Last Saturday’s Dedication Mass was a momentous event in the history of our parish. It was truly awe-inspiring. I am so grateful to all who made it possible. This miracle in our midst is the fruit of our faithfulness and the graciousness of God to help us on our pilgrim journey.
In my remarks at the end of the Mass, I failed to mention some important people who have been deeply involved in the process of making our new church possible, a group that has demonstrated great patience when the process intersected and/or disrupted their normal work of ministry. Probably hardest his is our school. Second would be our pastoral ministries for our children and adults. I want to express my thanks to all of our staff who have sacrificed in myriads of ways during the fundraising, demolition, and construction may displaced a ministry or caused gaps in communication or forced something to cancel. Our Business Manager, Stephen Voehl, and school Principal, Colleen Kotrba, have had to shoulder many unexpected things and roll with the punches as them came. Our parochial vicars, Frs. Tetzel and Arjie have especially helpful in taking on more work, as I had to take on more administrative duties related to the new church building. Indeed, I am very proud of all of our staff, for they have demonstrated a steward’s response to the continually changing situations in this journey, especially those which presented themselves without warning at times. Again, thank you to our administrative and ministry staff, teachers, aides, and volunteer ministers who have done so much behind the scenes during the last two years of this building project.
I also failed to thank our Evangelization Team who helped to reach out and contact various clergy and other important persons who have played important roles in our history. Thank you to our Evangelization Team! A big thank you needs to be offered to Cora Carino whom I asked to lead and coordinate our reception that followed the dedication Mass. She was able to seek out and find parishioners from our Knights of Columbus, Hispanic community, and Filipino community to offer food. She was able to recruit helpers to set up and take down the tables and chairs that we used. Clearly, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thank you to all who did their part to make the reception such a wonderful and joyous event! Thank you also to Alan Crews and his Transition Team who quietly moved us out of our old church and is still in the process of moving us into the new church. Thank you to our Liturgy Committee who has been reflecting on our Divine worship ever since I arrived eight years ago and who has been studying ideas and options to lift up and normalize our liturgy. Their work continues, for which I a am so grateful. Finally, thank you to all those whom I have not mentioned who made many sacrifices, mostly unseen, which enabled us to be where we are today.
Hopefully, we will now be more present and able to offer pastoral ministry while letting our new church serve as an opportunity and catalyst to lift up our faith knowing what God has done in our midst. As for me, I look forward to offering opportunities for faith formation for our parish and missions. In that vein, I plan to personally offer opportunities via a workshop on the Theology the Body for adults and a six week series for our teens. I am planning on guiding a six-week series on the Mass via some new videos produced by Bishop Robert Barron. See the rest of this bulletin for details about these as we get closer to October.
May God help us continue to be faithful stewards of the gifts which we have been given, for by being people of gratitude, we proclaim Christ’s loving mission.
Fr. William Holtzinger