Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Friends, we have been entrusted with a great deal. God has abundantly showered us
with many blessings. And, as I commented on last week, you all have set the example of a generous sharing of your time, talent and treasure (I would say after the heart of our patron, St. Louis, in a certain way). And so, one of my constant tasks is to follow this example
of generous stewardship. Our Gospel today, in particular, challenges us to make responsible, generous, and productive use of what is entrusted to us. One of the ways in which I see our parishioners making use of time and talent is through the various prayer and study groups for adults, as well the youth ministry opportunities for our High School and Jr. High youth. All of these are ways in which we live out the mission of the Church, as we gather to grow together as disciples of Jesus Christ, whether as adults or youth. Since this is one of the most important things we do, it deserves a worthy meeting space. I have mentioned in passing a few times that we are in the process of converting the old library into a comfortable and attractive meeting space for our various parish groups. Some of you who have spent time in the old school library may recognize the St. Jerome icon featured this week (front cover). This is going to remain in its place in this room, and has even provided the inspiration for its new name, the St. Jerome Room. This is fitting on a few different levels. First, St. Jerome was a great Scripture scholar, who models the study and prayer with the Word of God which should mark the life of every Christian. He is famous for saying “Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ.” This makes him a most fitting patron for a room that will be widely used for the study of Scripture and other great spiritual and devotional works, which enable us to hear the Voice of God. Also, this icon was donated by St. Louis School Students & Staff “In Loving Memory of Mrs. Carol A. Grundman For Her Dedicated Years of Service as Librarian.” It is my hope and intention to keep it in its place, and even increase its prominence - both because of the name and the fact that the room will be used by even more of our parishioners - as a way of continuing to honor Mrs. Grundman. It is my hope that this would also be a way of indirectly honoring the legacy of Saint Louis School, which made use of that room for so many years, and is rightly so near and dear to many of our hearts. I realize this brings up more questions, which I have been hearing more and more as time goes on. It is very much my hope to continue to seek ways to honor the legacy of Saint Louis School. It is also my hope to give our whole parish time to step back, recover a strengthened sense of our own parish identity and a deeper faith and hope in the Providence of God, who still has great plans in store for our parish. So, if I have been relatively silent about the school, it is not for the sake of ignoring or avoiding a great elephant in the room. It is for the sake of giving us all time to heal, to recover our focus, and not to mention for me to be able to build relationships and trust. Sometime in the new year, I intend to invite parishioners to have a role in the process of discerning the future of our school and pre-school buildings. Again, if I do not rush this process, please understand that it is not out of neglect, but patience. Please, join me in praying for patience and humility in this task, trusting that the Lord will reveal to us in time His plans for Saint Louis Parish and that it will be far greater than anything we could have hoped or dreamed. “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
In Christ through Mary, Fr. Gifford
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!