Welcoming New Faces
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we do every year, we are experiencing some personnel changes here at the parish. The biggest change is that we will be welcoming a new priest to the parish. Fr. Joseph White is being assigned as Parochial Vicar (assistant pastor) to St. John Vianney. Fr. Joseph was ordained last year (2021) and spent the past year completing his licentiate studies in Moral Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He will begin his assignment on July 1. We are blessed to have another priest here at our parish. However, the only way this happened is that we have several priests still working beyond the mandatory retirement age of 75. We are grateful for these priests and their love, dedication and priestly zeal, but we need to pray for many more priestly vocations. If you are a young man thinking about the possibility of a priestly vocation, please keep praying and come and see me!
There are other changes as well. Our Business Manager, Mike O’Donnell, resigned in May and replacing him is Henry Sustaita. Henry has previously served us as Director of Facilities. Jennifer Rider, who has been working in the Parish Life Department, has been transferred and promoted to serve as the Assistant Director of Finance, and Charisse Magsipok has been promoted to Coordinator of Sacramental Preparation in our Youth Formation Office. We also said farewell to Erica Rhode and Thomas Gaynor. Erica was our Jr. High School Youth Coordinator and Thomas served as an Associate Music Director. We wish them well and much success in their new endeavors. We are currently working to fill these positions. Additionally, Tashina Cooper, who has served in Youth Formation Department as Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries, is now working as part of our Parish Life Department team. Also, new to Parish Life is Mary Royston. A life-long parishioner of St. John Vianney, Mary has also served in our Young Children’s Program as an instructor. New to our staff in the last few months is another parishioner, Michael Day. He is serving our parish as one of our facility technicians. We remain understaffed by several positions. As anyone who has tried to hire personnel these days knows, it is quite challenging.
We are indeed blessed to have a wonderful and dedicated staff, some of whom have served our parish with distinction for decades. Just as there is a shortage of priestly and religious vocations, there is also a shortage of laity willing to serve in the Church. It is a huge sacrifice, but like all good sacrifices, it is worth it. No one ever became wealthy working in the church (unless you consider those involved in those mega-churches on TV, which is hardly our case), so money is not a huge incentive to choose a career in church work. It takes time, skill, energy, devotion, commitment and faith. It is a sacrifice by the individual and their family. For most of our staff, weekends never include Sunday! Christmas and Easter are holy days and that means they are also workdays. And to be honest, no matter how good a job they do, there is not always the appreciation and acknowledgment that is due. When was the last time you said a prayer of thanksgiving for those that clean the church, provide Coffee & Donuts, answer the phones, produce the bulletin, pay the church bills, rehearse the choirs, form the new Catholics, make sure that kids in religious education have books and catechists to help them grow in the faith and keep everything in the parish going from week to week? Just saying.
Lastly, we have not yet reached our Diocesan Services Fund mandatory goal of $462,000. We remain more than 600 households shy of our former participation level!!! If you have not contributed, please consider doing so today. Thank you to all who have so generously supported the many works of the archdiocese.
Stay cool in these hot days of summer and remember to come to Mass every Sunday!
In pace Christi,