I am very grateful to both Saint Catherine of Siena and the Church of the Transfiguration Parish Pastoral Councils who have welcomed me and worked alongside me this past year! What a wonderful group of stewards who make being “church” a blessing! First and foremost, I sincerely thank each member for your presence and having said yes to the Lord to serve in this special capacity.
Every year has its transitions as members fulfill their terms and new individuals take on leadership. It was a particularly hard year for our sisters and brothers at Saint Catherine of Siena with their Chairperson, Phil Dattilo, becoming ill and unexpectedly dying last month. Phil was a great gift to the parish for years. His presence was strong before, during and after our Covid dilemma. Phil never lost a beat to be a smiling, encouraging and hopeful servant in welcoming people to the parish and being a strong witness of his faith to others. He will be greatly missed and forever loved.
Phil, Glen Labenski and Tracy Yelencsics have fulfilled their service as Parish Pastoral Council Representatives at Saint Catherine of Siena. Gerry Gacioch, Megan Harold, and Mary Beth Sullivan have also fulfilled their service as Parish Pastoral Council Representatives at the Church of the Transfiguration. I cannot thank each of them enough for their stewardship to our parishes and support to me and our parish ministries.
Now, we go forward with new membership determined last weekend on the Feast of the Pentecost. I am grateful to everyone from each faith community who said they would be considered for a slot on the council. After prayerful considerations, these six individuals were chosen for the councils.
Meg Chaides, Debbie Caccamise and Frank Gacioch will serve Saint Catherine of Siena. Linda Ginter, Devon Van Vechten and Diane Carroll Yacoby will serve the Church of the Transfiguration. Laura Schulitz will be an Alternate for the Church of the Transfiguration. Congratulations to all these wonderful sisters and brothers! I pray that our love for our faith communities and our desire to serve in His name will be fruitful and enduring these coming years.
I also continue to pray for peace at home and throughout the world. The people of Ukraine continue to be valiant in striving for their freedoms and respect. May we do all we can to support them in this travesty against humanity.
So too, my heart continues to bear great grief as one mass shooting after another continues in this nation of ours. How long will the United States not address a resolution to end this carnage against our children and every other innocent life taken? Can we not pray, work, speak and most importantly act to say, this is it? Enough is enough. Let us stand up as disciples of the Prince of Peace and bring His love and guidance to end these crimes against one another.
I pray there will be no more mass shootings to address this week. That seems to be a big hope these days. Sad, very sad.
Please, join me in prayer and let us act in ways that our lives reflect what Jesus asks of each and every one of us. Last weekend on Pentecost we prayed “Lord, send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth”. May we be humble enough to be renewed so as to bring His renewal into our world.
In faith, hope and love,