PASTOR'S COLUMN, SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2018

Submitted by St. Mary on Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:10am

Dear Parishioners:

   What beauty surrounds us!  Indeed, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are blessed with great visual beauty in our church.  In case you would not have had the opportunity to observe it, recently we have been able to accomplish significant plaster repair in the balcony area and the stairwell leading up to it.  The laborer/artisans matched well, the original look of the restoration project of 2000.  Moving forward we intend, as resources allow, to carry out similar repair in other areas of the church.  This is important, in order to maintain the integrity of our historic structure.

   What beauty surrounds us!  Another great blessing of our parish worship life is our music ministry.  There is an extensive cadre of persons who contribute to this ministry—musicians, vocalists, and other supportive volunteers.  I trust we recognize, nevertheless, that without a strong person to lead and provide vision and direction, the enterprise would be greatly hindered.  We have had such an individual in Barb Hufford.  As a parishioner of deep faith, Barb has shown passionate dedication in all aspects of her role as Music Director.  She is surely one of the most even-tempered, gracious persons I have encountered in all my years of ministry.

   While it is not an announcement that elicits joy in my heart, yet it is a reality that even the most dedicated of persons reaches a point of needing to transition.  Therefore, I am officially communicating that Barb will be stepping away from the post of Music Director, one she has held for many years, effective by this coming fall.  Providence surely was in full play when we discerned Barb for the position.  While it is no easy position for one to step into, I trust that we will once again have divine assistance as the process of selecting Barb’s successor unfolds.  Let us thank God for Barb’s giftedness and generosity and lived faith, as we relish these remaining months of her tenure.

   What beauty surrounds us! The beauty of the liturgy is not intended to cause us to avoid or escape from reality.  That’s why it is not, first and foremost, a form of entertainment!  As disciples, we surely are called to acknowledge the reality of the brokenness of our world— to face issues of grave importance when it comes to our responsibilities as human beings, to care for those who are marginalized, subjected to discrimination and exploitation, forgotten or condemned. Rather, the Church’s liturgy (and it can be argued that the liturgies of the upcoming days of Holy Week are pinnacle points!) is meant to awaken within us the beauty of God’s incarnational love, so that when we are sent— co-missioned— at the end of Mass, we are fortified to “go make a difference,” to quote a contemporary hymn.

Peace,

Fr. Stephen