Present Letter from Pastor
2016 May 18
We are moving into summer of 2016 and I regret to announce that Sister Kathy Hoerster of the Sisters of Divine Providence is retiring from her role as pastoral associate at our parish, Sister has introduced so many new ministries since her arrival eight years ago……RCIA, ministry of care, home nurses ministry, Bible Studies, and most prominently, the monthly Life Enrichment Program……Sister will not be leaving us, fortunately, she will still live in the area and continue to help with those volunteers who have stepped forward to continue the ministries that she has initiated……thank you so much Sister for your dedication to the parish, and we will pray for your good health……On Mission for the Church Alive continues and meetings will be held in the parish to receive input from parishioners as we move forward to see how we can best meet the demands of sharing the Gospel in our area……please continue to pray for the “Church Alive” program as instituted by Bishop David Zubik, and you may visit the website www.onmissionforthechurchalive.org......meetings for parishioners will be scheduled in November…….
Tom Franzak, our music minister, will be leading the Vacation Bible School the week of July 11, please check the bulletin to register any children ages 5-12……the Garden ministry is again underway under the guidance of Dr Ron Boron, master gardener……vegetables are shared with South Hills Interfaith Ministries, our fish fry (in season), and the Rectory…..volunteers are welcome on Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm……anyone interested in joining the Catholic Faith or receiving instruction for the sacrament of confirmation is asked to contact the Rectory to begin the RCIA program in the fall…..
Coming into fall, we think about the ways in which we might have enjoyed the quick summer……I want to thank all those who have stepped up to join Ms Bev and the other catechists in conducting our Confraternity program…..and those who help Ms Audrey with the youth program…..no other ministries in the parish are as important as these!.....well, that’s some statement, since liturgy is also very important and we welcome Mr Tom Franzak as our new music minister who is working with our choir and also planning on a Taize’ prayer service for October 27…..given the turmoil in today’s world, the great extent of hatred and anger, we believers must turn to the Lord in prayer that “thy Kingdom come” over the kingdom of this world, based on the satanic delusion of power, greed, and success…..maybe Pope Francis visit to our country will get more people thinking.
Well, thanks be to God, we have survived another year and God has blessed us with a new one! We have a lot to be thankful to God about, and especially here at the parish, we are holding our own, continuing on with the Church Alive program and we hope to reach our goal within a month or two into 2014, and I want to thank those who volunteered for the campaign committee and of course those who so kindly responded to the appeal. Our Thanksgiving Day Mass was beautiful and we recognized the SJA/SHIM garden project, which provided almost two tons of fresh vegetables to the SHIM fresh food pantry. Also, I was able to enjoy some of the “gleanings” during the summer and fall and even parishioners should be able to take advantage in the new year. We have met the initial investment goals, and so there should be smooth farming this year. Also our water management work on the hillside has been completed at a cost of $4500.00 At least we hope we have no 100 year storms for a long while. We will use money from the “Church Alive” campaign to pay this project. As of this writing, we are getting close to our goal of $920,000.00 for the campaign. Again, I want to thank those who worked on the committee and to those who have pledged. Another indication of the great cooperation on the part of our people. The parish mission with Father John Petrikovic OFM Cap went well, and he looks forward to returning to the parish. Sister Kathy is also planning another vacation Bible school this coming summer. Sister has initiated and guided the parish visiting nurse program, and we a grateful to the volunteers who visit parishioners on a regular basis. Ms Bev is still recovering from her accident, but is still devoted to helping the youngsters in the CCD program move along, especially with First Reconciliation and First Communion coming up in the spring. Ms Wurst is also showing great leadership with our youth group, as they have many activities planned, including the March for Life in the nation’s capital.
Any visitors are most welcome to our parish. Join us for Sunday Mass and lively sermons (by Father Ray). Ms Deana also provides lively music to help us in our singing and praising the Lord. We offer Holy Communion under both forms of bread and wine (as the Lord Jesus has directed). And we plan on replacing our hymnals during 2014. Lent begins on March 5 and Easter will be celebrated on April 20. May we walk by God’s grace all of our days.
Certainly all of us can rejoice with our new Pope Francis, who in a very humble and pastoral way, is calling us to be a Church “of the poor for the poor” and of course the poor come in many ways, not only in a material sense, but in a physical, emotional, and spiritual sense as well; we can be alert to any and all in need of some kind of help. Over a hundred people/families were helped at Christmas time, all co-ordinated by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, without any fanfare or expectation of recognition. As a parish we do respond in many ways, but each person has many opportunities throughout the day to reflect the kindness and mercy of Christ.