• Fr. Daniel Gifford

Herald the Good News!

Dear St. Louis Parishioners,

Let’s continue our Advent reflection on the Old Testament.  As the Books of the Law (the

Torah) draw to a close, Moses, the great prophet who delivered the law, issues a prophecy that the Lord would send “a prophet like me… to Him you shall listen.”  


This sets the stage for the period of prophets, in which God sends many prophets, to speak His word to His people, while they await the Prophet, the One of whom Moses spoke: Christ the Lord.  Sometimes they spoke words of comfort and hope, other times strong calls to repentance and warning of the consequences of sins, always telling us precisely what we need (even if not always what we want) to hear.  Throughout the early Historical Books (Joshua-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles) we see the prophets as men and women called by God to guide the people, often counseling and even challenging kings, judges and other rulers, while other times we see kings and judges themselves acting as prophets.  We find a unique glimpse of the period of the Babylonian exile in one of the more unique prophetic books, Daniel, which is an interesting blend of different genres found within Scripture.  Meanwhile, we find the continuation of the story after the restoration from exile in Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and 1 & 2 Maccabees.  In the later chapters of those early histories, we see that God had united His people into a kingdom, but that kingdom was soon divided.  It is during this time of the divided kingdom, and into the times of exile and restoration, that we find the ‘writing prophets’ (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Hosea, etc.).  It is of these writing prophets that I am reminded when I look at that unique and somewhat puzzling window (cover), which many of you probably rarely see, if ever, as it is found back in the sacristry.  In the scroll and the quill, we find what might be a reference to the call of the prophets to chronicle the works of the Lord, as He continues to guide His people through history, using them as His instruments.  The prophets reveal the faithfulness of the Lord in written and spoken word, as well as in deed.  This is something we all are called to do.  Yet, the gift of prophecy is unique, as it comes directly from the Lord, which might be hinted at by the use of a feather-pen.  Presumably, it comes from a bird, which has a unique view of the world from above (think of the symbol of the Gospel of John: the eagle).  Prophets present the Divine view of the world, because they speak the Lord’s words, not their own.  The closer we grow to the Lord, the more He calls us to be heralds of His Good News!


GOOD NEWS:  You have heard or read several references by now about the ongoing development of our youth ministry program, especially with the help of Rachel Bystry and her team of volunteers.  I am very grateful to them and all of their good work, as the program continues to expand, especially with the addition of Jr. High Youth Ministry.  As that evolution continues, I am very pleased to announce that in January, we will have another addition to our parish staff.  Caylee Kennedy will serve as our Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.  She is a wonderful example of a young person living as a joyful, passionate and committed disciple of the Lord. In addition to her faithfulness, joy and passion for evangelization, she brings a wide range of talents and experiences in leadership with various youth and young adult ministry opportunities, including Totus Tuus, Teens Encounter Christ (TEC), Newman ministry, and parish youth ministry.  She is well equipped to bring some exciting new improvements, which will help bring our young people nearer to the heart of Christ.  I can’t wait for you all to meet her.  You will have the chance to introduce yourself at our Epiphany celebration (January 6-7), in which we will bless our parish home.  I hope she will have the opportunity to meet many of our parishioners (especially Jr. High and High School families) that weekend.  Look forward to news of many good things to come for our young people!          


In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!