A Message from the Pastor…………………….
BE LIKE SERVANTS awaiting their master’s return from a wedding. That’s what last Sunday’s gospel told us. The servants knew it was their obligation, but that’s not all. This master, when he arrived and found the servants ready to open the heavy door and welcome him home, actually seat- ed the servants down and waited on them! What a beloved master this must have been.
So it is with us and God. He’s always coming home to us, and we wait, not in dread, but in joy and anticipation.
We have concrete things to await in joy. First, our school is starting this week, as are most parochial schools. It’s a time of joyful anticipation for parents, for sure; the kids are really looking forward to it. Our teachers are, too. Saturday night we had a gathering of families new to the school this year, and it was overwhelming. The cafeteria was overflowing with parents and children—many of them coming for pre-school, but older grades too. Among our new school families are those who have come from Texas, Oklahoma, and Brazil. I met as many of them as I could, and they were all excited to be here. It’s why our school is increasing from 195 children in the year just concluded to 237 who will start the new year this week.
Another reason we await in joy is the Parish 150th Anniversary starting in just two weeks. A group has been meeting to plan for this year of celebration for the two years I’ve been here. August 27 is St. Monica’s Feast Day, and we will open the year’s festivities by blessing the new section of the cemetery, followed by Saturday 5:00 P.M. Mass. Be ready to be on the parking lot at the Olive entrance by 4:45 P.M. to welcome Archbishop Carlson as he rides in to celebrate with us.
A third reason we anticipate with joy is that our Planning is coming to fruition. First, next Saturday, out of our own Visioning Day and surveys, we’ll get a fascinating Parish Portrait from our mentor Vince Estrada. Having been through this at parishes with Vince a number of times, this is probably my favorite part of the process. This picture of our parish’s strengths and aspiration areas will guide and inspire us to soon create the actual Strategic Plan for the parish’s growth. Vince will present this picture next Saturday, August 20, at 9:00 A.M. in the parish hall.
And the Archdiocesan planning for parishes and agencies (All Things New) will finally show some tentative results in coming weeks. First, priests will be given some possible structures; these will then be shared among the parishes, followed by extensive listening sessions to make adjust- ments. Recently we had a meeting to share the strong picture our Disciple Maker Index surveys produced as an evangelizing (including self-evangelizing, Disciple Making) parish. Many people came, which was edifying; but it seemed some expected early results on parish configurations.
None of that was in mind yet; that is just starting in the times ahead I mentioned, and it won’t be finalized until next year. The only way to anticipate this, as I see it, is in a servant’s joyful ready anticipation of a good Master