Fr. Mike's 2nd Anniversary as St. Joe's Pastor
Jul 3, 2017
This weekend is my second anniversary of being your pastor. I remember celebrating Mass on that first Saturday evening (the July 4th weekend) and wondering if there were really two thousand families registered, because the church was so empty. Then over the course of the next several weeks I saw and experienced the life of this community and realized how blessed I was to be sent here. If there was one thing I used with great effect , it was my “rookie” card telling anybody who wanted me to make a decision that I was new here so I just didn’t know. On my first anniversary, a group of parishioners “pulled” my rookie card and told me I couldn’t hide behind it anymore. I did continue to use it when I encountered something new that I had not yet experienced but that happened less and less with each passing week.
Because I had listened quite a bit that first year, I knew there were a couple of problems that we could address –the sound system, and in fact we even added more technology which is the new AV system. By the way, the AV is fully installed and we are training people to use it. Our hope is to have it up and running by the end of July. Once it begins we will be using it regularly during our Masses. We did use it last week for Vacation Bible School camp and it really worked very well. In my first year, the Finance Council and the Pastoral Council were very concerned with the flat lined weekly giving and they were both encouraging that something be done to increase our collections. We held the “We are making a difference” campaign which has increased our weekly giving. This year we will be putting a surplus into our Capital reserve account to help pay for the general upkeep of our physical plant and grounds. Thank you to everybody who stepped up to these challenges to raise our income and improve our worship space.
This coming year I am hoping to do more with our young families. I consider you one of Saint Joe’s great treasures every time you bring your little ones to church. I know it takes a lot and I want to find better ways to support you and to strengthen you as Christian parents. With Steve Robach retiring we have hired a new director of family and adult faith formation. His name is Ryan Rehkamp. He begins on July 10. His task is to make our adult education and family education stronger and more vibrant. I (and he) will tell you more about him in the next weeks.
As Lino Lakes and Blaine continue to grow, hopefully so will St. Joe’s. To do that will require that we continue to invite our new neighbors and community members to check us out. That is all our jobs, not just the “professionals”. You are an incredibly friendly and inviting community. That has been my experience over the last two years and it is what I hear from our newest parishioners. Keep up the good work!