Weekly pastor’s post (January 15)

Dear friends,

Well, here we are – well and truly into 2024 and Ordinary Time! I hope you had wonderful Christmas and New Years celebrations. Despite a lingering sore throat, I sang ‘Joy to the World’ as happily as anyone at all of the Nativity Masses! It was a wonderful couple of weeks, both at the parish and with family & friends.

Now that we’re out of the holiday season, I’ve been turning my attention – and hopefully yours too – to the coming implementation of Partners in the Gospel. Though its not super close, change is clearly on the horizon. On July 1, we will be joined in our parish family (currently planned to be Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, and Saint Pius X parishes) and a new pastor & parochial vicar assigned to lead the joined communities & schools.

Though there are many unanswered questions (who will be our priest? what changes will all of this bring? – to name just a couple!), there ARE things we can do now. Most of those involve looking around our community and simply pitching in! As I mention in my letter in this week’s bulletin (see the last page), there are several areas I’ve identified as needing help right away. Please prayerfully consider how you might help with these – or other! – areas in our parish life. Now more than ever, our parish – and later, our parish family – can benefit from your gifts & talents.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer

January 15 – Today in the United States, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This federal holiday marks the birth of its namesake. Though it is held on the third Monday of January, this year that lands on his actual birthday! May we take a moment to praise God in pray for his good work – and that of so many whom he inspired – and ask God to continue to change hearts, so that all might recognize the dignity of every person, regardless of race, color, or creed.

January 16 – The 9 Days for Life novena starts today. Though Roe vs. Wade was overturned in 2022 – a year before its 50th anniversary – the work of building a culture of life remains. Until human life is recognized and revered from conception until natural death, we must continue to pray and work for the support of human life & dignity. Consider joining in the 9 Days for Life novena and inviting others to do the same. Check out the daily prayer & reflection for more details.

January 17 – Saint Anthony the Abbot often takes second fiddle to the patron of lost things – but this Anthony came long before him….almost a thousand years before him, in fact! Born in the third century, Saint Anthony eventually embraced a life of asceticism – one that eventually attracted others to embrace his example. He is credited for the establishment of monasticism in both the East and West. Read more about him at Word on Fire.

January 20 – When I was a kid, one of my favorite saints book was the Picture Book of Saints by Father Lawrence Lovasik, S.V.D. I still have fond memories of paging through the stories & images – and I’m delighted that it is still in print! Of the stories, that of Saint Sebastian (whose memorial is today) was one of my favorites. Even after a failed execution attempt (being shot to death….by bow & arrow), he tried to warn Diocletian (the Roman emperor persecuting Christians) of his sins. Though the second effort to execute him succeeded, his martyrdom inspired many. That he is the patron saint of archery is a particularly delightful bit of Catholic humor! Read more about him at uCatholic.