Dear friends in Christ:
Slowly but surely, we are making headway in many areas of our parish life. During the Fall, we have been blessed to welcome some new members to our terrific parish staff. Many people were unaware that we have been understaffed. The reason for this is how hard our staff works and what a good job they do. Even with these additions, we remain a couple of positions shy of where we need to be. The reasons are simple. It is difficult to find qualified people. The hours are long and to be honest, the pay is not terrific. Fortunately, we are blessed with dedicated women and men willing to make the necessary sacrifices out of love for God and for the Church so that you and I and our families may be blessed by the discipleship, witness and ministry.
New to our staff in the last few months are Lee Clark in our Adult Formation Department. He assists in the good running of the office. In the Youth Formation Department, we have welcomed Anabel Acosta andCaitlin Arredondo. Anabel is the Coordinator of our Young Children’s Ministries which oversees and works with our Nursery Program and YCP. Caitlin is the Assistant Coordinator in the Junior High Youth Ministry. Joining our fantastic Music Department are Kirk Rich and Priscilla Salisbury. Kirk is the organist at the afternoon and evening masses on Sunday and director of the Vespers Choir. Priscilla is the new Director of our Spanish Choirs. She will also assist in our Youth Choirs. In Social Service Ministries Vivian Clinton has been promoted to Assistant Director and Meghan O’Rourke is now the Coordinator of Infant Baptisms and Sacraments for Children.
A wonderful new blessing to our parish is that we have a new deacon! After many years of preparation, Greg Stokes was ordained this weekend to the Diaconate. We offer our prayers and heartfelt congratulations to Greg and his wife, Robyn, at this most happy occasion. Greg and Robyn have served in a number of ministries here in the parish. They are both converts to the Catholic Faith along with Robyn’s mom, Judy. We are most grateful to have another deacon in our parish. The only thing I have promised Greg is that there is plenty of work to go around here at St. John Vianney. Please pray for Deacon Greg and Robyn, that God will bless them both in this new phase of their journey of faith to serve the Lord and His Holy Catholic Church.
All of the wonderful people mentioned in this letter are a gift to the Church and our parish. Each of them, along with all of our staff members remind us that we are all called to service and ministry.
Ministry is not the exclusive domain of the priests or consecrated religious. Ministry in the Church is the proper role of every baptized member of the Church, both ordained and non-ordained. We are indeed blessed to have formally and professionally trained and educated lay ministers. We need more lay men and women willing to serve the Church in a professional career. It is truly a profession, and it requires sacrifice and training as does any profession. As a parish, we rely on these women and men. We also have the obligation to compensate them justly and fairly. Unlike vowed consecrated religious, they do not take a vow of poverty. Unlike priests, they must provide not only for themselves but also for their families. All of the many wonderful things that make our parish so exceptional would be impossible without them and their ministry. I certainly hope that you will keep our staff and their families in your daily prayers. I also would like to invite you to become more active in any of our ministries here at St. John Vianney. The rewards are heavenly! To learn more about our talented and dedicated staff, check out our Clergy and Staff page.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately