Pastor’s Pen – August 29, 2010 | St. Ann Catholic Church | St. Louis, MO

Every four years…

Every four years, the priests of this Archdiocese are given a wonderful opportunity.  It is called “Convocation” – from the Latin words meaning a ‘Calling together’.  So for four and a half days in mid-September, we will gather at the Lake of the Ozarks (close enough to get away, far enough not to be tempted to return for parish meetings) for prayer, study, camaraderie and relaxation.  The theme this year is:  Our Priestly Identity: Claim It.

I always look forward to this unique opportunity to spend time in prayer and reflection, fellowship and fun with my brother priests.  This year will also be the first year with Archbishop Carlson.  He is planning to address us on Friday morning, presenting a kind of “State of the Archdiocese” address, including his priorities and vision for us as priests as we move forward.  I ask that you keep us in your prayers these days.

For past convocations, I have been able to rely on my part time associate to cover mass duties from Tues through Friday.  Obviously that cannot happen this year.  Fr. Emmanuel will be on his way back to the Congo by then.  The usual suspects of Archdiocesan subs will also be at the convocation.  Though I continue to make phone calls, we may have to get by with communion services led by Deacon Jack Shannon that week.  Ah, the joys of a shrinking priesthood.  It is one of the many challenges that face us as priests and as a church in this Archdiocese.

Every year…

A reminder that SPRENKE-TIME is fast approaching, with its usual opportunity for St. Ann parishioners to be a beacon of hospitality to so many visiting athletes and their families.  I ask that you continue this wonderful tradition of warmth and welcome, now in its 49th year.  As always, the Men’s Club welcomes volunteers to help with the always succulent BBQ, and the staffing of the food and beverage lines.  I also remind people of the need to monitor their intake of certain beverages over the course of these days.  Our children and the children of all our guests do watch us and we do teach them by our example.  Might the example we give be Christ-like in word and in deed.