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“[M]issionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others! It is in commitment to the Church's universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.
But what moves me even more strongly to proclaim the urgency of missionary evangelization is the fact that it is the primary service which the Church can render to every individual and to all humanity in the modern world, a world which has experienced marvelous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself. "Christ the Redeemer," I wrote in my first encyclical, "fully reveals man to himself.... The person who wishes to understand himself thoroughly...must...draw near to Christ.... [The] Redemption that took place through the cross has definitively restored to man his dignity and given back meaning to his life in the world." […]
Peoples everywhere, open the doors to Christ! His Gospel in no way detracts from man's freedom, from the respect that is owed to every culture and to whatever is good in each religion. By accepting Christ, you open yourselves to the definitive Word of God, to the One in whom God has made himself fully known and has shown us the path to himself.
The number of those who do not know Christ and do not belong to the Church is constantly on the increase. Indeed, since the end of the [Second Vatican] Council it has almost doubled. When we consider this immense portion of humanity which is loved by the Father and for whom he sent his Son, the urgency of the Church's mission is obvious.
On the other hand, our own times offer the Church new opportunities in this field: we have witnessed the collapse of oppressive ideologies and political systems; the opening of frontiers and the formation of a more united world due to an increase in communications; the affirmation among peoples of the gospel values which Jesus made incarnate in his own life (peace, justice, brotherhood, concern for the needy); and a kind of soulless economic and technical development which only stimulates the search for the truth about God, about man and about the meaning of life itself.
God is opening before the Church the horizons of a humanity more fully prepared for the sowing of the Gospel. I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”
Excerpt from the Introduction of Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical “Redemptoris Missio: On The Permanent Validity Of The Church's Missionary Mandate”
The liturgy of the Eucharist refers to the part of the Mass that begins with the collection and the preparation of the altar and the gifts of bread and wine. What are we doing in these actions? Much of the answer lies in the word Eucharist. Derived from a Greek word, it means “thanksgiving.”
The Eucharistic prayer, beginning with “The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts...,” and ending with the Great Amen, is the central part of the Mass. It is proclaimed over bread and wine, the basic signs of life and death, food and drink from the tables of ordinary people. We praise God for creation. We give God thanks and praise for Jesus, and for Jesus’ saving deeds. We ask God that the abundance promised at this holy table may be shared with the whole world, with all who seek God, even with the dead.
The Eucharistic prayer—although said aloud only by the priest—is not “the priest’s prayer.” The entire prayer requires every baptized person’s full, conscious and active participation. That does not mean that everyone reads the words aloud—that wouldn’t work! Rather, it means that we must join our hearts to the words sung or spoken by the priest, that we must assume an attentive posture, put aside the missalette and sing our parts with gusto and sincerity.
In the end, Eucharist is what our life as Christians is all about. In suffering or in joy, in confusion or routine, our life is always to be praise, always to be thanksgiving, always to be a sharing of God’s abundance with those in need.
Copyright © 1997 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1800 North Hermitage Avenue, Chicago IL 60622-1101; 1-800-933-1800. Text by Elizabeth Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
We invite you to consider our new electronic giving program as a way to automate your regular weekly offerings.
Electronic giving is convenient for you and provides much-needed consistency for our church. There is no cost for you to participate.
As an example, if you are currently giving on a weekly basis, you will no longer need to write out 52 checks a year, instead you can set up online donations and simply drop your empty envelope into the basket each week as an attendance record. And when illness, or other circumstances prevent you from attending mass, this program will allow your weekly offerings to continue on an uninterrupted basis.
To find out more about our exciting new service, click here.
We are a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled family. Responding to the Father's loving invitation, we gather together as a diverse community to worship, to minister to others, and to celebrate our faith through the sacraments, community outreach, education, and personal witness.
To deepen and enhance the spiritual life of the parish through liturgy, personal prayer, and devotions.
To provide religious education and spiritual formation.
To minister to those within the parish family and community.
To reach out to returning Catholics and unchurched persons.
To deepen our commitment to stewardship of prayer, time and talent, and treasure.
To celebrate our diversity and our commonality.
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish was established on July 27, 1967. We celebrated our first Mass on August 13, 1967, on the grounds of Camp San Pedro. During the following two years, Pastor Michael Troy and 200 families were a community on the road, celebrating Mass in San Pedro Center, New Hope Baptist Church and Aloma Elementary School. On November 1, 1969, we celebrated the first Mass in the domed recreational building. It served not only as our church, but also the rectory, church offices, ministry meeting room and community auditorium.