Friday, July 25, 2014

Part of my Vision as Pastor: Parish Bulletin: 7-27-14

           Thank you for your warm welcome to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban parishes.  I am also grateful for your continued patience and flexibility during this time of transition.  You have all helped make this a blessed time moving into a new home and community!
            I also want to reiterate my gratitude to Fr. Kris McKuskey.  He did an amazing job here as pastor and I am blessed to be following him.  In speaking with our staff, faculty and many of you, St. Thomas and St. Columbus are much better off thanks to his work.  I hope I can continue the great work he did.
This week I would like to share a few thoughts on what I believe God is calling me to do in my time here as pastor.  As I shared last week at Mass and in the bulletin, my number one goal is to support you and your families in your walk with Christ.  Through the graces God has given us through the Catholic Church, I want to assist you in any way possible to grow in your faith, especially through our rich sacramental life.
            I come from an educational background.  My parents were both teachers and I received an undergraduate degree at the College of St. Scholastica in math teaching.  In college I was also employed as a youth minister.  Through these experiences I have seen how crucial it is to teach the faith to our young people.  This was only enhanced as I served my first two years as a priest under Fr. Rich Kunst who was completely invested into his school.  He constantly said, “Any parish with a school needs to treat its school as its number one mission.”
            I agree!
            The Church has consistently taught that you parents are the primary educators of the faith.  Whether you currently send your children to St. Thomas Aquinas School, public school or educate your children at home, know of my support in your mission to educate your children, especially in the faith.
            Many of you have shared with me the rich traditions of St. Thomas Aquinas School and I hope to help rebuild and reestablish this great gift of our parish.  This will include both recruiting families into the school and helping raise funds to assist young families who would like to send their children but need help from us.  I would ask you all to pray for the success of these endeavors and to respond generously to support our school.
            I am also excited to work with Jean Johnson and Mary Morrisseau in the faith formation programs we offer.  I pray that our students may experience the love, mercy and joy of Jesus Christ through a positive encounter of the Catholic Church in our faith formation programs.
            As I begin work as a pastor please pray that God, who has begun the good work in us, may bring it to completion.
            God Bless!

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