Blew it out of the water…
$75,642. That is how much we raised this year at the Sponsor’s Dinner Dance. That is the MOST money raised at the dinner dance in my 16 years of being here. KUDOS to Kate Flatley and her team for an AMAZING gift to this parish. We are already using some of those funds for school repairs, as well as replacing the carpet in Fr. Nick’s sitting room and bedroom. (The gentlemen who is doing the installation said he has been in the business 32 years and has never seen the set up for securing the rug that they used. So, my guess is the rug is at least 33 years old…)

Perhaps you remember, but some weeks or so after I became the Pastor here at St. Ann, I shared my experience of ‘life without a map.’ I realized that I had a vision of what life would be as an associate pastor. But I did not have an image in my head about what being a pastor should look like. My “map” had run out.

So, with great patience, you taught me what being a priest/pastor might look like. Leading from the front, not from the side or behind as I was accustomed to doing. Learning how to say “Yes” when I could, and “No” when I had to. (The Fr. Bernie Nienhaus rule of being a pastor.) Learning how St. Ann worked and who did what. Mostly, I think, just learning the rhythm of life and love and service here at St. Ann as we prayed and played and worked together. Long before I got here, you were ‘doing the kingdom of God.’ And long after I leave, God willing, you will still be doing that.

So, thank you for teaching me how to listen and walk with you in that role as pastor. And now, you get to train another ‘rookie’ how to be the chief shepherd of St. Ann Parish. I pray that you are as gentle to him as you were to me.

As I head to St. Justin, it occurs to me that I am again going to a place where I have no preconceived “map”. But because of you, I can walk into that place trusting that God will be there as he was here. Thank you for giving me that confidence. And know that as often as we partake of the one bread and the one cup, we are joined together in that bond we call the Mystical Body of Christ.

Though no one ever really leaves St. Ann, we do move locations. So my new location is:

11910 Eddie and Park Road
Saint Louis, MO 63126