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New Priest is Rite of Summer for Our Parish

Director of Stewardship & Finance

'Tis the summer season here at St. Francis. Family vacations are in full swing, the old air conditioner in our church is struggling to keep up, our kids enjoyed a week of Totus Tuus, and we have a new associate priest (parochial vicar). We are blessed to have Fr. Andrew Meng, a newly ordained priest, start his ministry here with us this past month.

I have often wondered why the bishop sees fit to give us a new priest almost every July. Of course, we know it is the work of the Holy Spirit, but I would like to think there are other reasons as well. St. Francis is, and I hope will always be, a place that practices stewardship as a way of life. It is my hope and desire that we are a place of hospitality and welcoming. I hope that Fr. Andrew (and Fr. Luke & Fr. Jarrod) feel that sense of welcome from all of us. Do not hesitate to invite a priest to dinner – or lunch or breakfast – in your home. They are good men who want to get to know their parish family, and who all seem to like to eat.

I believe another reason the bishop sends a young priest to St. Francis each year is that we are an active, thriving parish and school. There are many opportunities for parishioners and priests to get involved in parish life. Our priests are challenged to get involved, just as parishioners are asked to involve themselves actively in the life of the parish. Our priests are busy serving us every day. They are men living out their sacrament to the best of their abilities, just as we are called to live out our vocations.

Finally, I think the bishop sends us a new priest so often because we love our priests here at St. Francis. I have been in the parish now for more than 30 years. As I look back over that time, I realize how blessed my family has been by many of those priests of the diocese who have served us. So many of those new, young priests have gone on to become wonderful pastors, chaplains, and leaders in our diocese. It is my hope that each one of those who served us takes our love, care, support, and prayers with them wherever they go for the balance of their sacramental life.

This is a good time to invite a priest over and get to know them a little better. It is a time to welcome them and thank them for serving us and bringing us the sacraments. We are blessed to have three priests, and we hope that more young men will hear and listen to the call to serve and follow the Lord's call for their life.

Help us to always count our blessings that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is alive and well in our diocese. St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

Pat Burns, Director of Stewardship & Finance