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Mark 3:14 “He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth.” This verse captures the two movements intrinsic to both

being a Christian and to being a healthy parish. First Jesus draws us to Himself, to be with Him. Secondly, he sends us forth.


We instinctively tend to know the first part, that the parish is a place that draws us to Christ as a community. The Parish is a place we go to for comfort, guidance, direction, and sustenance. We gather there at the most joyous times of life for baptisms, weddings, first Holy communions, etc. We instinctively gather as well at the saddest times of life for funerals, especially those passings that are tragic and unexpected. We need to know Jesus is near in those times and we are drawn to be with Him. But the parish is truly healthy when we are drawn not just at the extremes of joy or sadness but in the normal, everyday moments of our lives. Here is a place we go to be with the one who loves us and whom we love.


When it comes to the aspect of being sent on mission, we tend to apply that to only a select few. But the reality is that to be a Christian is to be sent on mission. Where we go Christ can go, wants to go, if we are open to it. This truth makes sense of the end of Mass when we are told to go – to go in peace, glorifying the Lord, to go and announce the gospel of the Lord. We are all chosen instruments that Jesus has a plan for if we are but open.


Our Pastoral Plan will be focused on both the drawing and sending aspects of our parish life. How can our Parish best be that place of encounter? How can our Parish better equip each of us as we are sent out?


Now a Random assortment of things:

At St. Mary on the Lake the tree clearing for the new garage by the rectory has been moving apace. It is hoped that it can be completed this spring/early summer. Then we will work on refurbishing the current attached garage to make it into a combination of storage space for the church and food pantry.


At Calvary Cemetery we are going to continue removing old trees this spring/summer. There are three trees in the back of the cemetery around the Crucifix that are young and in good shape. The other trees are 90-100 years old and have reached the end of their lifespans. They have a lot of dead growth in them and signs of hollow/splitting/rotted trunks. We have been blessed so far to escape with relatively minor damage due to falling limbs.


Our local Knights of Columbus Council celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Many thanks to our Brother Knights who have, and continue to do, so much good work in our parish and community.


I am gone this week Mon-Fri for my first session in the Spiritual Direction program. I’ll be at Mundelein Seminary, just north of Chicago.


A few weeks ago, we experimented with using Flocknote to create online signup slots for meetings. That worked very well so we will be offering those opportunities periodically. You

can of course call Tammy or Suzzanne at any time to set up an appointment as well.


This week while I am gone there are times for meetings with Fr. Ginu or James to talk and pray about really anything. (With Fr. Ginu it is an especially good opportunity to vent about the pastor!)


God Bless,

Fr. Todd


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