• Fr. Daniel Gifford

The Threshold

Dear St. Louis Parishioners,


Here we stand, at the threshold of the Passion. As Our Lord makes His humble, yet kingly entrance into the city of Jerusalem, we read the Passion for the first time (we will read it again on Good Friday) and we ready our hearts for the transition from a crowd of welcoming cheers and hosannas to one of jeers and condemnations. We draw near to the Passion, with the hope of the Resurrection already alive in our hearts. Yet, we do not take this gift for granted, causing us to avoid the pain of the cross. As we enter into Holy Week, let us be daring in love, after the spirit of saints like Therese of Lisieux, in going with the Lord to His cross, the very fount of Merciful Love.


A FANTASTIC FISH FRY: What an incredible success last Friday’s Fish Fry was! Even as our parish continues to undergo a time of transition and this event evolves to take on a new identity, the immense success we saw this year solidified its place in the life of our parish family. I would like to personally extended a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make it such a success, whether by contributing, volunteering or just coming out to enjoy the fish and fellowship! Especially, I want to thank the team of organizers, under the leadership and initiative of Laury Mavity and Megan Evans. May the Lord continue to bless us with events of food, fun and fellowship!


A DAY OF RETREAT: On the other “bookend” of the action-packed weekend we just had was our Adult Liturgical Ministers’ Retreat Day. This afternoon of prayer, reflection and fellowship was a great blessing at the end of a very busy weekend for our parish family. We had a strong representation from among our ministries and several positive remarks from all who participated. Thanks to all who shared the day with us, especially to Deacon John and Sister Anne Germaine for their inspiring words and thought-provoking discussion questions and to Mandy Robinson, Mary Archer, Peg Sandberg and Bob May for all their organizational efforts.


HOLY THURSDAY: In a matter of days, we will begin the Easter Triduum, with the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. As you may know, this includes a washing of feet, as a memorial of Our Lord’s humble act of service in washing the feet of His Twelve Apostles. There are multiple layers of significance to the choice of the men whose feet He washed, including the emphasis on the communion of the Church and the priesthood. But, ultimately, He intentionally chose these twelve men, who had been walking and growing with Him, along the journey of discipleship. After taking this to prayer, I have decided to ask representative members of our Monday evening Men’s Study, whom I have been privileged to walk with along this journey of discipleship, to have their feet washed.


GOOD FRIDAY: Part of the Service of Our Lord’s Passion on Good Friday is the veneration of the cross. Keeping my eyes peeled for a beautiful and substantial cross on our campus to use for this veneration, I have decided we will use the crucifix which has hung in the main entrance of Saint Louis School for so many years. It is my hope that this can be another way in which we continue to honor the legacy of Saint Louis School and express our gratitude for the blessing it was, as we express our gratitude for the supreme gift of our salvation, by the grace of the cross.


BAPTISMS AT SAINT LOUIS PARISH: Finally, last week, we kicked-off a brand new Baptismal Preparation program called “Belonging: Baptism in the Family of God.” The vision behind this new program, from the pastoral heart and mind of Fr. Mike Schmitz, emphasizes hospitality and discipleship, in order to help parents establish a deeper sense of belonging within their parish family, which will not only assist them in forming their children in the faith, but also in growing as disciples themselves. This is consistent with the goal and vision of everything we do: forming intentional disciples in the heart of the Church. The first session of Belonging was a great success, thanks to the leadership of Julia Mead, along with her team of host couples. The excitement of this new program will indeed be in our hearts, as we celebrate an infant baptism at the Easter Vigil this year. On Holy Saturday evening, the newly blessed Holy Water will be used to baptize Luciana Hollars. Please keep her parents, Tim and Elaine, and big sister, Gabriella, also in your prayers.


In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

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