Notes from Our Pastor

September 26, 2021

Dear parishioners:

I hope to see many of you at the “State of the Parish” gathering this Sunday afternoon. We have a simple agenda and the goal is to complete our business within an hour!

After prayer, I will take a few minutes to share thoughts on the spiritual life of the parish and some initial information on the strategic planning process that the entire archdiocese will be undertaking.

We will then have a brief presentation on parish finances. You’ve probably looked at the insert provided in the bulletin. We are grateful that the finance committee has given us a quick overview. I am grateful for your constant generosity.

A brief presentation from the maintenance committee will follow. We will be able to update the parish on what projects we have completed and ones that are in our immediate plans.

After a review of parish life during the pandemic, we will take a few minutes to reflect on the sorrows and graces that have been present during this last year. We will seek your thoughts on how the parish can continue to grow and be a support during these trying times.

As in past gatherings, those who presented during the meeting will remain after the meeting to answer any individual questions you may have. For those who will not be able to attend, I will try to include some of the information shared at the meeting in upcoming bulletins.

Hope you can join us at 12:15pm in the Parish Hall. A light lunch will be provided. Masks required!

In Christ,
Fr. John 

 

September 19. 2021

“Solidarity is firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that
is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are really responsible for all.”
‐John Paul II

Dear Parishioners:

There are different ways to examine our conscience. We might find the Ten Commandments or
Jesus’ call to love God and our neighbor helpful. A few weeks ago, I found Archbishop
Rozanski’s column in the St. Louis Review a challenging and pertinent examination! I’m happy
to share that challenge with you, with the following excerpt from that column.

“In His Incarnation and on the cross, Jesus expressed His complete solidarity with fallen
humanity. He showed a ‘firm and persevering commitment to the common good.’ Solidarity,
then, has a solid claim to a place among the Christian virtues.

In light of that, I must confess that I am disappointed in how we – as church – have conducted
ourselves and our conversations on matters related to the pandemic. A lack of solidarity has
characterized our conversations and actions in too many ways.

In the midst of legitimate disagreements, voices have been shrill – on both sides of things. A
spirit of divisiveness rather than a spirit of solidarity has too often pervaded and characterized
us.

In the midst of considerations about masks and vaccines, the first concern of many – on both
sides – has been ‘what’s best for me?’ not ‘what’s best for all?’ That too is a lack of solidarity.

The Catholic way ‐‐ the way of Jesus – is the way of solidarity. It’s time for all of us to step back,
examine our consciences, and ask whether we have ‘a firm and preserving determination to
commit ourselves to the common good; that is, to the good of all and each individual, because
we are really responsible for all.’ ”

I am grateful to Archbishop Rozanski for his directness and his challenge to grow in solidarity. I
am grateful to God, that through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you and I can experience
God’s mercy and begin again to care for the common good!

In Christ,
Fr. John

 

September 12, 2021

Dear Parishioners:

I learn so much from you! Several years ago a parishioner told me that she keeps a shelf of
spiritual reading books. Each night she takes a book from the shelf and wherever she opens it,
that’s where she reads for ten minutes. What a great practice! I’ve been trying to follow her
example for the last few weeks and here’s an example of the grace I’ve received because of it.

Robert Wicks in his book Prayerfulness addresses what he calls spiritual mindfulness. He shares
a story told by Jerry Braza.

“I recall a time driving my young children somewhere when we approached a railroad crossing
as the light began to flash and the safety gate went down. My first thought was ‘Oh No! We’re
going to be held up by the train and be late.’ Just then, my daughter called out from the
backseat, ‘Daddy, Daddy, we’re so lucky! We get to watch the train go by!’ Her awareness of the
present moment was a wonderful reminder to stop and enjoy what the journey had to offer along
the way.”

Wick suggests that “the now” is filled with many wonderful gifts if we have eyes to see! And
that, as we move through the day and become preoccupied with the future or the cares of the day,
we should “lean back into the now” and experience what God is trying to tell us in that moment!

If we do lean back into the now . . . I’m sure God will be telling us of his love and care for each
of us!

Thank you to so many of you who teach me so much and help me grow in faith!

In Christ,
Fr. John

 

 

 

 

 

For more parish news and information, please check our weekly bulletin.