Fr. Daniel Gifford
“CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH”
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
In this second week of reading through Our Lord’s great “Sermon on the Plain,” as I
have said, we must come to the Lord as children and allow Him to teach us. This weekend’s Gospel reminds us that to live out our identity as “Children of the Most High,” we must strive to “be merciful just as (our) Father is merciful.” No one can teach us to fulfill this noble call quite like Christ Himself, whose Merciful Heart is truly One with the Merciful Heart of the Father. Fittingly, then, we reflect this week on the statue of the Christ Child (front cover), which greeted our children for many years at the entrance of the school and now greets them in Atrium hallway, when they arrive for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. With so many cancellations over the past few weeks, it makes us appreciate even more every precious moment we have with our children here in their parish home. We continue to thank God for the gift of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, but even more so, for the gift of every child in our parish. May they be for us an ever present reminder of the call to live as Children of the Most High.
ADORATION CHAPEL SEATING: On the topic of the cherished gift of having children in our Parish Home, I need to take a moment to address the matter of seating in the Adoration Chapel, which was known for many years as the Mother’s Chapel. It has been brought to my attention, on more than one occasion by different parents, that at times, a parent brings their distressed child into the chapel only to find a full chapel with no space to sit. I am certain that it is no one’s intention to be unwelcoming or unsupportive to parents and their children, but we do need to remember what that welcoming support looks like. First, we must remember that availability for parents attending to distressed or antsy children, while still attempting to be present to Mass, is the primary purpose of that chapel on Sundays. Second, we must recall the importance of what they are doing, by taking their children to Mass, attending to them when they are distressed, and trying to do so in a way that is selflessly considerate of the rest of the congregation, while still enabling them to be as attentive to Mass as they can. These are all things that can be difficult and must be encouraged, affirmed and supported! While there are other physical or otherwise personal reasons for choosing the adoration chapel for Mass, we must be mindful of the fact that if we choose, not out of necessity, to sit in the adoration chapel for Sunday Mass, we are accepting the mission of being supportive, welcoming and helpful to parents who come in with their children. At the least, this can mean a warm smile, offering your chair when there are no more available, or offering encouraging and supportive words at appropriate times. Thank you for helping to build the hospitable parish home for which we always strive.
LENTEN SPIRITUALITY SERIES: Lent is only a week and a half away. This time in the desert is not just a time of fasting and sacrifices, but is essentially about being with the Lord. The point of our hunger and thirst is to share in His hunger and thirst. It is a time of spiritual growth, drawing nearer to the Lord through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. With this in mind, I am very exciting to be offering to the whole parish Learning to Listen to the Voice of God: A Lenten Spirituality Series. On four Tuesday nights during Lent, we will discuss some very practical tips to grow in our prayer and also take time to pray together, putting these tools to use to grow together. More information can be found in the Adult Discipleship section of this bulletin. Also, stay tuned for news about Lenten Confessions and another book soon to arrive at your home!
OFFICE STAFF CHANGE: The past year and a half that I have been here at Saint Louis Parish have been a bit of a whirlwind, filled with much transition. The Lord has provided for the transition in many ways, not the least of which has been through the hard work and assistance of Cathy Trowbridge. She is very generous and has been uniquely gifted to be able to help with this time of transition, through the filling of multiple roles on staff in that time. As the parish continues to transition and as she discerns where the Lord is leading her, she is now ready to step away from regular daily office work. As we thank her for her service, the parish is excited to welcome a new face to the office, who is able to do the work of Administrative Assistant five days a week, for the entirety of our office hours, which will provide greater continuity for both parishioners and our staff. This week, Paula Lough will begin work as our new Parish Administrative Assistant. We are very excited to welcome her to the office staff, as she has shown herself to be a faithful and passionate parishioner and volunteer, and has many skills which she brings to the job. Please join us in welcoming her.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!