As I reflect on today’s Gospel of the Good Samaritan, I feel a need to thank you for your warm welcome. Once again I am so privileged to be called to lead this community closer to Christ.

It was such a gift to meet so many of you. As you introduced yourselves, there was a constant refrain of offers to help. And so…

I want to propose having a simple family picnic like event on Sunday July 31st. There are several reasons for this suggestion. More than one person mentioned how nice it would be to have a light-hearted and simple family picnic. In seeing the year 1856 proudly posted on everything, it occurred to me that this year is the 160th anniversary, and that is something to celebrate. The 26th of July is the Feast of St. Ann and that would be the Sunday after the Feast. Finally, more selfishly, it would give me an opportunity to meet more of you. Of course, this is something that can only happen if some people step up to make it hap-pen. If you want to help organize this little event, please contact me.

Speaking of 160 years of history… Many parishes have no documentation from the past. Here, the parish office and rectory spaces are sometimes overflowing with the artifacts of this parish’s rich history. As parochial administrator, I have the obligation to be a good steward of the parish’s past, present, and future. We can’t expect a box of random pictures stuck willy nilly in a closet to properly preserve the St. Ann story. I am looking for some people who would be willing to help build, secure, and share the contents of our parish archives. I, we, need to make sure much of the St. Ann story will be around for parishioners in another 160 years.

Finally, one of the first questions someone asked me is “do you like parish councils?” Short answer: yes. A priest, after leading this community for a long time, knows his people, and who to ask what. I am not in that position yet. I know I need a pastoral or parish council to help me listen to you. In addition, as parochial administrator it is important for me to follow best practices and the advice of my mentor priests. These mentors have suggested a slightly different model of a parish council than the traditional one. Instead of a strictly elected or discerned group, the council will be where leaders of various parish organizations and some at large members gather to share ideas, inspiration, and prayer. I have been at three parishes that implemented this model to general acclaim. July is not a good month for meetings, so nothing is happening till fall, but I ask you to pray for this project.