"There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot the plant. ...A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace and a time to be far from embraces. ...a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, ... and a time of peace. ... I recognize that there is a nothing better than to be glad and to do well during life. For everyone, moreover, to eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of all their labor is a gift of God." Ecclesiates 3: 1-2, 4-5, 7b-8, 12-13
And a time to say, "good-bye" ... These are among my favorite verses of Scripture and I feel they express my life, my priesthood and ministry here at St. Joe's. After eight years as pastor, it is time to leave and say good-bye. We have celebrated and shared profound moments that mark the passage of life; baptism, first communion, confirmation, reconciliation, marriage, anointing and funerals and we have observed the seasons of the year through our weekly celebration of the Eucharist. You have called forth my gifts and challenged me to grow. You have supported my vocation to the priesthood and my ministry as your pastor. Many of you have welcomed me into your lives and homes as a member of your family. For the times I did not meet your expectations and to those whom I may have upset or offended, I am sorry. We have lived the life of God together. I leave with the same excitement, enthusiasm and energy for the Church and the priesthood and am very thankful. I am grateful to Father Ken, Deacon Tom, Amy Moore and our very dedicated parish staff. I am also grateful to our trustees, Paul Lillyblad, Harvey Karth and pastoral council chair Jeff Rutz and all of our faithful parish leadership for their friendship and support. It has been fun sharing ministry with all of you. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. Our time together has been a gift of God. Please pray for me as I promise to pray for you and know that you are welcome at St. Francis in Lake St. Croix Beach.
Your new Pastor, Father Michael Anderson
is scheduled to move and will be ready to begin work on Wednesday, July 1. I have met with Father Mike a couple of times this past month to "pass the torch" and I will continue to be available to support him and the staff as needed. During the transition
, there will be Word & Communion Services during the week. Our competent parish staff will cover any pastoral situation or emergency. After business hours, please call the parish office and listen for instructions for a pastoral emergency. Our Director of Pastoral Care, Barb Uschold Anderson will be paged immediately. We have also made arrangements with neighboring priests to cover requests for an anointing or funerals.
Next weekend, Father Tom Hustinger
will be presiding and preaching at all Masses on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach which was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and nuns working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Aftrica, Asia, Central and South America. Fr. Hustinger is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis and is an ordination classmate of Fr. Ken. A second collection will be taken up for Cross Catholic Outreach next weekend. Please welcome Father Tom Hustinger and on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach thank you in advance for your prayerful support and generous financial assistance.
Next weekend, we will also have an opportunity to participate in the annual Peter's Pence Collection for the Work of the Holy Father as a part of the regular collection. In his address of March 20, 2013, Pope Francis spoke of our responsibility before the world and creation. "There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace." The Peter's Pence Collection unites us in solidarity with the Holy Father and his works of charity to those in need. Your contribution to the Peter's Pence Collection allow our Holy Father to support victims of war and natural disasters and others most in need of assistance. The Peter's Pence envelope is included in the packet of regular contribution envelopes you recieve at home. If you are new to the community or do not have an envelope, please mark your contribution accordingly.
It was kind of chilly around here this past week during our "Everest" Vacation Bible School where kids embarked on an icy expedition to overcome obstacles with God's awesome power. They were anchored in rock-solid Bible truths that will guide them through life's challenges. On behalf of the community, I would like to thank Jean Longendyke, our awesome crew of volunteers, and all of the kids who participated this week.
We are gearing up for our annual Summer Festival for August 8 & 9. There are many ways to contribute to the Festival. Volunteer sign-up lists are available in the Gathering Space and online, so please take a minute to sign-up for your favorite Festival activity and shift. There are also many ways to donate to the success of the Festival. Together we can make our Summer Festival even more successful than ever and at the same time celebrate who we are as a faith community. If you are interested in learning more about the Festival or getting involved in this community event, please give Chris & Brian Sauter or the parish office a call.
Congratulations to Stan and Loretta Zarambo who are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this weekend surrounded by their family and friends.
Happy Father's Day and a special welcome to all of our guests and visitors who are worshipping with us this weekend.