PASTOR'S COLUMN, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2020

Submitted by St. Mary on Sun, 02/02/2020 - 11:13am

Dear Parishioners,

       I recognize that there are many unknowns in life…think, for example, how surprised Bishop Perez was, when he received the call to serve as Archbishop of Philadelphia.  Yet, sometimes we experience near-certainties.  For example, I am nearly certain I will not be tapped for the U.S. Olympic volleyball team anytime soon.

   

     You see, this past Monday, as part of the observance of Catholic Schools Week, we held a volleyball tournament.  I participated with the Saint Mary school faculty in competition facing the 7th and 8th Grade Dream Team.  It was a nightmare! I am only speaking of my contribution—or lack thereof.  Let us just picture, for example, when 6’3” (or so) Aidan Holford is serving, and you are on the back line.  The big gulp is no longer a super-sized beverage but a visceral human response.  For the record, he is one heck of a courteous young man off the court! 

  

     Suffice it to say: I brought very little to the skill table.  Nevertheless, there was a lot of cheering and a lot of laughter. As humbling as it was for me, I believe it is important that I not simply be standing or sitting on the sideline but actually participating in the activity at school.

  

     I would like to think in those terms, on a very broad level, for the engagement of the parish in the life of Saint Mary School.  Photos are enjoyable, and snippets of print news are helpful, but I would argue that a member of Saint Mary Parish is never truly going to have a feel for or an appreciation of what is happening in our school—right now— without somehow interfacing with the community of the school.  That is why we sponsor events like the pancake breakfast last Sunday and the Veterans Day Mass and fellowship back in November.  Such activities may be officially sponsored by the school, but they are most definitely not intended to be limited to current school families.

  

    We want to create reasons for parishioners to come into the school and experience the vitality of the environment.  That is what Bishop Perez did, in October 2018.  Yes, while he was here, he asked certain questions about enrollment and history.  Yet, primarily he came here to celebrate and pray with the community—students, teachers, families and parishioners.   

  

     Now obviously, many people are not in a position to visit the school during a typical school weekday.  And so, I am very grateful that our Saint Mary School teachers made themselves available on a Sunday, to meet and greet, to share the contemporary Saint Mary School story and hear stories from alumni of multiple generations.  This is a story that numbers, alone, cannot possibly tell!  

  

     Don’t miss out! Mark your calendars now for Friday, March 20 and Friday, April 3— 5 until 7 p.m. both evenings, for a school-sponsored Fish Fry.  Even though as I write this, there are trout growing in the 6th Grade homeroom, I am fairly certain that perch will be on the menu.  Remember, “school-sponsored” fundamentally means parish-wide welcome!

            

               Peace!

                                  Fr. Stephen

 

For quick access to the entire bulletin for this weekend ONLINE, please click on the link below: 

https://container.parishesonline.com/bulletins/14/1101/20200202B.pdf.