A Message from the Pastor…………………….
FIRST COMMUNION last Saturday was as joyful and touching as ever. We had 30 children from our school and PSR. They looked so grown up in their dresses and suits. I was particularly struck by the diversity of this group—from a number of races and national backgrounds. They knew their faith perfectly, and lingered a long time after the Mass taking pictures as families and with us. In fact a number of them could be seen at Mass the next day in their First Communion clothes. So this cherished Catholic tradition is alive and well at St. Monica.
It was a big weekend too at the Sunday Masses to fill out Parish Strategic Planning surveys. You in the congregations were very cooperative—in fact, after the Masses I received a number of thanks from people for seeking out your input. These surveys on the strength and growth-areas of the parish were based on the priorities that came out of our Visioning Day March 26. Our mentor and guide, Mr. Vince Estrada, will collate those results into a grand Portrait of the Parish that he will present to us in a few weeks. This will then determine the specific Action Plans we will generate for the parish’s progress.
Happy Mothers Day!! Where would we be without you? Nowhere, obviously. We’ve prepared a flower for each of you to take home. Make this day special, even if you don’t have your children around you.
As you read this, I am on an annual brief break after Easter and First Communion. I notice we’re coming up to the 2-year mark of my time as pastor at St. Monica, late July, and it’s a good time to see what we’ve accomplished together. The strongest overall indicator is the growth of parish. In these less than two years, our household membership has gone from 765 to 840. We so often hear of people leaving our parish for another one, we don’t seem to realize how many are in fact coming newly to us. Next weekend we’ll have another Welcoming Mass at 9:30 A.M. Mass for all those who are new parishioners.. I have enjoyed school work, and the trust of the families involved to preside at weddings, 20 funerals, and an increasing number of Baptisms. Working with our 30- something organizations in varying ways has been a pleasure. Sunday preaching is what I enjoy the most, and get a lot of support for.
I look forward to continuing all this in the coming year. You remember that last year Archbishop Rozanski told us there would be no usual Spring Pastor changes for these two years until summer of 2023 because of the Archdiocese Planning Process. So we can all plan for the year ahead.
Rev. Thomas W. Wyrsch