There is a Chinese proverb that says, “ A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Our centennial is not a celebration of leaps but of every single step that has been taken since the inception of our parish to this day. We thankfully remember that first single step taken by the then bishop, the priests and the parishioners. We admirably think of those who dared to hope, dared to dream. The journey continues. We haven’t got to the fishing line. We have just arrived at another milestone with many more to be covered. Welcome to the second century of St. Martinof Tours parish community!

Time, according to St Augustine, is a threefold present: The present memory of the past, the present as we experience it and the present expectation of the future. To put it simply, time is the present of the past things, present of the present things and the present of the future things. Our centennial celebration is a beautiful symphony of this threefold present.

Memory of the past involves, like I wrote a year ago, investigating personalities, milestones, historical events, fascinating developments, evolutions and revolutions and interesting-yet-difficult changes. The goal of the investigation is to recognize the saving hand of God, His pedagogical guidance and to thank Him for shepherding us “beyond our wants, our fears”. Judy Swazey, our liturgy director, with the help of a few others has done an amazing job of investigating much of which you will find in the commemorative book. It chronicles the fascinating history of the making of our parish. Needless to say that this present memory of the past is against the backdrop of the words of the Psalmist: “Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build.” (Ps, 127:1)

The present of present things calls for answers to questions like: Is our relationship with God a little better than when we celebrated our 75th
year? How vibrant and active is our love of neighbor – the poor,
the sick, the broken hearted, the marginalized, the family, friends and relatives and all those in need of us? How are we as the Body of Christ with Christ as its head? Are we just an organization or an organism? Where am I in “People ministering to People”?

The present as future expectation is well reflected in our capital campaign. Just like our ancestors and those who walked before us, we want to believe that the future is bigger than the past. It falls on every generation to revive the expectation. So here we are.

It is said that there are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen; those who watch things happen and those who have no clue what’s happening. What kind are you?


– Fr. Abe