Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My trip of Bend Oregon and the Dedication of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church

On June 6th, bolstered with several  Jack Daniels & Coke Zeros, I mustered up the courage to board Alaskan Airlines for my first trip to Oregon in nearly 50 years for the dedication of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church in the city of Bend, Oregon.

The dedication of any new parish is cause for joy and celebration for any community of faith and for the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest - this dedication was no exception.  

The conception of Holy Communion began when I was contacted by Father James Radloff who was interested in seeking clerical incardination into the Diocese of the Northwest and continuing his sacramental ministry in the Bend community.  Within a very short period of time a Pastoral Formation Team was created and the foundation for Holy Communion was in place ready to begin being built upon.  I must also say that the work of the PFT for Holy Communion will be serving as the template for bringing future parishes online.

My pastoral visit to Bend involved more than just the dedication of a new parish.  It was my obligation and responsibility to introduce the Evangelical Catholic Church to a community that had never heard of us before. While our Church continues to celebrate the historic sacramental and ecclesial roots of Catholicism, we have instituted a few pastoral reforms which needed to be explained and discussed.  I was deeply grateful for the respectful responses throughout our gathering on June 7th.

It was also my obligation and responsibility to begin establishing a trust relationship between myself and the people of Bend. Given the past history of the people of Bend with their bishops, it is important for me to earn their trust after years of past difficulties.  

Our Mass of Dedication on the Feast of Pentecost was a joyous and moving experience - with nearly 450 people in attendance

I believe that the Holy Spirit has been and shall remain strongly present with our new family in faith in Bend and I look forward to sharing that journey with them..

I wish to especially thank the Formation Committee for providing me with a most enjoyable and comfortable stay during my weekend.

I am looking forward to my next visit to Bend -  most likely via Amtrak.

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