Pastoral Messages from Fr. Rick – 1/9/22

Welcome Back and ‘Art Walk’ – Due to the Omicron surge, we will delay having our social hour after Sunday Mass until at least February.  Stay tuned also for any changes in weekend Mass schedule.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament:  Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.

Domestic Monastery:  Our book discussion will continue this Thursday at 2:30 PM.  We will be discussing Chapters 8 and 9.

Synod on Synodality – Hopefully this month we can begin our parish sessions on the World-Wide Synod on Synodality.  Basically a synod is a forum and process for listening, dialogue and learning.  The emphasis will be on the pastors listening to the concerns and needs of the people.  This should actually be a perpetual process in the life of a parish, but the Pope and bishops think that this would be an excellent time to have a more deliberate process with some specific themes to be considered.  Since Fr. Dave Bittmenn from St. George is actually the Pastor of St. Christopher’s, I will merely be ‘sitting in’ for him during our initial sessions, but I will be relaying pertinent information to him and he will surely make his personal presence available here in Kanab as needed.  Next week there will be more specific information on times to meet and themes to be discussed.

The Bishops suggest 11 themes to be discussed.  We can discuss all or just some of them and we can make up some of our own topics.  It is recommended that we discuss only one topic per session.  Here are the first two topics we will discuss: 


A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?


In the Church and in society we are side by side on the same road. In our local Church, who are those who “walk together”? Who are those who seem further apart? How are we called to grow as companions? What groups or individuals are left on the margins?

Here is a link for the Parish Packet that we will use for the process.  It can be found on our parish website on Fr. Rick’s Messages.

Also, if you would like to participate as a note taker or facilitator, please let me know.  It really does not have to be so complex in our tiny community, but it should be very interesting.

NEXT SUNDAY – JANUARY 16 – I will give a 30-40 minute presentation after Mass on the Synodality process covering the hopes and expectations for our participation up through July. As we discuss the various topics it’s important that we use our time together to express concerns and ideas rather than have question and answer sessions. We can best utilize the time by directing our ideas to each other.  As you recall, that as a retired priest I am not assigned here for any specific tenure and the pastor lives 80 miles away.  The main factor affecting the quality and type of parish you have depends mainly on the kind of relationships you develop with each other.  Given modern technology and the easy availability of user-friendly instructional materials, St. Christopher’s development as the BODY OF CHRIST is limited only by the motivation of the parishioners.  Most everyone moved to Kanab knowing that we are 300 miles from the center of Catholic life in Utah and we have realized for decades that we are facing a limited supply of priests to serve full time in our tiny mission parishes.  It’s us; or rather it’s YOU.  You’re anointed by the Spirit.  You too are God’s beloved sons and daughters in whom He is well pleased!!