Dear STL Family,
It's been a while since I last touched base with you. I pray this message finds you healthy and happy. This Spring has been a season of change for us---the welcoming of new/renewed Catholics, first communicants, newly confirmed, and preschool through college graduates.
I want to thank you for allowing me to take 3 weeks off to experience a trip to Italy,
a first for me. A few highlights of my journey began with a few days in Venice with my daughter, Andrea. We then met up in Florence with my son, Jonathan, and his new bride, Amy. My son found a beautiful small church named Santi Apostoli when he studied abroad years ago and chose to be sacramentally married there. What an intimate and profoundly spiritual Mass celebration with our immediate families of nine people! We then left the newlyweds and journeyed to Assisi, Sienna, Sorrento, Isle of Capri, Roma, Lake Como, and Milan.
I visited small, medium, large, and basilica-sized churches where I lit a candle for all of you here at home. I kept you in my prayers and in my heart. Another highlight was hearing the May 29th Papal announcement of our Bishop McElroy's appointment to Cardinal. I was at the Sistine Chapel in Roma that day. The icing on the cake was viewing Leonardo DaVinci's painting, The Last Supper on my birthday in Milan. What a way to end my journey to Italy; hopefully not just a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me! I can certainly check it off my bucket list though.
I'm happy to be back home and am most pleased to see the newly landscaped entrance to our church. Kudos to Vicky Cate, Diane & George Heidenreich, Glenn Hiebing, and John Krueger for this and other enhancements on our site.
We can look forward to making much-needed repairs and improvements. Please be patient with us!
And folks, help us with the new landscaping by keeping the little ones/young disciples on the walkways, NOT in the newly planted areas. Thank you!
Earlier, I mentioned that Bishop Robert McElroy was appointed by Pope Francis to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal-Elect McElroy, age 68, will be installed by Pope Francis in a consistory to take place Aug. 27 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Cardinal-elect McElroy is the fifth American to be named a Cardinal by Pope Francis. All cardinals under 80 years of age are voting members, able to serve in the Conclave that elects the Pope. Here is a brief article, "What is the minimum requirement for a person to become a cardinal?" for your viewing: https://www.simplycatholic.com/cardinal-qualifications/
On the Outreach front, Michelle Hayford and a team of amazing leaders from the Outreach Committee, Pastoral Council, and staff orchestrated a fruitful and funfilled Summer Kick-off Pop-up Shop this past weekend. What a monumental task with a short prep timeline. It's just one example of fierce discipleship in action. I can't wait to see what they do this upcoming year. I look forward to more of you actively participating in bringing our community together to support the needs of others.
I know there are issues to address and I appreciate your indulgence and understanding. I'm working with both our Pastoral and Finance Councils as we tackle community- and finance-related items that are adversely affecting our parish to date. I will keep you in the loop. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any of your questions. I'm here to serve you.
With a very grateful heart,