From Fr. Tim
It is said, “all good things must come to an end.” And so it is that after nine years as pastor of this parish community I now say good bye.
It truly has been a privilege to serve as your pastor over these years. You welcomed me into your midst and made me feel right at home. That is not always an easy thing to do. A new pastor almost always means some things will change. Each pastor has his own way of doing things. You didn’t compare me to previous pastors but allowed me to settle in in my own way. I am grateful for that. I know you will do the same with my successor.
These nine years presented their share of joys and challenges. It is always a joy to journey with people as they mark significant steps in their faith journeys. Celebrating baptisms, weddings, anointing of the sick, reconciliation and presiding at funerals has always been a privilege that I have treasured. I hope that in doing so, I have been able to help folks deepen their love for the Lord and to experience his loving presence. Some of those moments were times of deep tragedy. The tragic deaths of young folks from our parish heighten the sense of loss and how fragile live truly is. In those moments, I
saw how this community gathered around and supported and loved one another.
We faced, and continue to face, the challenge of witnessing to our faith and sharing that faith with others.
Our school has grown and is known for its quality education. The challenge remains to keep such education affordable and to keep faith in the Lord Jesus and His church at the center of all we do.
In reviewing our parish life, we noted the challenge of engaging our young folks more actively. To that end, your support enabled our parish community to move to a full time director of youth ministry. We face the ongoing challenge of inviting more adults to serve as faith filled mentors for our young folks. This is also true for your faith formation program. We have lots of young folks participating, which is awesome. Now the challenge remains to engage more adults to walk with them on their faith journey.
Through the impetus of a small group, the parish moved to be more active in areas of social justice. Out of this grew our participation in church of the week. I have been impressed by the way parishioners engaged with those who stayed with us. All of this because YOU cared and moved it forward.
In order for a parish of this size to provide for all this, it takes a good facility and great staff to direct it all. We have both. Your generosity enables to keep such quality people on board. Likewise, your generosity enabled us to complete some needed re-roofing projects for our facilities.
I have been blessed to work with many fine people in
the last nine years. The staff that was in place when I came was awesome. The ones now here are, likewise, the best. Their ministry has made mine that much easier. Likewise, we are blessed with many great volunteers. You give of our time and talent in so many ways.
The challenge remains for our parish to deepen its sense of stewardship and evangelization in order to remain vital and attractive to those seeking to walk with Christ in this community. Moving forward with the One in Christ Area Catholic Community will, I believe, assist in these endeavors.
As you can see, most of what has been accomplished has been due to all of you. If I have been helpful in any small way to further our faith journey as disciples of Jesus, I am thankful. If I have been a stumbling block, and I am sure I have been at times, I ask for your forgiveness.
As I leave this parish, it will be different this time. I will not be moving to a new parish but I will be retiring. As I have said, I am retiring from meetings, personnel and administration. I am not retiring from the rest of priestly life. How that actually unfolds remains to be seen. I leave it in God’s hands to guide me. I plan on living here in Sartell but will keep a low profile so as to give my successor a chance to make this his home. For that reasons, I will not accept any invitations to preside at weddings, funerals, baptisms and other sacraments for a while.
Please understand and welcome Fr. Ron.
May God’s blessings be yours in abundance. And thank you for the last nine years.
Yours in Christ.
After serving the parish on the Finance Council and as Trustee for many years, Mark Skaj has “retired” from these positions. I am grateful for the his wisdom and guidance over the years.
After input from the parish Finance Council and Pastoral Council and discussion with Fr. Ron Weyrens, I am asking Bishop Kettler to name Jeff Eikmeier as a new trustee. As trustee, Jeff will serve as a member of both the Finance Council and Pastoral Council. I am grateful for his willingness to serve our parish in these ways. The term of trustee is for two years,
renewable five times.
As we move closer to the welcoming of a new pastor, I want to share with you the latest on Mass scheduling for our parish community and our One in Christ Area Catholic Community. These changes will take place starting on July 1, 2020.
Starting that Wednesday, weekday Masses here at St. Francis Xavier will be on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:00 am.
Once school starts, the Friday Mass will be at 9:00 am.
The weekend Masses will be at 5:00 pm on Saturday and 9:30 am on Sunday.
Please note that the one Sunday Mass is temporary and that it will move back to two Masses on Sunday, at 8:30 am and 10:30 am at a date yet to be determined.
This new schedule will change the number of Mass intentions that can be offered here at St. Francis. Please be advised that you may not get the date you want for a particular Mass.
Here is the Mass schedule for our One in Christ Area Catholic Community, effective July 1, 2020:
Annunciation Parish in Mayhew Lake: Monday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 am and Sunday morning at 8:30 am.
St. Stephen Parish in St. Stephen: Tuesday at 5:30 pm and Thursday at 8:30 am and Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 10:30 am.
Sacred Heart in Sauk Rapids: Tuesday at 5:30 pm and Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 am and Saturday at 5:00 pm and Sunday at 9:00 am
(Please note that the Sunday schedule is temporary and will change to two Masses at a date to be determined.)
LOW GLUTEN ALTAR BREAD
As many of you know, altar breads need to be made from water and wheat flour only. Because of that, people who are gluten intolerant cannot receive Holy Communion. Many of them cannot receive from the common cup because people who drink from the cup before them will have partaken of the wheat altar breads. In recent years, however, the Church has approved low gluten altar breads. These altar breads contain less than 0.01% gluten content. Many people who are gluten intolerant are able to receive these altar breads. However, it is always a good idea for people with gluten intolerance to check with the doctor before receiving them.
We would like to offer these low gluten altar breads.
Here is the procedure we will follow:
1. Before Mass please identify yourself to the priest that you would like a low gluten altar bread. If at all possible, please try to identify yourself at least five minutes before Mass starts.
2. At Communion time, please come up to Father and identify yourself as needing the low gluten altar bread. this low gluten altar bread will be in a separate pyx (special container to hold the consecrated altar bread) so that it does not touch any other gluten altar breads. The priest will hold up the pyx and say, as usual, “The Body of Christ,” to which you shall response, as usual, “Amen.” The priest will then flip the pyx over so that host is placed on your hand. If there is more than one person receiving the low gluten altar bread, you may be asked to pick up the host yourself after saying Amen. This may be done since the priest cannot hold the low gluten altar bread since his fingers will have touched the other hosts.
If you have any questions about this, please contact me.