By: James Wallace
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s a privilege speaking to you today from Sitka, Alaska, and extending to you all my prayers and well-wishes from St. Gregory Nazianzen Parish. I’ve been so blessed to complete my seminary internship with Father Andrew Sensinig–my supervisor–here at the Parish from early February to mid-May. It’s a program designed by the seminary to allow us a nice break from educational studies (all that studying) to come home and serve the flock of Jesus Christ. It reminds us why we wanted to be priests in the first place, and how we come alive being with the people of God — you! It’s been such a blessing for myself and the community. And can you believe it? On the very first day I arrived, Father Andy and I drove out to Agave and Pizza Express (local restaurants in the Sitka community) and dispensed ashes for the Ash Wednesday service. It was such a blessing to give ashes to excited men and women when they came to us in dining rooms, kitchens, and passing stairwells.
The community here in Sitka is remarkable: adult spelling bees, fiddle grinds, music festivals, school drama productions (they just performed ‘The Jungle Book,’ and ‘The Adams Family’). It warms my heart to participate with everyone in such a vibrant and wholesome community, where the local fiddlers and violinists play concerts for the elderly every Saturday morning, and where all the clergy come together at the Sitka docks to bless the fishing fleet and the upcoming fishing season. It’s a sign of God’s divine love.
And let me tell you: a daily holy hour is the greatest assurance of good health and well-being. You’ve gotta try it! The Blessed Sacrament is exposed every day in our day chapel for adoration, where we can sit and adore Christ–thanking Him for all that we’ve received. I can’t tell you how important and amazing this devotion is for all who take that step. It calms any fears, and it rejuvenates the mind as well as the soul. If you’re feeling anxious or worried in any way, please take the time to come and be with our Savior in the Holy Sacrament. It never fails. Never. He’s waiting for you…
Know that you are in my prayers, dear brothers and sisters. God love us, everyone!