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CatholicAnchor.org Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne is scheduled to participate in the following liturgies and events in the month of May. May 4 – 7 p.m., Listening session, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Soldotna May 5 – 9:30-11:30 a.m., Young adult gathering, Soldotna May 5 – 5:30 p.m., Confirmation Mass, Our Lady of the Angels, Kenai…
It is late April as I write this column. Our parish listening sessions, which are nearly complete — three to go — are revealing many things. I am hearing about the challenges we face as church, a wide variety of perspectives, some hope and gratitude, and a fair amount of frustration and disappointment.
Easter is a time to celebrate our faith in the Risen Jesus — he has saved us from our sins. If we do not believe in Jesus, we cannot make it to heaven on our own. Jesus told his disciples: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14: 6)
Particularly concerning were parishioners who were leaving not only our parish, but were leaving the Catholic faith. On the occasion that I had the opportunity to speak with people who were making this transition, I heard things like: “I’m not being fed here.” or “I’m not getting anything out of the Mass.” Such comments tend to betray a skewed perspective on why we are members of the church and why we attend Mass in the first place.
In recent months, I’ve been prayerfully asking: “What kind of church is God calling us to be today?” I believe that much of the answer lies in the papacy of Pope Francis. As Saint Francis himself was called to “renew my church,” I believe we are being called to a renewal in our time by this pope. I’m all in!