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Saint Matthew
Catholic Church

3005 6th Street
Ceres, CA 95307
Ph: (209) 541-1660
Fax: (209) 541-3952

Blessing The Grotto Of Our Lady of Grace, 2013



Bishop Mar Sarhad Jammo Pastoral Visit

On Saturday, May 4th, 2013, His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo began his pastoral visit to our Parish with the Consecration of the grotto of our Lady of Grace ceremony. Our Marian devotion in honoring our Blessed Mother of God will surely be remembered as a day of new beginning for our Parish. Offering the flowers the kids brought to our Holy Mother was a sentiment that only a father could see its authenticity. Mar Sarhad, our beloved spiritual father and Bishop did indeed see, for the fruit of his labor could never have manifested more explicitly than seeing the sheer joy in each child that came to him so to receive a blessing.

Following the ceremony, to the attendees during dinner H.E. Mar Sarhad spoke about the Parable of the Talents, emphasizing on the necessity of both self-giving and self-assessing every shepherd must demand of himself, and so must we. For the end we have claimed to reach, is of purity and great value. But neither purity nor value can ever be obtained from any ware but the Altar, and be permeated with sacrifices and humility. H.E. continued saying, even in his sermon the next day, "together we have passed the test", emphasizing on the fact that this was a mission he, himself, claimed and reaffirmed not only to continue, but to be the forefront in facing the challenges ahead. "I have come to harvest today." asking each and every one of us to reflect on our own faithfulness in preserving our unity in Christ, for it is indeed from the Altar we receive that which is pure and of great value- to be one in Christ.

During his sermon, a little girl came to me with deep concern-look and asked me why I was crying, I replied, he is so passionate. She asked me what does passionate mean. He loves Jesus so much, I replied. She looked up, with a beautiful smile and said; I do too!

Indeed, our Bishop's heartfelt love for Jesus is Grace given virtue, and so has been his love for us, evident in his words and deeds through the years and touched us all, young and old. As our spiritual father, he continued calling us to adhere to our unity in Christ, as a father calling his children to be one, even more so, to desire it, for The Lord Himself commanded it. However, H.E. emphasized on the reality of where we are today, and the accountability we must all bear so that we can ensure that our unity is augmented and true. He continues saying that we must remain mindful of the criteria through which we must be willing to assess our adherence to this mission, and that is holiness, and nothing else. For that which requires much of us, can be nothing less than that which is most precious for us, and that is what our Diocese did. Our beloved Bishop reiterated his fervent pledge to continue his mission in uniting us in Christ, "I first! Let me take the adversary's snares, and you behind me".

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