Fr. John's Column - June 25, 2017
This Sunday morning we again welcome our newest priest to the
Diocese of Superior, Father Samuel Schneider. Father Samuel will be covering
for me as I leave with our high school and young adults on our mission trip to
Freemont, Nebraska. Sunday evening at 7PM Father John Anderson, Pastor of
Immaculate Conception Parish in New Richmond and Saint Patrick Parish in Erin
Prairie will be with us. Please keep our group in your prayers as we travel,
serve, and seek to grow in faith.
Several years ago the United States Bishops initiated a
program called Fortnight for Freedom.
More recent they have added the subtitle Freedom
for Mission. This involves a period of prayer from June 21 – July 4. During
this time the Church celebrates the feasts of several great martyrs who
remained steadfast in their faith in the face of persecution by political
powers: Saints John Fisher and Thomas Moore, Saint John the Baptist, Saints
Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church in Rome. The Bishops have
prepared a brief daily reflection and prayer for each day of the Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom for Mission
that examines a different aspect of the Church’s call to work in the world.
Sheets with these reflections and prayers are available at the welcome center
at church. We will also post them each day on our Facebook page and send them
out to those who have signed up to receive electronic communications. (To
receive electronic communications from the parish, go to our website and click
the blue box “Electronic Communications” on the right.)
As I write this week’s column I am currently at Extreme Faith
Camp, repeatedly falling off a paddleboard. For the past three years we at St.
Pat’s have had youth attend this camp, which is sponsored by the Diocese of Superior.
The camp is geared toward middle school aged youth, but we also had several
high school students work at the camp as counselors and serve in a supportive
role on a prayer team. All totaled, 73 youth from our parish joined youth from
other parishes in our diocese for a week of growing in their faith, fun, and
making new friends.
One of the most heartwarming occurrences at camp is seeing
our kids enjoying new friendships with kids from other parishes. One of our
kids – after just the first day – reported that already she knows she will now
pray more. But another part of camp was seeing a few of our kids get up on
water skies after only the first time they tried skiing, being excited to get
out fishing, and enjoying running around and doing things kids should be doing
– such as playing games in a grassy field.
On a completely different note Barb Kaiser, who previously
served as our Director of Finance and more recently transitioned to part-time
to manage the bookkeeping duties in our parish, recently notified us that she
intends to fully retire by July 30th. Barb has been an invaluable asset to our
parish, in particular by maintaining our financial records. Through the years
Barb has overseen the implementation of several new components regarding the
handling of our finances, including automatic withdrawal for donations, payroll
systems, and We Share for online giving. We are profoundly thankful to Barb for
her eight years’ of service, and wish her well in her well-deserved retirement.