled with colors, ready for the inauguration this coming Saturday, November 6.
All the efforts that several of us have so graciously spent in the past few years, and especially in the past few months, will be clearly showing at the inauguration and I am sure will be appreciated by all. The place is beautiful and I am sure that the ceremony will be lovely. I won't hide to you that I am anxious more about the aftermath of the event than about the event itself. The "real work" in a way will start the next day . . . . I don't want to discourage anybody but all that we have done will bear fruit only if we will be able to staff the garden regularly and find ways to make it become a "destination" for people living in the city of Ontario and beyond. Please consider offering a few hours a week as a "docent" (talk to Mary Roberts or to myself about it).
We will keep having "meditation" on Wednesday mornings at 9am. Although the name itself is popular today, our tradition has called this exercise simply "silent prayer" or "practice of the presence of God.” Day by day I am more convinced that unless we return to some basic aspect of a contemplative lifestyle, not as a fashion, but as a structural element of our days, the Church will cease to have meaning in our present time. Everybody is invited to try this experience on Wednesday mornings. Just drop by to check it out.
The Center for Spirituality, which is in the course of being rebranded as Spirit, Earth, Action (SEA), is moving forward in many direction. I am close to signing a contract with the University of La Verne for receiving one student intern who will work closely with me and others both in Rebecca's Garden and for SEA. On November 20, we will have our online quarterly lecture at 10am: Dr. Richard Rose of the University of La Verne will speak about what it means to work together at projects for the good of the world while belonging and being motivated by different religions. This month, the online course on the Gospel of Mark and autobiography will come to a close; there will be a new class in a similar style on the Gospel of John and "the process of becoming oneself" starting in January.
The composting project in Rebecca's Garden continues. Now you can drop your food scraps on any day and time of the week in the box that has been set in the parking lot along the south wall of the church. More specific information on the flyer below. After mid-November, our crew of young people from Community Composting for Green Spaces - Inland Empire will start canvassing the neighborhood to raise interest and participation. To help out with composting, the time is every Tuesday at 4pm.
Please make all efforts to invite your friends and neighbors to the inauguration on Saturday, November 6, but especially after the inauguration for enjoying the Garden during opening hours. A cup of coffee, a friendly chat, or a meditative walk in the Garden waits for you and for them there!