It’s official, the school year has commenced and students all around the world have returned to their studies, both in-person and virtually. The beginning of the year is normally filled with mixed emotions: excitement and nervousness. This year we’ve all faced the anxieties of the COVID classroom realities as well. Instead of thinking about making new friends, seeing a favorite teacher, playing on a sports team, worries of social distancing, face masks and hand sanitizer fill our minds. Yet, now that we’ve done the work of setting the safety expectations, I am confident we can safely work together to gather in church for Religious Education sessions once a month.
Another staple of the routine during this time of the year is that common phrase this, “Hi, my name is..”. For over fifty years, our parish has had the same answer, “St. Julian.” Over the last year, many of our parishioners have worried about what would happen to our traditions if, in the process of ReNew My Church, the name St. Julian would change. It has been a topic of much conversation and trepidation. However, this part of our history is not unique amid the history of the people of God.
Early on in the Bible, we read examples of how God transforms the lives of the faithful and then literally renames those faithful. After promising to honor God and no other, Abram is called Abraham and his wife Sarai is called Sarah. Another patriarch, Jacob, who fathers the twelve tribes of Israel, is called Israel as well. In the New Testament, Saul, who initially detests Christians, has his eyes opened to the glory of God and is called Paul to mirror his internal change of heart. In each of these cases, the original name was a gift in itself, but at a certain point God called each individual to respond to his love in a new way. Their willingness to allow God’s grace into their lives in a new way changed them thanks to God’s transformative power.
This year, God is calling us, the parishioners of St. Julian and Queen of the Rosary. So, now is our time to respond to that all important question: How will we listen to God’s call and allow his grace to transform our parish and our hearts?
P.S. In case you’re haven’t yet heard the exciting news, St Julian and Queen of the Rosary will officially be know as the parish of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. I am pleased to share in this new chapter in the history of the Elk Grove Catholic Community with you and your family!