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Of many things…

If you remember, it was with great hope on the feast of Pentecost that I planted three seeds of the Sequoia Gigantica in a little pot on my windowsill. Germination time was 90 to 120 days. My pledge was to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit, not just upon the seeds, but upon the people of St. Ann’s Parish. Though I don’t know what has happened as a result of the prayers I have said daily for you all as I attempted to keep the soil moist but not wet, I can say that first attempt to grow the Fr. Bill Kempf Sequoia has met with failure. Alas, no giant sequoia seedlings!

So I will try again. This time I will try a different type of soil. And I will continue to pray daily for the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon this parish. Who knows what kind of growth God has already worked because of those prayers, and what more he has in store for us? We will find out.

As of now (late Tuesday night) we have 25 students signed up for the Awakening Retreat, another 10 in leader-ship roles, plus 15 on the Growth retreat for this coming weekend. Add to that our Newman staff and a musician, and we end up with a total of 55 folks on retreat the week-end of Oct. 19-21st. If you could keep us in your prayers, that would be a huge blessing. (A few cookies, brownies or salty snacks wouldn’t hurt either…)

Last week, at the Archbishop’s Fishers of Men Summit, Fr. Chris Martin, the vocation director, laid an interesting challenge at our feet as priests. All it would take here in St. Louis to turn the corner on the “stable but lower than we need to replace the priests who retire or die numbers of priests” trend is a simple math equation. One every ten. If every parish produced ONE vocation every TEN years, then we would be in a position to not only sustain the numbers of priests available, but to GROW the number of priests who will serve our parishes and Archdiocese. 1 every 10.

I am not even sure who the last vocation was from St. Ann parish, (unless you count Fr. Phil Krill, but that is a different story) but I can tell you with certainty, we have not had one progress from the seminary to the priesthood in the past ten and a quarter years that I have been pastor. So we are behind the curve…

My challenge to you – look around this parish and focus on those who are in the “11’s” (6th grade or juniors in H.S.). There seems to be something ripe in young men at that age that makes them receptive to the invitation to priesthood. Pray, asking God to put in your heart the names of those kids in those ages you would like me to approach and invite to one of the various programs sponsored by the Vocation Office. And we’ll let God’s Spirit take it from there…

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