Pastor's Corner 090813

posted Sep 4, 2013, 11:16 AM by Music Director

                Greetings, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!  I don’t know if you noticed but I was away from Aug. 21-Labor Day on a badly-needed vacation.  I had a wonderful time winding my way through New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut visiting some very dear friends, communing with nature, and exploring Boston and several towns along Cape Cod.  I got to spend some time in the sun on beaches and pools, did a lot of walking and bike-riding, and had some fabulous meals, predominately seafood but stayed away from New England clam chowder!  I also had some quality alone time to reflect on the death of my mother and some of the issues confronting our parish, a process that is far from over but I am so grateful to have had the time to process my thoughts and feelings.

               This is why vacations are not luxuries but true necessities.  Though they often can be quite luxurious, time out, time away is really good for the mind, body and soul.  Time away from our everyday lives gives us a chance to decompress from the stress that is an inevitable part of life.  We can better nurture our creative, playful selves, and enjoy experiences out of the norm that can stimulate the senses, educate the mind and broaden our understanding and appreciation for the world around us. Vacation time is one of the many things I love about summer, although they are certainly not limited to this time of the year.  And this is one reason why I hate to see it end.

               But the end of one thing usually gives way to the beginning of something else, and that is certainly the case here.  Though my favorite season technically still has a few weeks left, a new school year has begun while we welcome our new Parochial Vicar, Fr. John Stabeno.  Fr. John is no stranger to our parish family.  He has been working with several recovery groups here the last few years, and before that was assigned to the parish, so this is really a return, a homecoming, and I am thrilled to have him on our parish staff! 

               As the school year commences, I am so grateful for the families who are making a tremendous sacrifice to support Our Lady of Hope Regional School.  That includes not just those who send their children to our school, but all parishioners who subsidize Catholic education through your generous contributions each week.  I am hopeful that the Diocese continues to develop new strategies for funding our Catholic schools to make it possible for more families to take advantage of what they have to offer. 

               The School Board is a very exciting way to promote and support Catholic school education.  Membership is open to anyone who has some time & expertise in any of a wide variety of fields (business, marketing, finance, legal, law enforcement, management, maintenance, energy, education-of course, and many others).  You do not have to have children in a Catholic School to be on its board. In fact, for greater objectivity boards should comprise a majority of people who are not parents of children in that institution.  Single persons of all ages often have much they can contribute to the Board’s mission. On the other hand, grandparents also make excellent board members!  If you have any interest in serving on Our Lady of Hope’s board, please let me know.

               I am very grateful for Sr. Paula, OLOH Regional’s principal, the entire faculty and staff, and the many volunteers who give so much of themselves on behalf of the school’s mission.  Their dedication, knowledge and example are the primary factors in accomplishing the purpose of Catholic education.

               By no means, however, do I wish to slight the heroic efforts of our area public schools.  I salute the administrators, teachers and aides who are just as dedicated to their profession and the students and families they serve as those in our Catholic school communities.  Of course, we can’t match their pay scale, but they must often practice their profession in much more difficult circumstances.

               Still, Catholic schools provide what no public school can:  instilling a knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith in our young, providing opportunities for prayer, reception of the sacraments, the celebration of Eucharist and other liturgical experiences, and teaching the values that are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is our mission, and I am grateful to all who help us accomplish it.

               I urge you to keep all teachers in your thoughts and prayers, not just at the beginning of the new school year, but throughout the year, as the excitement of the new gives way to routine; as the needs and demands grow; as the nerves get a little frayed; as problems invariably arise.  Please pray as well that this will be an exciting and rewarding year of learning and growth for our students and their families.

               And finally, the end of summer also means the beginning of another new season, so…




In His Love,

Fr. Mike