MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: We are all following the conflict between Israel and Palestine that has become a war after the massive surprise attack by Hamas resulting in the death of over 900 Israelis. While the world leaders have condemned such a terrorist attack, the retaliation is bringing more deaths. Pope Francis has begged both sides to “please stop the attacks and weapons and understand that terrorism and war do not lead to any solution, but only to the death and suffering of many innocent people. War is a defeat, every war is always a defeat.” He asked the faithful to join him in praying for peace in Israel and Palestine. We do pray for peace while the world leaders look for a political solution through dialog.
SYNOD ON SYNODALITY: It is this dialog that can make the present Synod on Synodality in Rome a success. Pope Francis opened the Synod’s three-week assembly with a call to remember that the Church exists to bring Jesus to the world and should face today’s challenges with a gaze fixed on God rather than “political calculations or ideological battles.” Francis repeated that the synod is not “a political gathering” or a “polarized parliament” but “a place of grace and communion.” And yet there is much polarization on many issues that will be discussed by the delegates in this Synod of Bishops, which for the first time includes laymen and women as full voting members. We accompany them with our prayers for the Spirit of God to guide them.
SPIRITUAL TECH CONNECT: Some of you have asked me about the progress of the live streaming/media upgrade plan in our church. At the beginning of this month, you may have read an update about it in the bulletin. It was published as part of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) decision to have more communication with our parishioners. Remember the ‘Spiritual Tech Connect’ campaign? We had launched it two years ago for the Giving Tuesday to purchase and install permanent tech equipment in our church building to spiritually connect with our community. That would give us the capability to project videos and images on large monitors that can be seen easily by everyone in church and by those watching online.
I am grateful to our Tech Committee (past and present members: Msgr Joe Curry, Peter Kostik, Barry Dusault, MaryBeth Oria, Elena Malinconico, Kathy Rezac, Andy Fuentes, Ana Kelly) who worked in the initial planning of this project. Later, two of our parishioners, Jeff Beck and Joe Mancuso, have been working with me on researching on the practical aspects of this project, meeting with different vendors to investigate, explore, compare and finalize what is best for our church. After countless hours of research, we have identified the technology we need to upgrade our church projection system. It includes a new contrast-enhancing 150” diagonal screen and an 8500 lumen projector to ensure a bright image. The screen will be placed on the crucifix wall behind the choir for maximum visibility, so we will be moving the crucifix higher on the wall (with proper consultation with our diocesan experts) to make space for it. As with any project, there has been delays in implementing this project too. Thanks to so many of you who graciously contributed to this Spiritual Tech Connect project, we all can be happy that we are in the last leg of seeing this project happen, and so we can look forward to enhancing our worship experience with this tech upgrade in the near future.
Your brother in Christ.
Fr. Abraham Orapankal