Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
Today, as you know, is our annual picnic. I’ve been praying for good weather and I hope we didn’t use up all of our “weather blessings” on the Blues celebration. Speaking of the Blues, if you could have the Stanley Cup for a day, what would you do with it??? But back to the picnic. I hope you are ready to sit back and spend an afternoon with some good friends (and maybe make one or two new ones), eat a lot of great food, listen to some good music and maybe even do the Electric Slide. The Social Life Committee is planning on trying something a little different this year with the chicken. We seem to always get hung up waiting for it no matter what we tell Schnucks. So they are going to BBQ it this year, which I think is great because I love BBQ chicken. But regardless, remember that these people are all fellow parishioners and they are working hard to make this a great day. After all, they too could choose to just sit back and relax as well. So, you might want to thank them for their service and please be patient.
If you weren’t here last week, and haven’t been listening to the grapevine, then you may not know that this will be Br. Terry’s and my last picnic. We both received transfers. Br. Terry is going to St. Clement’s in Liguori, Missouri, and so he won’t be too far. I am heading North to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to be pastor of a slightly different St. Alphonsus. I want to congratulate Fr. Steve, who has been named The Rock’s next pastor. I am sure you will give him the same support and encouragement that you have always shown me. While Br. Terry won’t be leaving until the very end of August, I will probably be leaving mid-July for a couple months rest & retreat before my new assignment.
As I have said many times, The Rock is a very special place. I have spent a total of 18-1/2 years at the corner of Cook & Grand. My experience here at The Rock has truly changed every aspect of my life. I am sure that when my great-grandparents joined The Rock in 1867, they had no idea of what a dynamic and Spirit-filled parish it would become, or that their great-grandson would be twice-blessed to be her pastor. Although neither did I when I first started contemplating a call to the priesthood in Arnold, Missouri. It wasn’t until Fr. Maurice, skipping traditional ways of making assignments, drove across the state to where I was in Kansas City, and simply asked me to come to The Rock. An invitation that would, as I have said, change my life. I am ever grateful to him, Sr. (now Rev.) Renee Fenner, Mother Dorothy, and the entire Rock family for nurturing me along The Way, and in so very many ways. Who would have thought then that I would one day be confidently clapping my hands and stepping down the aisle of this beautiful church, and most days actually be in sync with the rhythm of the music! (Shhh! If I’m not, please don’t burst my bubble.) — Now let’s go eat and have some fun at our picnic!
God bless and thanks,