Our ACC would like to again express its welcome to Fr. Tom Skaja as he is completing his first month with us. Please continue to introduce (and reintroduce) yourself to him. Repetition is helpful for remembering – and there are a lot of names to remember! We were hoping to have a small welcome gathering sometime this summer when we might be able to serve some refreshments. However, it does not seem like the restriction on serving food will be lifted anytime soon.
Hospitality is a virtue and we are meant to practice it and grow in it throughout our lives. During these times when home visits and hospital visits are severely limited, it might seem like we do not have the opportunity to practice this virtue. But we must remember that true hospitality is more than offering a meal or a place to rest. Hospitality is a virtue of the heart connected to charity that enables us to receive others.
Rather than imposing ourselves or our views on those we meet, hospitality helps us to invite others into conversations and our homes where they can be comfortable. Through this virtue, we become more able to avoid overbearingly pushing our views on others, and instead help them to relax and be who they are so that we can understand their views. It is an attentiveness to the person in front of us – really seeing them as they are and not as we might want them to be.
This kind of hospitality can be practiced in a five-minute conversation or a five-day stay (though over five days you will likely have multiple opportunities to practice).
However, that does not mean that hospitality requires you to approve or accept the actions of the guest. A host need not allow his/her guest to smoke in the house, as a very simple example, but should still be open to the person who smokes. It is hard to help others grow in virtue if our actions immediately put them on the defensive. By being open and welcoming, we can help other people start to open up in return and begin to listen to that interior call to holiness.
There are still many opportunities for each of us to be hospitable during these times – even if it is just over the phone. This virtue, and those related to it, are essential for building strong and caring communities. Without it we become more insular and more isolated. The Lord wants to bring us together, the devil wants to divide. May we all come together as members of one Church in Jesus Christ and welcome all in our midst.
St. Joseph will be adding a Traditional Latin Mass on Wednesday’s at 6:30 a.m. starting this week. Everyone is welcome to attend. I am pretty sure this would be the earliest Mass time in the Saint Cloud area, so those with earlier work schedules now have another option. It is also an option to become more familiar with the Latin Mass in a low-key setting for those who are interested.
Please be aware that the weekday Mass schedule might continue to be adjusted, especially as the parishes of the other ACC in Saint Cloud begin their new schedules. I suggest that you pay close attention to the bulletin for that schedule and any changes in times or locations.
-- Fr. Timothy Gapinski