Thank you for the warm welcome I have received from so many already in these first few days. I can already tell what a wonderful parish I have been blessed to be able to serve. I look forward to getting to know all of you better in the coming days, weeks, months, years…
One thing you will learn about me is that I LOVE the saints. They inspire us, guide us, and intercede for us, as we continue on the journey toward and with Christ.
Naturally, I was both really excited and a little disappointed (that I wouldn’t have more time to prepare) when I realized that I was arriving just a few days before our parish feast day (this past Friday, 8/25)! I hope you can join us to celebrate with a lite reception after all of the Sunday Masses (and Saturday Vigil) this weekend! This will be a great opportunity for us to meet and greet each other, as well. Isn’t it funny how providence works those things out?! Among other things that inspire me about St. Louis are the ways in which he understood his kingship to be a matter of stewardship – of faithfully caring for what was entrusted to him in a manner that was not only for the good of the people, but also for the greater glory of God! This is very much how I have tried to view my being assigned to you as your new shepherd. I am humbled and grateful that the Lord has chosen, through the bishop, to entrust this wonderful parish to my care, and I will devote myself wholeheartedly to serving you in a way that is always focused both on your good and on the greater glory of God.
Please pray for me and know of my prayers for you. Also, I invite you to be a part of the process. I hope that you would always consider me available to you, for any questions, concerns, ideas or suggestions you may have. The more we communicate with each other the better these times of transition proceed. That way, we continue together to draw nearer to the Good Shepherd, as He leads and guides us.
As a final thought, I would like to call to your attention to the image in the Adoration Chapel of Saint Louis offering his crown and scepter to Our Lady (on this week’s bulletin cover). When I first visited St. Louis a few weeks ago, I was struck by the beauty of the whole church. But, above all, this image brought me great consolation and inspiration. Since my earliest days of seminary, I have sought to entrust my vocation to our Blessed Mother, as she who knows the greatest intimacy with Christ always desires nothing more or less than to help us draw closer to her Son. I renew that intention now, as I begin to take up the call to serve you as your shepherd, to entrust all to her and trust that she will help us all to draw closer to her Son, the Good Shepherd.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!