…..from the Pastor’s Desk:
First off- I am so happy this is not a ‘Farewell’ ‘Pastors Desk’ column. As I said last Sunday, the priests’ new assignments came out last week, and I am NOT one of them.
My first day here [this time around] was July 11, 2014. From my perspective, standing in front of you, I get to see all your faces every week. In the four years since my arrival the faces have changed. Some are brand new baby faces, some have matured a bit; some now gaze on the face of God. Children have graduated to High School, High School youth to college. College students to whatever lies next for them. We’ve had marriages, baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Memorial Services and funerals. As a community
of faith, we faced the events of last October and the subsequent recovery. Yes, many faces. Many new faces, many different faces. But all Catholic faces.
There are Catholics here from countries and continents far and near. Byzantine Catholics, cradle Catholics, recent convert Catholics, Catholics who have fallen away – Catholics who have fallen back in – just to name a few. All with their own stories, challenges, gifts and blessings. All different – yet – all the same.Issues affecting women as women, men as men, youth, children, the sick and the elderly – have all been addressed and discussed from this pulpit regularly. Nothing, no one, no group was held more Sacred than another because… ALL ARE SACRED! Why? Because – the very word Catholic means universal. It means EVERYBODY! And so, my goal was to make this a place for everybody. To re-build both facility and community.
All of us together are formed by the Holy Spirit in the One Body of Christ. We are all united by the Holy Spirit to make up this Body. All partake of the heart of the Body’s existence.:
• Some of you are part of the specific ministries of the parish.
• Some are talented teachers.
• Some are musically talented.
• Some visit the sick and homebound.
• Some serve as members of the Ladies Club or Men’s Club
• Some work with our young people.
• Some serve in liturgical positions.
• Some help with the physical plant.
• Some pray for me every day.
All of you offer your prayers and financial support. None of you are on the fringe of the parish – and even if you only come here once a week for mass, you still make up the heart of the parish because…we are all united by the Holy Spirit. This is your home base. Here,
you are “home-free”. This sanctuary IS a place of sanctuary.
We are all different – yet – we are the same. Doesn’t mean we always like everyone (that would be pretty much impossible), but it doesn’t stop us from loving each other or seeing each other as a child of God. As Catholics we don’t just put up with each other’s differences, we value each other’s differences as a unique manifestation of the Holy Spirit without which our faith body would be incomplete.
To do that I had to follow the Church Laws and guidance, listen to the Bishops Directives, your spirit and to the Holy Spirit, because what I may have personally thought or wanted may not have been best for you. Thank you all. We got A LOT done [addressing both corporal and spiritual needs] – to the greater honor and glory of God!
The work here goes on – the living church is always a work in progress. We are currently developing new programs specifically for families as well as initiating a Catholic Men’s Discussion Group (And, possibly a Ladies’) and a Lectionary based Bible Study. Our
physical plant has received much long-overdue attention (too long of a list to include here, but the A/C is sure nice!) Our current projects are the remodeling of the hall bathrooms creating 3 out of the 2 with each one being ADA compliant, putting in electric gates and attending to the parking lot, getting new white-boards and individual audio/visual units for each of the six classrooms, and creatively creating some storage-space for all the behind the scenes things that go in to making our Liturgies so beautiful and our buildings welcoming and efficient.
It has been a wonderful, productive, and, yes, occasionally challenging four years. Some tough times though as pruning is always difficult, yet it also always responds with tremendous new growth – and we have.
I thank those who made the effort to welcome me then and work with me still. I thank those who reached out a hand of friendship. And I thank those that have prayed for me every day. I ask you to continue those prayers.
I love Holy Spirit Parish. And I love you! And As I always say: The best – is Yet to Come!