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Fr. Todd 2/26/2023

Many blessings on this Holy Season of Lent!

Hopefully for all of us it is forty days of unexpected blessings and growth. Remember that one of the important parts of Lent is realizing that by ourselves we are not strong enough—we need grace! We need grace to get up after a fall; we need grace to live what God calls us to; we need grace to persevere in the small acts of charity and sacrifice we take on during Lent. Lent can bring into sharp focus how often we try to live life on our own terms with our own strength, and how we only turn to God in times of extreme need. Better to live with Him in all things and let His grace transform and perfect us. Let Him be strong in you this Lent!

I want to encourage everyone to please take a few minutes to fill out the Discipleship Maker Survey, by following the DMI Survey link, or by picking up one of the paper copies we have available. Your participation in this survey is important. I know we are often asked to complete surveys and it takes time to fill one out. But I would appreciate your help in this project to get a true representation of the parish needs. Since the survey is taking place during Lent, it might be a good opportunity to help you reflect on your own relationship with God, and how the parish can help in your faith journey.

If you feel you would like to make a comment about the survey, suggest a program you would like to see, or have an issue we need to address, please feel free to write your comment on a separate sheet of paper and drop it anonymously into one of the collection boxes.

As a part of the Made for Mission Initiative, Bishop Boyea has asked parishes to look for intentional ways to work together and mutually support one another. Our parishes grouping is Sacred Heart, St. Mary on the Lake, and St. Anthony. There are already ways we work together, like having Fr. Ginu here to help at all three of our parishes, and through some shared events like the Theology on Tap series. Fr. Ginu and I meet regularly with Fr. David for fraternity and mutual support.

While that is helpful in our larger grouping, it is especially true for our two parishes that have a co-pastor (me!). Rather than simply duplicating everything at both parishes, some things can be done together. I am so grateful for shared events, groups, and ways our staffs are mutually supportive.

Another step we will be taking is to have a combined bulletin for both parishes—something Bishop Boyea thought made a lot of sense. As it is, our bulletins share close to 75% of the same information, but they are both prepared and then printed separately. The shared bulletin will have the Pastor’s column, the Deacon’s column, the Principal’s column, room for shared activities, and then separate space for information specific for each parish. This will be a great way to give more advertising coverage for our local businesses, since they will be seen by both congregations. Some businesses have been placing ads in both bulletins, so they will only need to purchase one space. It will be easier for either Tammy or Suzzanne to do a single bulletin when one of them is taking time away from the office. This is a few weeks out yet, but is in the works.

God Bless, Fr. Todd

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