"It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18). These familiar words remind us that the human person was not created to be alone, nor to work alone.
Indeed, the very identity of God is to be a community of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is true from a vocational point of view as well as a ministerial point of view. Yes, marriage and consecrated communal life are two ways of satiating the original loneliness of the human person. But the proclamation of the Gospel and the work of ministry also call upon the human person not to "go it alone" or work isolated, without help or aid.
Moses learned this from his father, Jethro. Seeing that Moses was trying to take the work of ministry on his own shoulders, Jethro said to him, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone" (Gen 18:17). He then counseled Moses, "Select capable men from all the people. … Have them serve as judges for the people at all times. … That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you" (Gen 18:22).
Indeed, even Jesus Christ, though he was the Son of God, called men and women to his ministry. He called the 12 to become pillars of the Church and preachers of the Gospel (Matt 10:1-4, Luke 6:12-16). He called 72 to go to "every town and village" (Luke 10:1) to prepare the way for him to come. He called women to share in the proclamation of the Gospel (Luke 8:1-13). Finally, after Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter and Paul also called many men and women to share in the work of ministry to spread the Good News to Jews and Gentiles alike.
The scriptural point is this: God does not call us to do the work of ministry alone.
Having said all of this, the work of ministry at St. Francis is shared by many men and women. Not only am I supported by my associate pastors, Fr. Luke Downing and Fr. Andrew Meng; but I am also closely supported by my Pastoral Leadership Team: Mary Carter, Pat Burns, Emily Savage and Travis Pearson.
In addition to them are our Church staff: Sr. Stephanie, Sandi Baalman, Julia Schauf, Harriet Rosa, Steffanie Hinson, Theresa Herman, Alexa Smith and Melissa Seiler. We have other men and women who serve in our school and on our campus – Fey Barles, Pat Malone, Mary Bird, and many, many more.
Finally, the work of parish ministry is supported by the work of our five councils: Pastoral Council, Stewardship Council, School Council, Operations Council, and Communications Council. These councils are comprised of 55 men and women who are monthly updated on parish happenings and actively participate in informing parish decisions.
I am so grateful for all these men and women who are associated with the work of ministry on our parish campus. They "share the burden" (Gal 6:2) of our parish ministry. Without them we would not be successful in proclaiming the Gospel. Without them I would incur the same reprimand that Moses received from Jethro, "You cannot do it alone."
I am so thankful for the ministers God has given us at St. Francis. Please pray for all of us, so that we may remain faithful to the ministry entrusted to us by the Holy Spirit.