Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing” (Philippians 2:1-2). Last week at our “Salad and Cinema” we watched Jesus in the Gospel of John pray with passion for unity among God’s children before His great offering. The day before, the priests of the Diocese gathered with Bishop Malloy for a Presbytery Day and heard Mike Doppler speak about parishes working toward the common goal as well. He said the basics of any parish include the Sacraments and not much more! Our reason for existence as a Church is to evangelize; to facilitate the meeting and communion with Jesus for the salvation of souls and eternal happiness (as well as greater joy here as Pope Francis reminds us so well). From there, each parish should examine its reason for existence in the form of evangelization. Here at St. Mary we serve the region as well with our school, facilities, Hispanic, and homebound communion ministries. Thanks to the cooperation in our Deanery we have also been involved in programs at other parishes to assist in their ministries. They in turn share their strengths. This is the larger Body of Christ working together, doing “nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also those of others” (Phil. 2:3). This can be difficult, but especially important in difficult times. We will continue at various levels of the Church to order our ministries for the greater good with a sober view of reality.
We offer congratulations to Armando Regalado on his ordination and gratitude to Katie Decker (with prayerful blessings) as she moves closer to family and will be leaving us in DeKalb. Katie will be missed, but she has laid the groundwork for the transition and set up adult volunteers. I have asked Armando, who already is involved in ministry to high school students, to support our current volunteers in youth ministry and Annalisa McMaster to pull back a bit from carrying out every detail of the adult groups and be sure that we do not “drop the ball” with the youth preparing for Sacraments. Again, we will be looking for adults to take care of some of the minutia of our many adult groups (Bible Study, 4 Consecration groups, God Is, etc.).
Camp Wow will be combined, for the first time this year, with Christ the Teacher; and the High School and Young Adult group led by Fr. McMorrow and supported by St. Mary as well, is growing.
Mirroring St. Paul’s letter, Katie does not desire fanfare, but is open to “coffee calls” and good wishes. Please include her family in your thoughts and prayers as they transition closer to family and new responsibilities.
In Christ, son of Mary,