January 14, 2024

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As the last shimmer of the Christmas season fades, we gracefully enter Ordinary Time. This period, often undervalued, is a unique opportunity for profound spiritual growth and renewal. Ordinary Time, contrary to its name, is far from mundane. It’s a season rich with the structured rhythm of our faith, unfolding the life of Christ and His teachings. Named from “ordinalis” in Latin, meaning “numbered,” it invites us on a methodical faith journey. From the first to the thirty-fourth Sunday, with Lent beginning on February 14 and the subsequent Easter season, Ordinary Time encompasses the entirety of Christ’s mystery, unlike the seasons of Christmas or Easter, which focus on specific aspects of His life.

An interesting symbol of Ordinary Time is the color green in church vestments and decorations, representing new life and growth, reminiscent of spring’s vibrancy. This season, particularly post-Pentecost, mirrors the early Church’s expansion under the Holy Spirit, spreading the Gospel globally. Thus, Ordinary Time is “ordered” towards growth, renewal, and development, mirroring the dynamic evolution of our faith and community.

In this season of growth, I am thrilled to share exciting news that reflects our faith journey. Last year, I outlined a vision to expand our sacred space and enhance our parish community. Thanks to your generosity and commitment to our weekly collections and the Annual Catholic Appeal, this vision is now a reality. I am elated to announce the commencement of our new glass atrium’s construction, along the previously underutilized church corridor adjacent to the rectory’s side garden. More than an architectural addition, this atrium, extending from the existing greenhouse linking the side vestibule to the lower chapel, represents our collective spiritual growth, offering a welcoming space for meetings and prayer.

Following extensive collaboration with skilled architects, engineers, parish staff, diocesan officials, and Bishop Brennan’s final plan approval, I have entrusted this important project to Victoria Construction Company. Their history of excellent work assures us of a harmonious blend with our beloved church, enhancing its aesthetic appeal without significant structural changes.

Furthermore, I am pleased to report the completion of the stained-glass window frame restorations on our church’s facade. Their renewed splendor, now more visible thanks to new tempered glass coverings, is a testament to our enduring spirit and commitment to heritage preservation. The ongoing restoration of the remaining windows in the two towers symbolizes our physical and spiritual renewal journey.

As we progress through Ordinary Time, embracing opportunities for change, growth, and deepening our relationship with Christ, let’s also welcome these positive parish developments. Each step in Christ’s public ministry, each day of Ordinary Time, and each phase of our parish’s enhancements are interconnected, leading us towards a greater appreciation of our faith and mission.

In conclusion, let’s view this time not as a return to routine but as a chance for deeper, more vibrant faith. May this season guide us to live a life marked by enthusiasm and generosity.

With my blessings and prayers,

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham