God is so merciful that, although we are imperfect and have many faults and sinful inclinations, he grants us the grace to respond to his call to share in his divine ministry. By virtue of our baptism into Jesus Christ, our One True Priest, we all participate in the three roles that Jesus Christ perfectly accomplished, namely: his priestly, kingly and prophetic roles.
As we share in the “common priesthood” we are called to offer up prayers and sacrifices everyday: “Our Father, who art in heaven… give us this day, our daily bread… and forgive us our trespasses as we for-give those who trespass against us...” What a powerful way to begin and end the day, since Jesus is the One True Priest who prays that prayer within us, and we receive the fruits of this prayer when prayed sincerely, especially at Mass.
As a member of the royal family of God through Christ, we are called to lead holy lives in whatever state God calls us to, and to the degree of the faith we have received. Thus, together as ordained and laity, we advance God’s Kingdom by protecting and promoting God’s supreme dignity, and the truth of how each human being shares in that dignity, which means they deserve to know that God is the giver, sustainer, and goal of their life in Jesus Christ, the divine head, and Ruler of his Catholic Church.
We are called to share in the prophetic role of Christ by teaching the faith to the best of our ability, and to share with others how to properly worship God through, with and in Jesus Christ. The fullest way we do this is at Holy Mass with our Pastor, and even more so with our Bishop.
We had the great joy and privilege of ministering with Archbishop Hebda who presided at Holy Mass at St. Columbkill this past Sunday, July 16, when he ceremoniously installed me as Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish. It was a beautiful celebration and I want to thank all of those who helped us celebrate this rite, as well as all those who helped plan the parish picnic and activities. The liturgy, singing, serving, food and fun were fantastic. It is my joy and privilege to be your Pastor for the next six years.
During the Installation of Pastor ceremony, at which my parents and some friends also attended, I led the congregation in the Profession of Faith: “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages…”
I also recited, once again, the “Oath of Fidelity on Assuming an Office to be Exercised in the Name of the Church,” which I recited before becoming an ordained deacon, and then as an ordained priest:
I, Fr. Thomas McCabe, in assuming the office of pastor, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.
With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.
In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.
I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.
With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish. I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.
So help me God, and God’s Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.
I then signed and dated this document, as did one of the trustees in our parish. It was a beautiful ceremony and I thank all those who attended, and those who supported me spiritually with their prayers who were unable to attend.
I look forward to the journey ahead, since so many of you are deeply involved with growing the Catholic faith and our parish community in the faith, hope and love of God. As Jesus put it so simply to his first disciples, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.”
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe