Sunday, January 22, 2006

Restore the Spirit?

Journey of Faith
The recent events in our parish—beginning with Adam Moya’s thought-provoking homily on Christmas Eve, and continuing with the “firing” of Dora Saavedra, Benny Arfele, Jose Moya, and Adam Moya from religious education ministry—has led me to reflect upon the crossroads that many of us find ourselves facing.

It has seemed throughout this journey of faith these last two and a half years that we have all had to decide which road to take: the road of truth and justice, or the road of “going with the flow.” One road is definitely easier. There is no doubt that just showing up to mass is much easier than speaking out about the injustices in our parish. It is also easier to just go along with the pastor’s decisions for fear of losing participation or leadership roles in beloved ministries, rather than to wear black in solidarity with our exiled brothers and sisters. It certainly would be easiest to just leave—attend mass at a church that isn’t plagued with injustice and conflict. These are the decisions that we are facing with more frequency.

My family has many years invested in helping build community in this parish; helping to make it a place where we could raise our children in an inclusive environment where Christ’s lessons of hope, love, and justice are not just a message, but a lifestyle. I would argue with anyone choosing the easy road that it is the importance of our Holy Spirit community that begs us to continue to push toward unifying our parish. This cannot be accomplished by catering to a priest that allows division to exist in our church. It also cannot be accomplished by leaving the parish.

I was employed by this church for many years. I have seen the tension and division that is allowed to exist in the office environment. I have seen relationships between staff members that were once as close as any family become damaged, perhaps beyond repair. This cannot be allowed to continue. Our church community and the staff that supports it are worth the discomfort of speaking out for truth and justice. I encourage everyone to remember that the restoration of this community is imperative, and the only way to thoroughly restore it is through action—speaking and acting upon the truth even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

I ask you to support our exiled parishioners; to ask the difficult questions of our pastor, and to remain at our “home,” Holy Spirit Parish.

Together we can restore the Spirit.

Bridget Cook
Ex-employee, Past, present and future parishioner
Holy Spirit Parish

A Reminder to Join Us for Peace at Spike's Corner.

To protest the war, propose peace, and bring our troops home from Iraq.
Sunday Jan. 22, corner of Bicentennial x Business 83 in McAllen, 4-5 PM.

Note: If you would like to contribute a posting or a comment to this site, please send it to:, with "Holy Spirit" in your title line. You may also e-mail this article to a friend simply by clicking on the little envelope below.

1 comment:

Kanickers said...

Excellent comment, Bridget. At the root of our concerns is building community and inclusion, something that our "pastor", ironically, is not about.

We keep stressing that the Church teaches that there is room at the table for ALL, including sinners, and who is not a sinner? But Louie, whether by his own will or by letting himself be easily persuaded by narrow-minded exclusionists of little faith and poor knowledge of the Gospel and the Church, shuts the door on those who don't exclaim, "yes, yes, Monsignor, whatever you say!", no matter how wrong you may be.

Those who did not know Holy Spirit Parish before June 18th, 2003, may be excused from not understanding why we continue the struggle. Most Catholic parishes are not like Holy Spirit was, unfortunately. But we who were lucky enough to be there 3 years ago have seen the transfiguration of the Church; we know what the Church can and should be like, and it is impossible for us to go back.

Justice, then peace in Christ,
Guy Hallman - I will be there to the end.