March 5, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Each year church parishes are required to submit a Spiritual and Pastoral Reportto their diocese showing the number of baptisms, weddings, and other sacramental celebrations; also funerals; and also the size of ones catechetical programs as well as other statistics pertinent to parish life. We recently submitted our report for the previous calendar year and I thought you might be interested in some of the statistics.

In 2022 we baptized 49 infants and 10 older children and adults. 57 second graders celebrated First Eucharist, 56 eleventh graders celebrated ConÞrmation, and 21 couples celebrated marriage in our church. Those are wonderful numbers for a parish of our size.

There were also 57 funerals in our church during the same time period. The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was celebrated once in church for about 60 people, and numerous other times either at home or in the hospital.

We have approximately 72 children who attend a Catholic School, and 456 children who attend our Parish School of Religion on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Those numbers are also reflective of a vibrant parish community. I know that numbers rarely tell the whole story of community life but it is interesting nonetheless to review the year in numbers.

On another note, a parish mission is a grace-Þlled time of prayer and encouragement, when we come together at church for further study and reflection on the gift and challenge of faith. There is music to help center our hearts, and then an expanded version of a Sunday homily so that the retreat director is able to illustrate some of the dynamics of living the Gospel according to the insights of our Catholic faith.

With this in mind, I hope you will attend this years two-night Lenten Mission led by Father Stephen Kramer, SJ, a native of St. Louis currently assigned to Jesuit High School in New Orleans. The Mission will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21 & 22, beginning at 6:45 p.m. each night. The themes for his talks are Sin and Gratitudeon Tuesday evening, and Christian Self-Masteryon Wednesday evening. We look forward to his visit to our parish and the opportunity to strengthen our faith and deepen our love for God.

I am inspired by so many of you who regularly receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and I encourage those of you who have not been in a year or more to come to confession sometime during this Lenten season. Communal Penance Services are scheduled in area churches throughout this month of March, including at St. Theresa on March 9, Holy Rosary on March 15, St. Mark on March 16, St. Joseph on March 29, and St. John the Evangelist on March 30, all at 6:30 p.m. A total of six priests will be present at our service on the 15th.

Daylight Saving Time starts next Sunday, March 12, so remember to move your clocks ahead by one hour before going to bed next Saturday night.

In Christ,
Father Matt