What a Great Week This Past Week Was!

06-08-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

“You have a great and joyful community here at OLMC. Keep on doing whatever you are doing, Robert. I will certainly come back soon!” These were the final words Bishop Dolan told me as I escorted him to his car after my Installation and thereafter the Groundbreaking for our Adoration Chapel last week. I couldn’t agree more with the Bishop but more especially with his first sentence about being a joyful community.

If we are a joyful community, last week’s events brought this to the fore even more. I just could feel it myself; joy and excitement were everywhere. It is my hope that we will continue to be a joyful and welcoming community inspired by our devotion to the Eucharist and to our Mother Mary. This is because it has been known that a parish where there is Perpetual Adoration always thrives in those virtues.

At a personal level, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the immensity of love you showered upon me. Many of you came to me repeating over and over again, how blessed you are that I am your Pastor. Like I pointed out in my article last week, I too feel very blessed to be your Pastor at this point of my priestly life. I will do my best to be your good shepherd. All I ask of you is to please continue keeping me in your prayers as well. Now that we have officially broken ground, I am very optimistic that the construction of this great house of God will proceed uninterrupted. However, let us continue to keep praying for its success.

On another note, this week, we are also blessed by the assignment to our Parish, of Seminarian Max Rich who is studying for the Priesthood for the Diocese of Phoenix. He will be with us for the next two months. Max entered the Seminary in 2020 after attending two years of undergraduate studies at Benedictine College in Kansas specializing in Philosophy and Mathematics. He has just completed his first year of Theology and he is preparing to go for his second year. The primary objective of his assignment to us this summer is to provide him with a concrete pastoral experience of how parishes operate. To realize this objective, he will be involved in the various aspects of our parish life ranging from Liturgy to Life Teen ministry and to Sacramental Preparations. He will also be shadowing me in my visits to the Sick, in celebrating Funeral Masses and Marriages, among others. My role during this process is to mentor him.

Regarding his family background, Max is the youngest of four children and grew up in Scottsdale and South Tempe. He and his family, who were not originally Catholics, came into the Catholic faith in 2008 here at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. So, OLMC is like a second home to him. Max is so excited to be home and looks forward to a great pastoral experience among us. When I asked him to describe his sentiments about his assignment here, he said: “God has blessed me so much these past few years, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel this summer”. I assured him that we too feel so happy to have him among us and hope that like Bishop Dolan, he will find this “a great joyful community”.

So, please join me in welcoming to our community, Seminarian Max Rich!

I love you!