I am taking a little time away this week before the busy Lenten Season begins. Thanks to retired priest of the diocese, Father Ted Kaczmarck, for pinch-hitting for me this weekend at St. John. Please give him a warm welcome back to our parish. Please keep me in your prayers during my travels and know that you are in mine. See you next weekend.
You are reading the premiere edition of our new Partner Parishes Bulletin. We have been working with our bulletin publisher, LPi, for the last few months to get all of the details in order to make this possible. It is my hope that this new design will make it easier to keep parishioners at both parishes informed and allow us to work together more closely. If there are any snafus over the next weeks, please be patient while we work out any bugs or errors.
I am happy to announce that Gretchen Winklosky, Finance/Operations Director at Holy Family, will be taking on the business manager duties at St. John. This will allow me, as pastor, to be a better and more effective steward of both parish’s financial and temporal resources. It should also allow both parishes to recognize some financial savings as we will be better able to coordinate certain purchases and services. Tracy Otto, who had been business manager at St. John, along with a few other parishes and Greensburg Central Catholic High School, asked to step away from St. John Parish last fall but agreed to stay on until we could get someone else in place. I thank Tracy for her years of service to St. John the Evangelist!
I am sure by now that most everyone is aware of the burst pipe in one of the radiators in the rectory at St. John during the cold snap in mid-January. After the damage was discovered on the morning of January 22, we contacted the Diocesan Facilities & Maintenance Office, who quickly responded to send a disaster restoration team to begin the dry and cleaning process. Over the coming weeks, we will be working closely with that team, the Facilities & Maintenance Office and the Diocesan Insurance Office to complete the cleanup and get a complete damage report so that we can develop a plan to repair and replace whatever is necessary. I will keep you updated as work progresses.
February 8 marks the 114th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. We will celebrate Boy Scout Sunday next week at the 10:30AM Mass at Holy Family. All Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers and their leaders are invited and encouraged to attend this Mass in uniform. Please be present by 10:20AM for line up and instructions. Scouts and their leaders who may not be able to attend this Mass are still encouraged to wear their uniforms to whichever Mass they attend that weekend.
And finally...don’t look now, but Lent is sneaking up on us very quickly. Ash Wednesday is only a week and half away, which means it’s a good time for us to do a little bit of planning to make this our best Lent ever. As we make decisions about what to give up or what new practices we should be undertaking the question that should be foremost in our minds is “What can I do to make myself a better disciple?” Our practices, our sacrifices, and our self-denial should contribute to bring us closer to Christ during these upcoming 40 days. In addition to the individual things that we can do there are several other opportunities for spiritual growth during Lent; watch for more in the coming weeks.