Pastor’s Pen – July 11, 2010

Published on 11. Jul, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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Did you know…

It is easy to think that as a parish, we are a little island, floating on our own. And then, continuing with that line of thinking, to be angry or frustrated at the Archdiocese for leaving us here on our own. But did you know that we are decidedly not alone. In many ways, we draw daily and weekly support from “Lindell” (now moved to “Laclede Station Road”). Help is always a phone call away.

The Archdiocesan School office supports us with researched answers to specific problems and issues brought to Mrs. Reichenbach’s or my attention. Their expertise and assistance has been invaluable to the two ‘first time’ principals we have hired during my tenure here.

When I need a dispensation for a wedding or help for someone going through the process of an annulment, I know where to go and who to talk to. As the new changes in the translations of the mass are coming down the pipeline, I know that the Liturgy Office will be offering several training sessions (I’ve already been to the first one) to prepare our hearts to pray with the church as it prays.

When a legal issue raises its head, (and unfortunately, they do more often than I would like) the ‘Archdiocesan Lawyers’ are there to research the answers I need so I can deal with the situation correctly, yet compassionately.

When couples are preparing for marriage, I know there is a schedule of retreats already planned and evening “Pre-Cana” sessions scattered throughout the Archdiocese for them to plug into. I refer them to the Archdiocesan web-page, and off they go…

And on a more ‘local’ level, several parishes have ‘twinned’ with our St. Vincent De Paul society, making a monthly commitment to help us help those in need in our community and parish. Immaculata on Clayton was the first. Joining them over the course of the years have been St. Alban Roe, Incarnate Word and Ascension parishes, all in Chesterfield. Together they give nearly $500 a month in aid to our St. Vincent DePaul Society for those in our neighborhood.

Did you know? I hope so. But just in case you didn’t, breathe a prayer of thanks to God for the ‘connections between us’ as members of this wonderful Archdiocese of St. Louis…

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Pastor’s Pen – May 30, 2010

Published on 30. May, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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Sometimes it is bad planning –because you said yes to too many things. Sometimes the project that seemed so far away and that you had plenty of time for when you signed up for it comes due just as a boatload of emergencies suddenly strike. And sometimes, you simply realize that it is the month of May.

I don’t know if it is true for you, but it certainly is in my world. May is a crazy time. Two weddings (and a funeral). Confirmation. Two Auction dinners. School Picnic. Mother’s Day. Interviews for a new hire at the Newman Center. Finals fling. Priests’ Council Exec Board. Regular Priests Council meeting. Graduation. And so it goes…

Like many of you reading this, there are many things that demand our time and energy. We do them because they matter to us. We invest our time and energy in our own events as well as in the things that we value for our children. If you want to know what really matters to people, then simply look at the ways they spend their time. Perhaps even more than the pocketbook, our use of time measures what truly matters for us.

So I find myself ‘guarding my calendar’. Trying to say yes when I can, but making sure that I balance those choices with the things that recreate the spirit. It is not always an easy task. And this May, perhaps unlike other years, I realize how necessary it is to “do the do-able, not the impossible” as St. Vincent de Paul says.

In our Good Leaders, Good Shepherds training, they invited us to think about our Key Responsibility Areas. (KRA’s) A simple image to explain this is that of a bucket. If you wrote down all the things you do onto slips and then had to sort them into about 5 buckets, those ‘buckets’ would be your KRA’s.

The challenge to these buckets is to allow them to help set the priorities in your life. Like the junk mail that you sort through and many times discard without ever opening, there are ‘junk events’ that, though you could do, they are not the things that give you energy and/or that God gave you the most gifts and talents for.

Recognizing that has been a great freedom for me, even in the midst of crazy busy days. Do the things that matter most first. To update St. Vincent’s quote: “Do the important and the doable, not the trivial and the impossible…”

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