Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Fear of the other is pervasive today, but it’s not new. The early Christians confronted it in preaching the Gospel and often paid a heavy price for their message. As hard as it may be to accept, God’s love is not limited to us and those with whom we feel comfortable. We, too, are called to reach out beyond borders and barriers of our own making. Why is this so hard for us to grasp, even now. (Of course, it is Mother’s Day, too! So sincere congratulations, blessings, and THANKS to all of our Moms. See more below!)

Next weekend will be the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Unfortunately we live in a caustic environment, where kindness, love, or renewal are often mocked as soft or unrealistic. It can be legitimately discourag- ing. But the word from the beginning was that it would not be easy, and the pathway would be through pain. Nothing is achieved without imagination, and today’s readings provide a vision for those of us willing to continue the quest for something new. Like the early Christians, we can help to create a renewed earth.

Happy Mother’s Day: May God bless you all. One of my priest friends from the Eparchy of Parma posted this on his Facebook page the other day. I ask that you reflect on it. I think these are very true: “Ten Things Your Mum never told you.”

  1. You made her cry … a lot.
  2. She wanted that last piece of cake.
  3. It hurt.
  4. 4. She was always afraid.
  5. She knows she’s not perfect.
  6. She watched over you as you slept.
  7. She carried you a lot longer than 9 months.
  8. It broker her heart every time you cried.
  9. She put you first.
  10. She would do it all again.

Thank you, Moms, for ALL you did for us and all you still do for us. May God continue to watch over you and bless you. We are all happy to bless you this day!

A little gift: I know that Saint Monica normally has carnations for Moms on Mother’s Day. However, with the construction this year we bought packets of seeds to plant your own flowers. I know it isn’t quite the same, but I hope you like the seeds as they grow in your gardens.

Changes here at Saint Monica: As you received the blast e-mail last Saturday evening and as was announced at all the Masses last weekend the Archbishop has reassigned Father Mike Donald, our Senior Associate Pastor, who has served here faithfully and well for these past twelve years, to Saint Joseph Parish in Clayton, effective June 25th. While we have not had another priest assigned to Saint Monica, according to both Bishop Rivituso and Father Boehm “they are working on it,” we have had

a transitional deacon assigned to the parish to be of help here for the summer and throughout the coming school year.

Rev. Mr. Dane Westhoff wrote the following for this weekend’s bulletin: Hello St. Monica’s Parish, My name is Deacon Dane Westhoff and I’ll be a new face in the community starting very soon. I grew up on a dairy farm and am the youngest of 8 children. I was highly involved in Immaculate Conception Parish, Old Monroe, (in Southern Lincoln County) growing up and looking forward to having a new parish family. After graduating from Saint Dominic High School, in O’Fallon, I was a carpenter for twelve years be- fore entering the seminary six years ago. God’s call started when I was attending a simple bible study ten years ago and my faith grew rapidly and led me to where I am now. I enjoy Cleveland Browns football, carpentry, puzzles, and playing cards. I’m happy to be here and I hope to get you know you all.

His assignment is effective May 30th. His ordination to the priesthood, God willing, will be in May 2020. Please pray for Deacon Westhoff as he serves us here and enters his last year of preparation prior to being ordained a priest.

Acolyte Bill Smith: Our candidate for the permanent diaconate, who will also, God willing, be ordained in June, 2020, was installed as an acolyte last Thursday evening by Bishop Rivituso. While he has been serving as a Lector and/or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for several years now, he is now deputed to assist the priest and deacon at the altar, as an acolyte. He will be serving almost each week, at various Masses, as he continues his studies for ordination. Please pray for him as he enters his last year of preparation before Ordination.

Construction: I am sorry that we didn’t give you advance notice about the closure of the former “elevator lobby,” and south entrance doors to the Church. We found out on Thursday, May 2, and we sent a “blast e-mail” to all whose e-mail addresses we have. However, it seems to have worked all right … and I hope that we can “put up with this” for a while, as we have the new elevator lobby and renovation to our parish hall and kitchen completed. There will be a meeting tomorrow morning with the General Contractor and people from the architects and our building committee. Then, tomor- row evening, there will be a meeting of the building committee to go over some more issues that have come up over the past several weeks. Progress is being made. Again, please pray for all the workers that they might be safe!

The Annual Catholic Appeal continues this week. Thanks to all who have already made their pledges. After the video the weekend of April 27 and 28 and Carol Mock’s talk last weekend, I hope you have a better idea as to what is involved with the ACA. Our parish has traditionally been VERY GENEROUS (13th in the entire Archdiocese last year), and I hope and pray that it will continue this year. Thanks to Mary Fran Pike and David Skaggs for their leadership in taking over for Kathy and Troy Steffenson, who chaired the ACA here for many years.

Fake e-mails and texts: Unfortunately there are bad people “out there.” On Thursday, May 2, we received this e-mail from Officer Walter Schultz of the Creve Coeur Police Department: Emerging fraud trend relative to houses of worship: In the City of Creve Coeur we have had two incidents since February involving email accounts of Pastors email accounts being compromised and emails being sent to members of the congregation requesting gift cards (such as Amazon or iTunes) be purchased and sent to another email address. Please advise the members of your house of worship to verify any request to send a gift card or any form of money with the requester through a verified method of com- munication as as in person or a known phone number. For any further questions or information feel free to contact me.  In the event of an emergency or if you need immediate police assistance please dial 9-1-1. (His phone number is: 314-274-2117) This has also happened to priests in the Tyler, Texas, Madison, Wisconsin, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania dioceses. Please be cautious. Thank you. I’m sorry if anyone “fell” for the thefts of your resources.

In the Risen Lord Jesus,

Father Joe Weber