October 13th, 2019 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thank you! How can I start this week’s bulletin article with any other word but this? Both Naaman in our First Reading and the Samaritan leper in our Gospel give us a beautiful example of our call (and duty!) to give thanks daily for all of the many blessings we receive. I hope I am thankful, but I know that sometimes when I’m stressed or busy, I don’t always do a very good job…so I decided to start here.
I would like to thank several of our staff members whose work is so important, yet often goes unnoticed. Jim Piotrowski (Director of Administrative Services) and Michele Bergemann (Finance Administrator) work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our parishes run well from a business-end of things. As Fr. Tim is known to say, “there is no mission without a margin”. Thanks Jim and Michele for helping to ensure we always can do our mission! I am very grateful for the work of our secretaries: Lee Ann Blackmer (Three Holy Women and Our Lady of Divine Providence), Daisy Rivera (Old Saint Mary), and Sandy Avery (Saints Peter and Paul). They patiently and joyfully do so much, from answering phone calls to managing sacramental records. Thanks also to Steve Altman our Director of Maintenance who keeps everything running and working – from light bulbs to boilers! Our entire staff works incredibly hard, but I wanted to thank this group in particular whose hidden labor of love is often only known to God.
As Fr. Tim announced last week, while he is away on sabbatical from January 1st – April 1st, 2020, I will become the temporary administrator. I am excited for this leadership opportunity and am so glad that Fr. Tim will have this time for some much-deserved prayer, rest, and continuing education.
Saint Therèse of Lisieux once wrote: “Jesus does not demand great action from us but simply surrender and gratitude.” To be saints this week we don’t need to get busier…just a little bit more grateful!
Sincerely, with love,
October 6th, 2019 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Gospel of St. Luke, 17)
I love this Sunday’s Gospel passage because it reminds me of a dear Spiritual Director who one time just plainly and bluntly told me to stop worrying so much about my motives and just do my job! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think and worry too much.
I worry about what other people think, and I worry about the impression I make. I worry about being loved and accepted and being approved. I worry about my motives. I worry. I worry. I worry.
And in the end, to be honest, I hope that at my funeral they just say he tried his best to love God and others. He just did his job!
For in the end who is worthy of God’s love, whose Eternal forgiveness and patience provide for a heck of a lot more mercy than we afford ourselves. So let’s all just do our jobs this week. Let’s give our worry to God.
Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim, your Pastor.
I would like to let all of you know that in order to do my job more effectively and prepare myself for the next 15 or so years of priestly ministry, I have asked and been granted the permission to take a sabbatical. I will be gone from the parishes from January 1- April 1, 2020. I will be living in Boston and hope to take courses at Harvard in world religions, concentrating on learning more about Islam and Judaism to hopefully add to important dialogues as we work for peace together in the world.
Plus I will take retreat time, and maybe just rest… Fr. John will be the temporary administrator, assuring all of us with his competent leadership that things will go on and flourish. Pray for your priests as we continue to faithfully and gratefully serve such wonderful communities!