We had another beautiful Sunday here so we headed out to our favorite park. This time we brought the kids' bikes and let them ride ahead of us. At one point along the trail, we noticed a party going on in the distance and we joked about crashing it to get free drinks. A little farther on we met up with an old man and his dog. "Are you guys with the church?" he asked pointing back in the direction of the party. "No," I thought to myself, "We're Catholic." I actually thought something along those lines so, were we ever surprised when the trail opened up to the parking lot and we saw someone we knew from, well, our church.
"Fancy meeting you here," we said and he invited us to join the rest of the party. Yes, THE party. It was our church. We were with them and we didn't even know it. Why didn't we know about it? Well, the group wasn't the whole church, but one "Contrada," as we're calling them. Our pastor, you see, broke the whole parish into smaller local groups just as it was done in Italy in the times of our patron, St Catherine of Sienna. Each Contrada has it's own flag and color and wrist bands in that color with St Catherine's words, "Be who you are and set the world ablaze" inscribed on them. It's pretty neat and while our Contrada hasn't had a picnic planning party at the park yet, apparently others have. They let us join them and not only gave us free drinks, but insisted we take home platters of leftovers, too. Also, we met some new people and saw some people we haven't been able to meet up with lately and made plans for later in the week. It was just great.
I am thankful for Father T and all he has done for our parish. He has a way of bringing people together and all of us closer to Christ. He has vision and humility and he thinks outside every box. He's doing wonderful things here. I hope you're experiencing some of the "springtime" in the Church John Paul II spoke about, too. We're certainly seeing some of the sprouts down here in the south and it is a beautiful thing to see.