The True Beauty of Saint Paul Cathedral parish

Saint Paul Cathedral is known for its majestic building. The beautiful and awesome Gothic architecture; the colorful and detailed stained glass windows, the stunning statues, crucifix and stations of the cross, the marble altars and reliefs, and the list goes on and on. Many who come to us are overwhelmed by the beauty of what they see and behold. But the true beauty of our parish family was on display this past Sunday (August 27) in all its glory. We celebrated our fourth annual parish picnic. Nearly 400 people gathered on the lawn of the Cathedral on a picture perfect day. Our parish family is diverse: old and young, many families with children, persons with disabilities, white, black, Asian, Latino, people of every ethnic origin and nationality, young adults and the elderly, single and married, even some in consecrated life. The differences are stunning to behold but the unity that joins us together is awe-inspiring. The Cathedral parish is joined together as one faith family marked by an incredible spirit of welcome and hospitality, full of people who generously give of their time, talent and treasure for the good of others and the glory of God. What stood our so boldy that day for me was the real, authentic spirit of joy that was so evident that it outshined the external beauty of the Cathedral standing behind us. We have smiles everywhere, children running around joyfully, conversations and friendships that were genuine and inspiring, and all kinds of people caring for others, true servants after the heart of Jesus himself. That is the true beauty of Saint Paul Cathedral parish – the people who bring our parish family to live. There are so many and all of us work together in building up the unity of the Body of Christ. What joins us as one is our genuine love of God, our faith in Jesus Christ, our love for the Church and the sacramental life that gives us strength, and a sincere commitment to bring that faith into the public square and share our joy with others. As the pastor and rector of Saint Paul Cathedral parish now for the past five years, I was filled with the greatest pride as I walked the picnic grounds last Sunday. I keep thinking this is what being a parish family is all about! What a beautiful sight to behold indeed.