St. Ferdinand Church ACTS Community,

My name is Joseph Montoya and I am a member of the St. Ferdinand Church ACTS Core Team.  We are a twelve member team responsible for administering ACTS retreats and supporting ACTS teams, the St. Ferdinand Church ACTS community, and our parishes.  
Our community is dealing with one of the most difficult periods in recent history and in many of our individual lives.  Individually we are dealing with the health crisis, fear, uncertainty, and separation.  We are dealing with changes to how we pray, celebrate, and experience community.  As Catholics, we are called to experience our faith together and the Covid crisis has fundamentally changed how we practice our faith.  
We each have had to deal with being separated from each other in our faith communities.  We don’t have the opportunity to see each other at mass every weekend.  We miss chances to see each other at community and parishes events.  We may have challenges of isolation and others have challenges having to be with our families all day every day, which gives us less time to practice our faith in the same way we did before March.
The members of the Core team are experiencing the same things in our lives.  We are challenged with ministering to our brothers and sisters in Christ from far away or through a Zoom meeting.  We have to respond to being of service in very different ways than we did before, like disinfecting before an outdoor mass or supporting a family experiencing the loss of a family member without being able to provide a comforting embrace.
As we work through this difficult time and change the way the Core team serves the parish and our community, we look to scripture to guide us.

“But now, thus says the Lord,who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel:do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away.When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,,nor will flames consume you.:

Isaiah :1-2

We turn to our faith for strength and to each other for prayers and support.  We will pass through these waters and walk through this fire with our Father with us. We will pray that our fear will be replaced by strength because He has called us by name.  
The Core Team is working to provide our community to be in Adoration and Community and provide opportunities for Theology and Service.  We will be communicating through email, the St. Ferdinand Church ACTS Facebook page, and the St. Ferdinand Church ACTS website.  We encourage you to share your prayer petitions, faith sharing meetings, messages, and requests for prayer and support with us and our community.
We have a journey that we will travel together through this health crisis but we do not have to journey alone.  We will continue to pursue the ideals that our mother church was built on, 

“They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.  They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to their numbers those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:42-47


Joseph Montoya
Pray first, last, and always.