A Note from our Pastor

A Note from our Pastor

Footnotes from Fr. Mark

It was when I first had a meeting with Fr. Jerome a few months back after being named the pastor for St. Matthew’s and he was going to be going to St. Mary Nativity and Holy Cross in Joliet, where I was the temporary administrator, that we had a conversation about each others parish situations.  Fr. Jerome gave to me an 8 page booklet that talked of the Parish Goals.  There was one line in the opening page that caught my attention, it said “However, due to the upcoming change of pastor, this plan is offered to him as a recommendation.”  I have read this document, one that has been well thought out and planned and I have seen many different ideas that have been proposed, many that are worthy of our consideration.  I bring this up this weekend, because next week I have a meeting with the Parish Council and this past week the entire staff had a day together where this document was talked about, and ideas from the staff and will be solicited from the Parish Council on how to make this document a living, breathing part of our faith community.

In an article written a number of years ago, Pastor David L Hansen wrote about ways to help your pastor.  It was an article written for non-Catholic parishes during that time of the year when their churches would be going through searches for new pastors for their communities as well.  One of the points that he brought up was that people expect the Pastor to know everything, how to do everything, and be an expert at everything.  Yet if this was true, why are they looking for a new pastor for their church?  I bring this up because at times we as Catholics fall into the very same mentality.  Father will do it, or Father has all the answers.  Most fortunate, Father does not have all the answers.  If this were true, then Father would have to be the leader of a spiritual community, also know how to be principal of a school, the director of faith formation, have to know all about finance and taxes, balance a budget, know how to deal with people of all ages, have groups for teens, young adults, seniors, bereavement, divorced and separated, run St. Vincent de Paul and outreach programs.  He would visit the sick, go to the hospitals, visit the homes for the aged and infirm, see the shut-ins, the incarcerated, and the many other duties that he has in a day, plus find time to take of himself and the other priests he lives with all in 24 hours.  We all know that is unrealistic, yet it was expressed in the document that it would be up to the pastor to make sure all these opportunities take place.

I know my limitations, I know what I am good at, I know where I need help, and I know that with our community I cannot do all this by myself.  There is a staff and there are Fr. Michal, and also Fr. Richard and Fr. Raj to help us as able, because they are retired, so I need to look to the community that is served for those who are able to assist in the growth of the parish and with the continued sharing of the Good News.  I am asking you today to see how you might be able to continue to grow St. Matthew Catholic Church.  Many of you are already helping through your service in the various areas that you serve here in the parish.  Others, while not able to physically serve are our prayer warriors, praying for our parish, our parishioners and our intentions daily.  Thank you for this ministry, it is so very important, for if we are not rooted in the Lord, then we will do good things, but with Christ, we can become an overwhelming majority.  Over the next weeks, you will be seeing various opportunities to help our community.  Some as simple as praying for the parish, others that will involve giving of time and talent in various activities.  And all these activities and efforts will lead for the continued growth of the parish.  I ask you to this week spend some time with the Lord in prayer.  As you pray for your intentions and needs, your joys and sorrows, I ask that you bring to the Lord how you might help the parish of St. Matthew in Glendale Heights, Illinois continue to grow and be a presence to one another, our community and our world.

One thing I find about myself, when I look at the situation at our parish, and I allow myself to get caught up in all that needs to be done, and how much it will cost and where will it all come from it can be very disheartening.  Then I remember that if I allow the Lord into the process and give my heart to the Lord and let the Lord help, it becomes so much easier.  Let the Lord help you this week and see if it doesn’t become a little easier for you as well.

Fr. Mark