As Jesus invites us to go into the world two by two, I always literally think about my brother priest Fr. Jerome. We are two priests in our family, working for God’s Kingdom in different places. My brother is a great inspiration to me as he works among the poorest of the poor in South India. He takes care of orphans, helps widows and widowers and reaches out to many special needs children and their families. Presently, he is the pastor at Saint Thomas Parish in the town of Warangal. I am glad he was able to visit us for two weeks. I hope you all had a chance to see him.
It is just over two years that I have been serving here at Saint Anne Catholic Community. In this short time, I have learned so much about the Parish and the various ministries and organizations. I have gotten to know so many of you as I minister and serve. Presiding at the liturgies on the weekends and weekdays, I see the true joy of knowing you and being with you. I also have experienced many joyful moments at baptisms and weddings and other celebrations. I have been blessed to journey with you in sad times, such as comforting the sick and presiding at funerals and wake services. Visiting the school children almost every day (sometimes twice) and greeting the Faith Formation students, I find the joy of being connected with children and their families.
Besides these daily activities, I also serve on the Human Concern Commission. This commission exists to guide the ministries of Saint Anne Parish that provide spiritual and material support to all God’s people. The Human Concerns Commission is divided into four areas of focus: Pastoral Care, Faith Justice, Project Hope and the Sharing Board. I attend these meetings and offer spiritual support and guidance as needed. It is such an amazing experience to see the amount of work being done by the members in this commission. They are very dedicated and passionate about the mission of the church and give their time to live the Gospel by involving actively in reaching out to others.
This commission and the different branches are a bigger part of Saint Anne Catholic Community. We are one community embracing the total welfare of all individuals, and we reach out to those in need. While we live in a particular geographical setting, we are part of the Archdiocese of Chicago and part of the universal church. We exist to serve the world, bringing the Gospel of Christ and the mission of the church to serve those marginalized and less fortunate. I have learned a great deal from the many discussions and meetings I have attended.
I hope to continue to serve and minister to you to the best of my abilities. I am constantly thankful to God for the opportunity to be here. Thank you for your loving support and for embracing me to be part of this community. It was great pleasure having my brother Fr. Jerome visiting for couple of weeks. Thank you for welcoming him and extending Saint Anne hospitality. I will be going home to see my mom for three weeks from Sunday, July 15thuntil Wednesday, August 8th. Enjoy the summer time, and let us pray for each other and for our community of Saint Anne and for the world.
Fr. Joji Thanugundla