“Sometimes we are short sighted. We don’t see the things that are right there,” Bishop Barnes said. “St. John XXIII looked and took the opportunities that were before him to see the Lord in his midst and to do what needed to be done.”
Bishop Barnes encouraged the parishioners to use this occasion to reflect on their faith lives, inviting them to look to their parish community for support and enrichment.
“You have a great saint in St. John XXIII because he recognized Jesus as the way the truth and the life. That is the goal for the rest of us,” Bishop Barnes said. “What is it that we must do? Evangelize, strengthen parish identity, promote vocations, strengthen the parish school and promote life and the dignity of each human person. “
When the parish was formed in 2006 with the merging of Resurrection Parish, Fontana and St. Thomas More Parish, Rialto, it was named for John XXIII. Over the years the community has worked to be unified. The renaming of the parish served as a way for the community to come together.
“This marks a new beginning in the pastoral life of the parish,” said Father Cletus Imo, administrator of St. John XXIII.
The parish community will look to see how the values and principles by which St. John XXIII lived his life can be applied to the planning and development of the parish, Fr. Imo said.
A small delegation from the St. John XXIII parish and neighboring parishes, led by Fr. Imo, traveled to Rome to witness the Canonization of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. The group included 22 from St. John XXIII and others from Sacred Heart Parish, Rancho Cucamonga; Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Montclair and a pair from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Several of the pilgrims were present to celebrate the Canonization of their parish’s patron at the Mass on May 17.
During the Mass Bishop Barnes blessed two images of the saint, a portrait and a bust. The images will be displayed at the parish’s two locations.
A reception was held following the Mass with food and musical performances, highlighting the different cultures present within the parish community.