Dear Fellow Parishioners:
Our Advent journey has begun! This penitential season offers us four weeks to prepare ourselves for the coming Christmas celebration. I encourage you to take advantage of some of the opportunities presented in this bulletin.
For now, here is the latest version of “Pastor Tidbits”:
1. This past Sunday I preached on our responsibility as Catholics and Christians to give testimony to our faith. One of the examples I used was the life of actress Patricia Neal—I encourage you to check out her story, As I am: An Autobiography. Near the end of her life Ms. Neal became a strong pro-life activist. She deeply regretted having an abortion in her early years, and was quoted as saying: “If I had only one thing to do over in my life, I would have had that baby.” She brought this message to countless people—a strong testimony to our Catholic belief that life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death.
Since my homily I have had a number of women and men reach out to me in sadness and anger. Clearly there are many good people struggling with this issue of abortion. I now realize that it was not enough for me to simply proclaim our Catholic belief. I should have also included that forgiveness and healing are possible for all of us. I pray that everyone realizes that there are many good resources for those who are recovering from an abortion; and that, much like Patricia Neal, this need may surface many years after the abortion occurred. Thus, if you or someone you know is struggling with abortion, please reach out to the Church and its many resources.
2. As you know our Faith Formation (FF) program has been in flux these past two months as we have dealt with the sudden resignation of one of our directors. I am delighted to announce that after much prayer and discussion, we have found a path forward. As of December 1st, we have chosen to reorganize our current FF staff. This will entail Nicole Smalley now becoming a fulltime employee.
New responsibilities include:
Nicole Smalley will be the Director of Faith Formation: Birth – Gr. 8;
Patrick Smalley will be the Director of Youth and Adult Ministry;
Matt Kenutis, Youth Ministry Assistant, will be asked to help out with 1st to 12th grades;
Deacon Jim and I will actively assist in the First Reconciliation and First Communion programs.
We are excited about our future! I ask everyone, especially our FF parents, to be patient with us as we implement this new plan. A BIG THANK YOU to the staff, volunteer teachers and parents who have helped us through this transition time. Together we are providing a great FF program.
Fr. Brian Fier