The Month of September 2022

My Friends,

Change is hard…

            Archbishop Rozanski acknowledges that change is hard in this reflection on the evolving All Things New pastoral planning process underway in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  It will realign the resources of the Archdiocese – personnel and facilities – to best serve Catholics, and to reach the metropolitan community, till the year 2050.  The Archbishop writes:

            “The All Things New pastoral planning process is going to bring historic change to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As we start to look at potential plans for parish and school restructuring I’d like to reflect on change — because change is hard!

            “There are a lot of theological things that might be said about change: how the Ascension or the conversion of Gentiles changed things for the early Church; how the gradual codification of the seven sacraments across several centuries or the creation of the seminary system after the Reformation changed things for the Church.

            “But maybe the most helpful perspective on change comes from the experience of parents.

            “With each stage of a child’s growth — in the womb, infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, young adult — parents constantly need to discover new ways of parenting.

            “With every transition, the temptation is to stay stuck in the previous mode of parenting. It’s tempting for parents to keep the child suspended — in their imagination — in some earlier phase of life and to fail to make the transition that growth requires. But we all know what happens when parents continue to treat their teenagers as toddlers or their young adults as teenagers!

            “Naturally, with every transition, there’s grieving. That’s legitimate. Something good happens in each stage of a child’s growth, and something is lost when the next phase comes. But parents can’t hold on to the earlier phases, no matter how golden they may have been while they lasted. Successful parenting requires accepting the changes, then investing time and energy in learning new ways of carrying out their mission.

            “The experience of parents contains important lessons for us as we face our own changes in the coming years.

            “The footprint of the archdiocese — in terms of parishes and schools — is about to change. We can and should grieve that change. Good things happened and some of them will be lost. But we can’t suspend the life of the archdiocese — in our imagination, and our way of operating — at a previous ‘golden age.’ Like parents, we need to recognize the change that’s happened and invest our time and energy in a new way of carrying out our mission.

            “When Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples remained, for a time, gazing upward, locked in an old way of relating to his body. Then two angels said to them: ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?’ The disciples needed to be spurred into the next phase of the Church’s life. They needed to go back to Jerusalem, to prepare to be anointed by the Holy Spirit and to enter into a new relationship with Jesus and the world. We stand in a similar position today.

            “We can and should celebrate all we’ve accomplished in the previous decades, even the previous 200 years. Great things have happened in the Archdiocese of St. Louis!

            “But we can’t simply keep gazing at those great things, expecting some previous mode of the Church’s life to continue. Change has come upon us, whether we want it to or not.

            “It’s time for us to go to the upper room, to pray for a new anointing by the Holy Spirit, and to enter into a new way of carrying out the mission of being Jesus’ Church.”

Let us pray…

            From the outset prayer for wisdom and right judgement in the All Things New planning process has been the bedrock of this initiative. Continue to join your prayers with those of all in the archdiocese that God inspire All Things New so that the Church of St. Louis will be vibrant and vital now and always!

            This is the Archdiocesan All Things New prayer. Cards with the prayer continue to be available, too, at the church entrances:

            Heavenly Father, you sent your Son Jesus as the first Evangelizer of the Good News.

            Send forth the power of the Holy Spirit upon the Church of St. Louis and grant us the gift of true discernment so we may do your will in all things.

            Help us be totally free to follow wherever you lead us, totally generous to be good stewards of your many gifts, and totally passionate to suffer all in order to be more closely united to you.

            Commissioned by your Son and empowered by the Spirit to "Go and Make Disciples of all Nations," strengthen us by the power of your grace as we bring the Good News of Salvation into the lives of all those we touch, so that individual hearts and all of society may be converted to you and all things might be made new.

            Inspired by the apostolic zeal of previous generations, as we begin the process of planning for the future, may our only desire be to do all things for the greater glory and honor of your name and for the good of your people in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

            Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“You did it for me” & “You did it again!”

            You did it again!  Each year the Archdiocesan Annual Catholic Appeal funds people programs that serve over one half million children, women and men in our metropolitan community. People of all faiths, and of no faith, benefit. The homeless are provided shelter. The hungry receive nutritious meals. Women and children at-risk are afforded safe-haven and necessary care. Senior citizens receive a continuum of needed services. Disadvantaged children and teens are educated. These are only a few of the people programs made possible by the Appeal.

            The 2022 Appeal is nearing its conclusion.  Our gifts now total $26,288.00 toward a challenge goal of $26,050. You did it again!  We have surpassed our challenge goal!  Gifts have come from almost 64% of our parish family. Last year our gifts totaled $26,048, given by 67% of our parish family. We have two first time donors toward the assigned goal of three.

            I am grateful for your generosity! Archbishop Rozanski is grateful for your generosity!  The one half million children and adults who benefit from your generosity are most grateful!  I encourage any of you who have not yet made a gift to do so. I ask simply that you be as generous to God, and the works of God, as God has been generous to you. Your gift then will be the right one.

In Brief

            Drs. Pat & Christine Durbin have long been faithful and generous members of this parish family.  After thirty-five years, Pat is retiring from active practice.  As he begins a new beginning now we pray for him, and for Chris, all the best.

            Sergeant John McLaughlin has been a long-time friend of the parish, both personally, and in his role with the Problem Properties Division of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  On the eve of retirement, his last roll call took place on Friday, 26 August, at Police Headquarters.  We pray for him best blessings always.

            For some time the main doors of the church had become progressively difficult to open due to some shifting of the frames and the floor plate spanning the entrance.  The problem has been corrected now.  Three friends of the parish made this possible as a contributed service, along with restoration of the concrete wall on the west end of the plaza.  To them I offer our gratitude.

            In place of the professional company of prior years, a young friend of the parish is contributing his time and talent a few hours each week to provide lawn care and landscaping service.  We are grateful.

            Thanks also to Bill Clifford and John McGuire for their contributed service resolving some plumbing issues on the first and second floors of the rectory. 

            The management of our neighbors, the City View Apartments, has recently engaged a twenty-four hour private security service to oversee their four buildings and the grounds.  The officers frequently keep watch in their vehicles while parked on our lot.  Theirs is a welcome presence.

            Looking forward to our November celebration of the Demisemisepcentennial of the founding of the parish, Don Massey, our director of sacred music has begun planning the program for the Mass celebrated on 19 November 2022 by Archbishop Rozanski.  Phil and Cece Heslin have generously agreed to coordinate details of the reception in the parish hall that will follow. As the celebration nears we will enlist additional assistance from all who are ready and willing!

            We keep in prayer Murry Velasco and Lubertha Bartee, and all who are sick or homebound.  To them, and their caregivers, may God give grace and peace!