75th Anniversary, 2005

The year was 1930. It was the beginning of a great adventure for a little beach community. A tiny cell was touched by the Life-giving Spirit and the growth of American Martyrs Parish had begun. Who would ever have imagined that those six families, gathered in a simple home, would increase over a thousand-fold? The dream of a few now has become the reality for many. Those who dared to take the first steps up that Dream Mountain have staked their claim on our hearts ~ we will be forever in their debt. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, "if we have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

We have been drawn together in the mystery of God's love. In this particular moment of history, we are the people of American Martyrs Catholic Community. Once again we stand together at the foot of our own Dream Mountain and dare to climb. Our resource is the same as that of those who stood there seventy-five years ago. It is the force of the Spirit urging us to believe, to hope, to love as we continue the journey.

The pioneers of 1930 left us a gift. We, the pioneers of 2005, will leave our own gift as our successors look back and look forward. May our lives be an inspiration for them and, as we pray for those who have gone before us, may they, too, pray for us as we draw our strength from the Great Table of Memory - the Eucharist. May our song be both a postlude and a prelude ~ Thanksgiving and Dreaming ~ as we unite to sing the praises of the Lord. 

We are a church set on a hill. Our church tower is a navigational beacon. It is a reminder to us that we, too, must be a beacon of light for all who travel life's ocean. How blest we are to have the privilege of making the Lord visible through the many ministries which enable us to touch lives. Our Lord teaches us not to hide our "light under a bushel basket, but to let it shine... so that all in the house may see our good works and give praise to our Heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:14-16) 

~ Rev. Msgr. John F. Barry, Pastor 
75th Anniversary of American Martyrs, 2005