Submitted by Fr. Sebastien Babisayone
ST. GEORGE — In September, Bishop Oscar A. Solis released a Pastoral Plan outlining the goals for the Diocese of Salt Lake City for the next five years. On Oct. 19, St. George Parish took a first step toward implementing the vision of Bishop Solis and the Pastoral Plan by holding a missionary vigil conducted by Father Sebastien Babisayone, SASA, Ph.D, parochial vicar at the parish. It was also a way to respond to the call of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2018 to bring the Gospel to all and the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.
The purpose of the evening event was to connect the mission of Christ with the mission of the local Church and with the mission of each parishioner. The theme of the evening was “Mission – live and witness the love of God here and elsewhere.” The presentation was divided into two parts: the understanding of the term “mission,” how to become the voice of this mission; and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, to worship Jesus and to present Him the people’s need to be His true disciples.
Fr. Sebastien emphasized that each member of the St. George Parish has an important role in being a voice for mission “in Saint George, in our families, work, business, in our Diocese of Salt Lake City, in the United States and in the world.”
He also stressed the need to include the young people of the parish in this mission, to help them bring the Gospel to everyone.
With presentation slides and musical accompaniment, Fr. Sebastien spoke of the mission of Jesus as found in Mt 1:20-21 to save people from their sins and connected that with the mission of his disciples (Mt 28:18-20) to preach, to make disciples and cast out demons. He then connected that to the mission of Catholics today. He stressed that parishioners are not alone in their mission because the Holy Spirit is with them.
Citing data on overall population changes and changes in the number of people professing Catholicism, Fr. Sebastien acknowledged that the Church has its work cut out for it, but he struck an optimistic tone, pointing out that this mission is needed more today than ever. He concluded by inviting all those in attendance to have a passion for the Gospel like Saint Paul: “If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!” (1 Cor. 9,16).
The vigil attracted St. George parishioners from all stages of life, from families to retirees. With Fr. Sebastien alternating between Spanish and English, the event helped foster a sense of community among the entire parish family. Parishioners had the joy of living this parochial moment together with Pastor Fr. Martin Picos, deacons Rogaciano Tellez and Rigoberto Aguirre, Jill Luttrell, director of religious education, and a large group of young people.
The event concluded with the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament given by Fr. Picos.
Father Sebastien Babisayone, SASA, is parochial vicar of St. George Parish. He is shown with Jill Luttrell, the parish’s director of religious education.