The central Mystery of our Catholic faith is the Holy Trinity. One God, three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. For all time, God has been a community. And so, when God made human beings in His image and likeness, God imbued within each person the necessity of community life. Human beings not only survive by living in community life, but we actually thrive. Think about all the ways that living as a community allows us to flourish: In community, we are able to play games such as football, baseball and, of course the great sport of hockey. In community we are able to share ideas which allow us to accomplish incredible feats like putting a man on the moon. In community we are able to comfort one another in times of sorrow or distress. In community we are able to inspire one another to be better and become great. Human beings have been made for community. The life of a priest, while it is rarely lonely, can cause a priest to become more isolated and separated from his fellow priests. It is easy for priests to lose the important support that we gather from each other in our times together, in our shared priesthood.
Recognizing this importance of community, I realized that upon becoming pastor of Nativity of Mary, this was the first time that I was truly living alone. While I was certainly comfortable, I was still feeling this draw to maintaining community life. As a result, I began looking for a way to live in community. I reached out to Fr. Don DeGrood about living in the rectory (priest residence) in Savage.
Fr. DeGrood was welcoming of the idea, and so I made the decision to move into the rectory in Savage. I am still the pastor of Nativity of Mary parish and I have no obligations to the parish in Savage. It is the place where I rest and find community time with my fellow priests. It is also a great benefit that I am still only a ten minute drive away from our parish, because the rectory is only two blocks off of highway 13.
I am in consultation with the finance council as to what would be the best options for our current rectory, and nothing has yet been decided. We are still maintaining the property and will make an informed decision as to the future of that property.
In just a few weeks, I have discovered the benefits of community life. The three of us priests living there have times of prayer together, we attempt to have one meal together a week and Fr. DeGrood has watched more hockey games and eaten more White Castle in the past five years! Good things are happening.
We all must find community in our lives, because that is who we have been made to be. It is in community where we inspire virtue and we tamper vice. So let us seek out Christ-centered community so that we may flourish as people made in the image and likeness of God.
Thank you for your prayers.
Fr Nathan LaLiberte