Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ and Father Joseph Parekkatt, above, distribute Communion. Bishop Barber, left, helped coax the doves from their container before they flew out.
Bishop enlists parishioners to be 'prayer warriors'
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, asked parishioners at St. Anne Parish to be his "prayer warriors" during a 50th anniversary celebration at the parish Aug. 17.
The bishop thanked the parishioners for their support and asked, "If you have time on your hands, I need the support of your prayers."
The Walnut Creek parish that serves the retirement community of Rossmoor began a year of celebration, which will end Aug. 16, 2015.
"We have a whole year to thank God for the wonderful gifts we have received from him," said Rev. Joseph Parekkatt, parochial administrator. "Rossmoor is a city like no other. It is a wonderful place."
During his homily, Bishop Barber explained the parable of the woman who was not Jewish, but asked the Lord to cure her.
"He rewards faith," the bishop said. Until Christ, the Jews believed only they could get to heaven. But "the experience of the passion and death makes possible the salvation of everyone, not just the Jews," the bishop said.
The experiences of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the mother of Mary and namesake of the Rossmoor parish, teach that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled. "Great is the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary and great is the love of her son," the bishop said.
A reception on the parish grounds after Mass featured the release of five white doves, one each for each decade of the parish's existence. Bishop Barber helped coax the doves from their container before they flew out, circled the parish, and flew away.
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