miércoles, 31 de julio de 2013

St. John Eudes 50th Anniversary Celebration • 1963 – 2013

“With Burning Hearts Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”

St. John Eudes Parish was founded on May 14, 1963, by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to serve the needs of the growing Roman Catholic community in the northwest San Fernando Valley. The founding pastor, Rev. Philip Grill, was commissioned by Cardinal McIntyre to begin fundraising and to purchase land for a church and school.  Today, as we celebrate our 50th year, our parish has grown to over 3,700 families and continues to fulfill the mission for which it was founded. (Learn more about us.)

We celebrated our 50th “Golden” Anniversary because we have much to celebrate!  We had a number of special events to celebrate our 50th Anniversary - such as an Oktoberfest, Winetasting Party, a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, our Jubilee Mass & Dinner Celebration, and our Summer Carnival. And we finished off our anniversary events with a special 50th Anniversary Pilgrimage to the Places of St. John Eudes. Our Golden Anniversary was a great opportunity to celebrate our parish, and we certainly did!

Reflections on Our 50th Anniversary

“Our 50th Anniversary” by Fr. Gérard Lecomte, CJM

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24: 30-32

Yes, we have now arrived at our Golden Anniversary Celebration.  50 years!  When we listen to parishioners tell of their personal experiences at our parish it is impossible not to feel how much their hearts, and ours, are burning with admiration and love for our church.  Our youth groups have expressed this love with the logo they printed on their official t-shirts.  They are particularly proud of being able to express their faith with the symbol of the heart.  Many of us do not wear a heart on our t-shirts, but we feel the same. 

We should be very appreciative of our 50th Anniversary Committee.  For one and a half years
they have been gathering, planning, organizing, reading archives, and creating the wonderful banners that have been on display and that we will carry during our celebration.  The members of this committee have a long history of commitment to St. John Eudes Church.  They work and give their time, talent, and treasure because they know Jesus and Mary.   As pastor of our beloved parish I feel honored to have spent time with them.  They know “nothing in all creation will be able to separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans  8:38-39).  Knowing this gave them the spirit to make our celebration a reality and to give of themselves to help continue to build a community of Catholics able to spread the Gospel.

Our parish has gone through these 50 years along with changes in U.S. society, changes in our local demographics, and the return to the sources of our faith through the Second Vatican Council.  In 1963, the year we were founded, the first documents of Vatican II were published.  They included the famous first constitution “Sacrosantum Concilium” on the Liturgy and “Inter Mirifica”, the Decree on the Means of Social Communication.  We have been good disciples following the steps of our apostles gathered in Rome.  How many among us could have imagined how this decree was prophetic about our present day situation!  We were born out of the Council and we have become experts in living this renewal through all these past 50 years!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me  the crown of righteousness,  which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:7-8

Now it is time to renew the flame of our burning hearts to assure we continue the mission of Christ for all following generations.  The world needs the Light of Christ.  We must face the challenges and opportunities of the next 50 years with one unequivocal goal:  To continue to build a Christ centered community with a strengthened vision of an open and cooperative parish, united in a common purpose, and one which will call us to exceptional leadership, fortify our capacity to meet changing needs, and forge in us the willingness to let Jesus live and reign in our souls.   And thus, through the example of our patron, St. John Eudes, we will serve Christ and his Church.

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