Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We Remember...

We Remember...

We Celebrate...

We Believe...

This Sunday marks the third anniversary of the attempted firing of our beloved Parish Staff and of the subsequent takeover of Holy Spirit Parish.

To commemorate this day and to reunite us as a community family, we extend an invitation to all of those parishioners who left Holy Spirit over the last three years because of this controversy, to join us in celebration of Holy Mass during our regularly scheduled 8:30 Mass on June 18, 2006.

This is not a time of protest, but a time to visit with old friends and remember the parish family that we once were and to remind ourselves of the ongoing struggle that our staff and fellow parishioners still face today. It will be a time to pray for the leadership guidance of our bishop and pastor.

We remain faithful Catholics and despite many of us being removed from our ministries or being prohibited from participating in parish activities, Holy Spirit Parish is still our home and we would welcome you and your family back, even if only for one Sunday, to join us during this time of prayer, remembrance and spiritual renewal.

In remembrance of that day three years ago and of all that has subsequently taken place at Holy Spirit Parish, we encourage you to join us in wearing a small red ribbon during this Mass and throughout the following week, in hopes that it will allow us to remember those acts of retaliation that a bishop of the Catholic Church, His Excellency, Bishop Raymundo J. Peña, took against his church workers for exercising their legal right to union representation. We would welcome your participation in this non-mandatory endeavor, as well.

There are other activities planned for the remembrance of June 18, 2003 and we recommend that you contact one of us for further details.

May the peace of the Lord be with you always,

Got Pictures to Share for our huge 3rd Anniversary Rememberance Picture Post?

E-Mail 'em to me NOW...

...then get ready for the show!

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Bishop Watcher said...

Nice pictures! If you click on the collage it gets bigger and you can see the faces of all of the parishioners united, some who are close confidants of Louey now.

The bishop said that he once worked with Union founder (the same union the bishop now strives to crush) Cesar Chavez. So the bishop knows the refrain, "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!" (the people united will never be defeated!) The scheming bishop's plan all along has been to divide the people, and he has succeeded in that for now. But for how long, and at what price to his eternal soul?

Harold Mosher said...

I Remember Holy Spirit As Truly Christian

It is sad to think that a Catholic Pastor would choose George Bush as his role model rather than Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit Parish has long enjoyed the recognition as a parish that has chosen to embrace the Gospel as its path to initiating acts of service, justice, love and acceptance of diversity (a clear demonstration of the message of the Gospel). What we now experience is anything but this focus.

Our pastor has chosen to replicate the characteristics of the current administration in Washington:

Arrogance over humility
Authoritarianism over community involvement
Secrecy over transparency
Association only with the rich over service to the needy (reason for the gala)
Ignorance over true religious growth in the faith
Rejection of diversity over unification and trust
Absence over presence as visible sign of the Gospel
Praise for the rich over service to the poor (crumbs through Jamaica)
Mandates over dialogue
Stay the course over evaluate every situation.

The true pastors who preceded the current tyrant brought greatness to the parish. They unified all economic classes into a true Christian, Catholic body of believers, worshipers and family. The dysfunctional family this pastor has created could never reflect a true embodiment of Catholic teaching. He has created an elitist segment of the parish to make all decisions. The rest are to follow, shut up and go away.

He has not yet gotten the message. Low income, passive attendance and the future are yet to be experienced. He leads by might, and by letting others do his work for him. He seeks glory, not for the parish or for Christ, but for himself.

After 25 years in the parish, I have never experienced a pastor who has chosen himself over the parish, until now. It is disheartening and a true sign that leadership is not part of his character. He leads by mandate, intimidation and pobrecito.

“Now the multitude of believers were of one heart and one soul, and not one of them said that anything he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” Acts 5:32

This is the Holy Spirit Parish that I remember.

Harold Mosher
25-year parishioner
Acceptor of diversity and dialogue
Unable to attend discriminatory celebrations

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to remember a very tragic day for Holy Spirit, by having our whole family together again in fellowship and prayer!

Ana Lucia Hallman said...

I Remember ...
Looking at the pictures I couldn't avoid a wave of sadness rushing trough my heart as if it was June 18, 2003. I remember when someone called me at work to tell me what was happening, and to this day it gives me chills. It was the beginning of one of the most extraordinary expereinces of my life, one that has in different ways changed my life for ever. For more than two weeks I cried every day. Two very important things in my life were violated that day: my spirital home- my beloved church- , and my family-my faith, my community, my parish family. My innocent, almost child-like, trust in the Catholic Church was lost that day and for ever. The incredible pride of being called a catholic from Holy Spirit Parish was destroyed.
Trough prayer and support of wonderful friends I forgave and continue forgiving those that came to destroy the best parish I ever knew. What I find difficult to do is to forget, especially to forget the injustice that originated all this tragedy, and that still continues to this day.

I Celebrate ...
But from the ashes of what was, and from the pain of what was lost, many wonderfulthings have grown: friendships that deepen as we grow together in the struggle for justice, and in the search of understanding our faith and what it means to be followers of Christ. A truel small church community has evolved; full of love, courage, fun, and with a deep desire to be and to live like true disciples of Jesus.

