Notes from Our Pastor

Decembeer 8, 2019

Dear parishioners:
John the Baptist’s proclamation to prepare the way of the Lord is urgent, full of joy and
excitement, as well as concern about readiness to face the glory of God. This busy time of
preparation, when our calendars are full of social engagements and so much needs to be done
before Christmas arrives, we can identify with John’s joyful urgency. At the same time, John’s
cry in the desert offers us a moment of transcendence: what we are really preparing for is the
coming of the Lord, who brings justice, wholeness and right relationship with God. As we
approach Christmas, the coming of the Lord grounds our hearts in the joy of preparing for his
coming, even in the busyness of our lives.

Congratulations to our 2nd grade Parish School of Religion children who received the Sacrament
of Reconciliation for the first time last Monday evening. May they always be close to God’s
love and mercy in this beautiful sacrament! Please pray for them as they now prepare to receive
Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time next spring!

As we draw close to the celebration of Christ’s Incarnation and the dawn of our salvation, I ask
you to look into the new year and plan to spend the Tuesday evenings of Lent with fellow
parishioners. I invite all parishioners to come to ChristLife! An evening with a light supper, a
brief DVD presentation and discussion. I know, looking forward to February and Lent seems
odd just before Christmas, but I want you to be ready to join in this exciting opportunity for your
personal and our parish’s growth! Mark down February 18th on your calendars!

Of course there will be more news to follow!

In Christ,
Fr. John


December 1, 2019

Dear parishioners, 
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? I know you may be thinking, what? We just celebrated Thanksgiving! Christmas is still coming.  As we gather on this 1st Sunday of Advent, January 1st is still five weeks away. New Year’s resolutions can wait! And yet, this 1st Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new Church year.    
Although none of us have probably ever made resolutions for a new Church year, it might not be such a bad idea to consider making one or two.  Advent is a season of preparation. Amid the physical preparations for Christmas, how might we prepare spiritually for the feast of Christ’s Nativity?  May I make a few simple suggestions? The readings for the season of Advent are powerful. As we approach Christmas, how about trying to read the Sunday readings before you come to Sunday Eucharist so that you can hear the readings in a whole new way? 
The readings are available on the Bishops website, You can have them sent to you as an email each day! Or, take time with the meditation books available at the church entrances.  Just a few minutes a day might be the quiet you need in such a hectic time of the year. Or, drop by the adoration chapel for a few minutes when you are coming home from work or out running errands.  Making New Year’s Resolutions that are practical  can help us have a hopeful and joyful year. Making spiritual New Church Year resolutions can bring us closer to the source of our hope and joy, Jesus  Christ! 
In Christ,                                                                                                                                                                 Fr. John  
P.S. In the past, many of you have been so generous in year-end contributions to the parish. Some have also generously given monies that they needed to disperse from their IRA accounts.  I ask you to consider gifts to the parish as you make year-end financial decisions this year!      

November 24, 2019

Save the date!
Dear Parishioners:
I‘d like to invite those who may have an interest to a meeting in the parish hall, about the parish
hall, on Wednesday evening, December 4th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.

We are finishing up major upgrades on the Parish Center. All the tuck pointing and landscaping
to prevent water damage is finished. The new air handler is installed and operating. A big
thank you to the Sisters in Service who have done a wonderful job of refreshing the Mary Room
and the entrance to the Parish Center. The walls are painted and there is new flooring in the area
that will become the new home for the adoration chapel.

Although we are still doing some planning for the chapel area, it is time to turn our attention to
the Parish Hall, kitchens and cafeteria. New ramps at the entrances to the hall are in place. New
doors with handicapped accessibility are on the way. We know that we will need to replace
airconditioning units in the hall. The parish council, maintenance and finance committees thought
that it would be good for those who wish to gather, to share some of your thoughts on future
upgrades to the facility. At the meeting we will take 15 minutes for those who wish to walk
through the lower floor. We will pray, take a few minutes to share some thoughts that have been
percolating and then have Parish Council members gather your thoughts. We will be finished
with the formal presentation in an hour.
It is because of your individual generosity and that of parish organizations that we are able to
maintain our buildings and plan for the future. Thank you so much!

Women of the Parish: Advent by Candle Light  is only one week away! Plan on coming for an
enjoyable and spiritually enriching evening!
Men of the Parish: ACTS retreat begins Thursday evening, December 5! It is not too late to
join other men of the parish on this wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth!

In Christ,
Fr. John


November 17, 2019

Dear parishioners: 

As I write these simple thoughts, some of the women of our parish are returning from a retreat at King’s House in Belleville. Some of the men of the parish are preparing to go on an ACTS Retreat at Pallottine Renewal Center in Florissant.  I have recently returned from the annual priests retreat at White House. You’ve heard me say that if you make the sacrifice of your time and go on a retreat Jesus will bless that sacrifice and show you his love in some beautiful way.  If you have the opportunity to talk to any parishioners who have made retreats of any kind I believe they will testify to that truth. So I urge you if you are able, to consider making a retreat; ACTS, King’s House, White House or any other opportunity that comes your way.                                                   
I assure you it will be a time to draw closer to Christ! 

One of the simple graces that came to me on my retreat was a prayer written by St. Anslem of Canterbury nearly a thousand years ago. The retreat director used the first lines to begin every conference. Perhaps it will be a blessing to you too! 

O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek You,                                                                
where and how to find you.                                                                                                        
You are my God and You are my all and I have never seen You.                                                  
You have made me and remade me.                                                                                                
You have bestowed on me all the good things things                                                                             
I possess,
still I do not know You.                                                                                                   
I have not done that for which I was made.                                                                                       
I cannot seek you unless You teach me
or find you unless you show yourself to me.                                                                                   
Let me seek You in my desire,
let me desire you in my seeking.                                                                                                    
Let me find you by loving You, Let me love You when I find You.

In Christ,
Fr. John




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