As the Roman Emperor Augustus said, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” Of course he was talking about his many achievements in Rome, but I can relate to this quote in a completely different way. What started as a vacation to see a close friend, turned into an amazing experience that showed me the power of the universal Church!
Oftentimes, Catholic parishes are described as the local “faith family comprised of many families.” Ultimately, all ecclesial ministry, and in a particular way the ministry of the priest, is at the service of the localized family of faith. During my pastoral year assignment at Saint Matthew Parish in East Stroudsburg, I learned firsthand what it means to minister each day among this faith family in a specific parish.
"Dear young people, we didn't come into this world to 'vegetate', to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on," said Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland this summer.