Unprecedented Mass


The mass for discipleship and postulancy was something I never imagined.  When I say this, I am referring to the unprecedented moment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.   Everyone had to be six feet apart and wearing face masks during the celebration of the Eucharist.  I am sure it’s not how everyone had envisioned such a momentous occasion.  

Despite the separation caused by social distancing, the feeling of unity filled the room.  The Shalom Boston mission came together to bear witness to the fruit of three individuals answering God’s call for their vocation.  I witnessed Wendy Ramirez, Joao Lucas Lima, and Chris Barton take the next step on their journey in fulfilling their vocation.  

All three members had to enter a vocational year before writing a letter to the Shalom Catholic Community stating their intent to pursue God’s call as a Shalom missionary.  In 2019, Chris completed his vocational year and was warmly welcomed to enter as a postulant into the Community.  Surrounded by his parents, Chris officially became a postulant upon receiving the Statutes of the Shalom Catholic Community.

Wendy and Joao had completed their vocational year in 2017.  After completing two years of postulancy, they took their next step into going deeper with the Shalom Community.  Wendy and Joao received the Tau, which is an important symbol of the Community.  On their Tau, the word Shalom is inscribed.  Shalom in Hebrew means “peace.”  It’s a peace given by God that the world can’t give. 

Looking around, I could see this peace fully present.  Even amidst a period in our lives that seems chaotic.  Christ is the true peace.  Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, he offers us this gift.  A chance to pursue real joy, conversion, and ultimately our salvation.  That’s what Chris, Wendy, and Joao have chosen to live.  I pray that they continue to follow God’s will and always allow him to be the peace in their lives.   

Brian Helmstetter


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