On every first Friday, Brian Ching, a third-year temporarily professed seminarian and graduate of Old College, will share with us reflections from his internship in parish ministry at St. John Vianney Parish in Goodyear, AZ. In kicking off the column, Brian relates the Church's tradition of first Fridays with his ministry at the parish.
When I was asked by the vocations office to write a monthly column for the blog, I was honored when I learned that I had been given the first Friday of the month for my monthly posting. The first Friday of the month is a day very special to the Church. For the Church it is a day that is uniquely dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart provides a fitting context for my year as a Seminarian Pastoral Intern at St. John Vianney Parish in Goodyear, AZ. The presence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus pervades every meeting, every conversation, and every moment of ministry at a parish.
Although I have only been here for a month, I am constantly amazed at how often I see the grace, compassion, and mercy of God, exemplified by the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, at work in our parishioners. August is a time of beginnings at St. John Vianney as many of our parish programs, such as the youth group, RCIA, and of course our parish school start up again after a summer break, and I have been privileged to be a part of several of these programs and to see God's grace at work in our parish. A priest, a seminarian, a religious can only do so much in a parish; we are dependent on the lay faithful to take hold of what can offer through our ministry and to share it with all they meet. Without their willingness to conform their lives as well to the heart of Jesus, the ministry of the priest or the religious is impossible.
Over the course of the year I hope to give you a peak in the joys of parish ministry from the unique view of a seminarian intern. I hope to share and reflect with you on the multitude of experiences here at the parish, both joyful and challenging that will hopefully for me into a better priest.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus…Pray for us!