Jul 1, 2019

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

Well there aren’t too many of these letters left to write. My father was a machinist for Anheuser Busch for most of his life. He was an insurance broker for several years. But what he always wanted to be was a writer. He was a veracious reader. He usually read 2 or 3 books at the same time. He would have one at work, one at home and sometimes one that he carried with him. Once we became teenagers and he had something serious to tell us, he would write us letters. He always made retreats, and while on retreat he often wrote several of us letters. Some were quite long and sometimes emotional. While my oldest sister was not a fan of them, I understood that it was a way for him to communicate what he found hard to say face to face. Once I was away at school I would occasionally write him letters. Later in life, he complimented me on my writing skills and it made quite an impression on me. Years later when I became the editor-in-chief of Liguorian magazine I remember thinking how proud, and envious, he would have been. I’m sure he would have been more than happy to edit my column and articles. [I also remember thinking that my English teachers must have all been thinking, “just how hard up are those Redemptorists.” - LOL]

I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make our annual picnic such a huge success despite the weather. I was happy to see most people stay. Since our picnic mostly involves eating good food, listening to music and visiting with friends, being in the gym just meant a more pleasant atmosphere, and so, I think everything worked out and everyone I spoke with seemed to agree. I think the decision to BBQ the chicken was a nice change and everyone seemed to enjoy it also. As always, many people brought dishes to share and there were many hands helping in the kitchen and serving lines. It made the lines move very quickly. So thanks again to all of those who helped out, along with all who showed up and made it such an enjoyable afternoon.

I also want to thank everyone who has wished me well and to those who have expressed sorrow over my transfer. Today’s Gospel is very appropriate. Anyone who makes a commitment to follow Christ & preach the Gospel must put that mission above all else. One of the reasons this eight-year limit is being enforced is so that we maintain our missionary spirit. I must confess that the longer I spend in any place, the harder it is to move. You get settled and start to put down roots. You develop close friendships and develop more and more relationships. You get more and more used to a place. Not to mention, accumulating more and more stuff. All of which can make it harder to move when the Spirit says move. Besides the fact that St. Louis is my home, I have spent a lot of time here; almost twenty years at The Rock when added together, plus three at Liguori. Today’s Gospel reminds me of the commitment I have made, and as difficult as it is to leave, in the words of a dear friend, I need to “Do what the Spirit say do!


Thanks again for an amazing twenty years,

 Fr Rick


P.S. At least I got to see the Blues win the Stanley Cup!