I Believe ....
Yes, I believe that justice will be done; that our parish staff, especially those still receiving the blows from the pastor, from the Diocese, and from a mostly indifferent community, will see justice, the justice that come only from God.
I believe, I pray and I hope that the Holy Spirit will continue guiding and strengthening all of us so that we can understand and do what our Lord wants us to do to help make justice a reality.

Anonymous said...

I live in Kansas City and am a parishioner in the diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph – Bishop Finn is our bishop. The sadness and disappointment we are experiencing since Bishop Finn has “taken over” is heartbreaking. I happened on your site and know that you all have experienced so much sadness and injustice – I am with you in spirit.
The song on your site is comforting – I will keep in touch and keep reading.

Anonymous said...

What a powerful statement from Harold Mosher, parishioner from day 1. He righteously holds nothing back in his condemnation of the pastor and, through him, the bishop and all of the hierarchy who don't give a damn about the Church, only their positions in it. I wonder if they believe in God? It doesn't seem like it.

And what moving words from Ana Lucia Hallman. She captures the spirit of what was lost and, paradoxically, created through the bishop's evil deads 3 years ago that continue today. Bishop, have you no fear of the Lord?!

And the Bishop Watcher; well, the bishop better watch his figurative back!

We remember; we celebrate; we believe, and we shall overcome.

Laura Moya said...

I, myself much like Ana Hallman found myself crying those first few weeks. Does Fr. Louie and the Bishop not know what they have done to this parish, to many families in our community? They may have thought that they took control but instead they have created bonds between families. They have given us an extended family. They have given my children more aunts and uncles then they can imagine. They have given my family a community that could never have happened with such poor leadership. It has become clear to me that the church beneath the church is truly the Body of Christ. The church we see every Sunday has become little more than a political machine with very clear and destructive agendas. So, Fr. Louie and Bishop Pena, Thank you for helping me find the Church beneath the church that sustains me. I ask you to come and join us, the Body of Christ is an incredible experience.

Anonymous said...

It will be very nice to see those that have left us once again reunited, however, what will be sad is not having our long-time choir director and choir members back to join us. What a big part of Holy Spirit they all were.
What a tragedy this whole thing has been... and continues to be!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it sad that so many of our fellow parishioners are so blinded by position that they overlook wrong! It is those that need our prayers.

Kanickers said...

"The church we now see every Sunday has become little more than a political machine with very clear and distructive agendas" -Laura Moya
How very true, Laura. Very well stated!

A supportive observer said...

I admire you people, but like a previous poster said, why don't you establish your own church. Maybe God is telling you that the Roman Church is defunct for many people; it is time to split. There are hundreds of Christian churches; none is the Perfect Way.

There are infinite pathways to God.
God bless you in yours! It seems to be an especially nourishing one.

Anonymous said...

To the supportive observer,

Building another church would be a good idea...but even if we did, wouldn't it be the same?

I mean, if it happened, the bishop would still find a way to "rain on our parade". Sounds kind of cruel, but hey, he's done it once, and I don't think he'd be afraid to do it again.

And also the fact that this is home to many. Nobody wants to give up their home, so why can't we live together? Because of the injustice. This is what is known as "religious persecution". Its a sad thing to live it, its even worse to give it.

May God bless everyone...those being persecuted and the persecutors.

~The Saddened Parishioner

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, I am sure that our Bishop would just love for all of us to just go away and find another church, forgetting about his cashing-in of the employee's pension fund, the mass firings at other parishes, his hiding of pedophile priests, his forked-tongue support of the Farm Workers Union and his confiscating of the San Juan Shrine, not to mention all of the destruction he has caused at Holy Spirit! Not till hell freezes over!

A Supportive Observer said...

I'm not saying to give up and forget. In fact, once you are free of the bishop you can go after him without fear. But you guys decide.

Dora E. Saavedra said...

We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe
June 18, 2006

We remember. . .
How we “found” Holy Spirit Parish, and it became our spiritual home;
How Holy Spirit parishioners were welcoming and friendly;
When our staff was treated with respect and dignity;
When our choir was strong and vibrant;
Homilies that nourished us and challenged us, like the story about Good luck, bad luck? Who knows?
A parish commitment to tithing;
A parish commitment to peace and justice;
A parish commitment to the poor;
A parish commitment to being Jesus’ hands and feet;
A parish commitment to building the Kingdom of God here and now.

We celebrate . . .
The love and community we have found in the people of God.
The friendships that have blossomed under difficult circumstances;
The hard-working staff of Holy Spirit who have remained steadfast in their commitment to serving the needs of the parish community;
The strength we find through God;
The solidarity of our community;
The support and prayers of so many across the country and the world;
The history we share;
Our Catholic faith;
Our small victories;
The Holy Spirit working among us.

We believe. . .
In the people of God;
That our staff deserves our continued support;
That our faith will only get stronger;
That the Holy Spirit will help us emerge from this struggle with a better understanding of the oppressed and those who hunger for justice;
That we are the Church;
That reconciliation begins with true dialogue;
That speaking truth to power is first resisted; then ridiculed; then accepted;
That the struggle “vale la pena.”
That working together we can restore Holy Spirit Parish as our spiritual home.

We remember, we celebrate, we believe.