Pray for the youth of our pastoral region who leave this Friday to attend the youth conference co-hosted by LifeTeen and Franciscan University.  I have been impressed when I have attended such retreats in the past, and I am excited for our youth who are going.

It is hard to believe that I have been in Hamilton for three years now, and pastor of St. Julie Billiart for two years already.  It is an exciting time for Hamilton.  This area of Ohio is seeing growth and new development.  I guess it is my way of saying, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.”  It is only a kernel in my mind at present, but I begin to ask, “Will authentic spiritual development accompany the economic development?”  As people move in, will we be the Christians inviting them to draw closer to Jesus?  Bless Fr. Richmond; he asks it better: “Will we invite them into friendship with Jesus?”  The kind of friendship that challenges us to be our best self.  I look forward to working alongside you in the years ahead.

In today’s gospel Jesus sends out the seventy-two.  Sharing the Good News that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins is not only for the priests.  Sharing the Good News that we can become part of God’s family and, with the help of grace, we can live as his sons and daughters is not only for the priests.  The first step is having a group of friends with whom you can talk about your spiritual walk.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God.