Fall has definitely arrived. The trees are starting to change color, the air is cooler, and the days are getting shorter. For priests, an important part of fall is our convocation. Every year for a week the priests of the diocese go on retreat together to spend time and pray with each other. It is also a time to rest. We usually travel somewhere. Last year we went to New Harmony, Indiana and had some incredible conferences on the importance of consistent daily prayer in our lives.
Because of Covid, we will not be able to gather together in person. Bishop Siegel has still asked all priests this week to go on retreat. We will gather together at various times virtually. We will also spend time in prayer and resting. He asked us to not schedule any public events just like when we normally leave for convocation. There will be no masses next week at Precious Blood. On Friday morning, I will be at Holy Family for the “All-School” Mass.
Thank you for your patience with the live-streaming. It will always be fixed, as soon as possible when it has troubles. Part of the nature of technology is that it always eventually breaks down or has glitches. Many times, this is beyond our control. It has happened in the past, and it will happen in the future. When technology fails us, it can be frustrating. Yet, like all frustrating moments, they can actually be “God-moments.” What is God trying to teach my soul in this moment, and in this feeling that I have? What is he calling me to “let go” of? What can initially feel like a “bad deal” becomes a gift because our soul has been taught by God through the experience.
First, I want to thank you for the cards, notes, and gifts for my birthday. Thank you so much! I do appreciate it. I have been so appreciative of your kindness as I move in, making me feel at home.
I also want to thank you for your continued Stewardship in the parish. Thank you for your weekly generosity, during these times, which critically helps build the kingdom Of God in our area. The support you give to ministry and our parish is so vital.
I also want to say thank you to everyone who volunteers in so many ways. I have enjoyed seeing parishioners helping out simply because of their love for their parish family and Jesus. A key part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is taking the initiative, and sharing whatever gift one feels called to share. Thank you to all!
I am starting to get settled in. It always takes time. I have enjoyed meeting so many of the parishioners. Thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality. I really do cherish your kindness. To me it is a sign of God’s presence.
Nothing is normal for the time being. It can feel like there is always the shadow of Covid-19, even on a good day. Yet during this time of turbulence, I have always repeated to myself a very old Catholic saying, “The Cross is steady while the world is turning.” I have held onto this saying closely since March and haven’t let go of it yet. I really believe this. The cross of Jesus Christ must always be our anchor during change. This is where true peace can only be found.
I am excited to begin the journey with you as Pastor of Precious Blood. I look forward to getting to know you in the coming weeks!
I have spent most of my time after ordination in assignments in Gibson County and the westside of Evansville. What you may not know is that I spent much of my seminary life being assigned to places in Dubois County. I spent a summer at St Mary’s in Ireland. I also spent a summer at Holy Family in Jasper. I was assigned for two years as a deacon at St. Mary’s in Huntingburg. I went to seminary at St Meinrad, so Jasper was like a second home for some years. So in many ways it really feels like returning home to this area.
I also look forward to being a part of Holy Trinity Catholic School. The mission and ministry of this school is critical to the loving formation and education of our children in Dubois County.
I want to give a big thank you to your wonderful staff and ministry team you have at Precious Blood. I have been amazed at how personally invested and active our parishioners are at the church. I can already see this. This is a blessing, and such an important part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I want to thank Fr Gary for his many years of spiritual leadership as Pastor of this community. He has been a constant source of prayer, kindness, and support during this time. I am forever in a debt of gratitude for his hospitality as we make this transition
Again, I look forward to meeting you all personally. Thank you for your patience with me as I get settled in. May the Blessings of our Loving God be with all of you!
This weekend we will have a Mass and meal for the High School Graduates at Precious Blood. The tradition has gone on for years and is a way for us to honor our parishioners who are going to begin a new stage in their lives. Some will go to college; some may stay here in the area and begin work and maybe even a family; others may learn a trade; while some may decide on a life in the armed services; and some may be discerning a vocation to Priesthood or Religious Life.
This year has been unique, and many traditions have changed. Our hope is that our efforts to recognize and honor them will bring joy to each of them,. The future is ahead and filled with many different opportunities. I encourage each one to become the best version of themself and that is an authentic one, the being that God created you to be. You have certainly faced challenges already in your life and have demonstrated you have great strength.
To the parents of the graduates, teachers and all who helped educate and form these young people, I thank you from the depths of my heart and soul. The graduates this year are filled with talent and skill. They demonstrate good manners and etiquette. Several of them assist around the Altar in various ministries. We have encouraged them to get involved in their parish. We have empowered them to make a difference and they have!
We are so proud of each one of our graduates. Please join me and pray for them. Graduates keep striving, never and I mean never, accept mediocrity. Bloom where, (God) life plants you and make the most of the life given to you.
Also, this weekend Jacob Barth and Abbey Armstrong will receive the St. Maria Goretti Award. The purpose of the Goretti award is to recognize adolescents for their contribution to the life, mission, and ministry provided to their family, parish, school, and community.
The Maria Goretti Youth Award Ceremony was canceled this year and it was encouraged to celebrate the recipients at the Parish level. It was strongly recommended that those nominated be active in both religious education classes and the parish youth ministry program. Our Youth ministry program, Bosco, is a joint effort between the four area parishes. It is named after another Saint, St. John Bosco, who dedicated his life to the care, dignity and formation of the youth.
The Goretti Award recognizes the youth’s involvement in many aspects of life including family, parish, community, and school. This honor recognizes the young person’s service, leadership, and involvement in our Catholic community.
Please join me and congratulate all our High School Graduates, who are fine young men and ladies, and their families. Your Parish Family is proud of you and gives thanks for the service you continue to give to Precious Blood, the Church and our local community.