Transitions

July 31, 2015

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

Yes, we all face changes. Beside God (and some say taxes) there are no constants in life. This month marks a big transition within my immediate family. After some sixty years of living in the same neighborhood — back in the mid-1950s my parents built one of the first houses on one of the few hills in Golden Valley; and then, in the mid-1990s when they decided to downsize, they moved two doors down on the same block — my mother will be moving to the senior apartments at St. Therese SW in Hopkins. While the move has many advantages, it still has been tough to let go of our home.

This change will also mean a new residence for me. You may recall that when I arrived at the Church of St. Edward in 2012 there was no longer a parish rectory — church leaders had sold off the rectory on the southwest corner of our lot a few years earlier — and thus, I was forced to find my own lodging. After much prayer and consultation, I decided to live in my Mom’s home. A BIG THANK YOU to the Archdiocese and our parish for allowing me to enjoy this special time with my mother. My presence, especially my gallant though not always effective efforts to maintain the house, allowed her to stay in the home for a few additional years. Now it is time for a change.

After consulting with the Archdiocese, I decided that I would join my Mother at St. Therese SW. With the ever decreasing number of priests, it is getting tougher and tougher to provide sacramental ministry to our Catholic senior residences. In fact, these facilities receive minimal assistance from the Archdiocese in this effort. Hospitals, prisons, schools, and of course parishes all have priests and/or deacons assigned to serve their needs, not our senior living residences. This is one of the many sad consequences of today’s priest shortage. How tragic! In reality, our senior citizens have some of the greatest needs, especially when it comes to the sacraments. What are we doing to accommodate them?

A few years ago the Archdiocese’s Comprehensive Assignment Board began to investigate the possibility of having priests reside in our Catholic senior living residences. The priest would maintain his fulltime ministry outside the facility, and simply offer the occasional Mass. I was intrigued by the idea then, and when the need to move my Mom arose, I began to explore the possibility. Thankfully both the Archdiocese and St. Therese SW recognized the value of having regular Masses being offered instead of the typical once or twice a month arrangement with most of today’s senior residences. Know that I am open to serving both St. Therese SW and our parish. Practically, what will this mean? Consider:

  1. 1)  St. Therese SW understands that my work at our parish will take priority.
  2. 2)  I will merely be presiding at Mass. St. Therese SW has a capable Pastoral Care teamthat will take care of all the prep and cleanup work surrounding the liturgy.
  3. 3)  Since I have to prepare a homily for my St. Edward’s Masses, the increase in myworkload will be minimal.
  4. 4)  I will be offering Mass on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The only change inour St. Edward’s schedule will be that Saturday confessions will be moved to noon.
  5. 5)  I will be living closer to the parish.

All in all, this is a win-win situation for everyone. I hope that you will support my efforts to serve both the people of St. Therese SW and St. Edward.

Summer blessings, Fr. Brian