Thoughts for Now

07-01-2018From Our PastorFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I have spent some time reflecting back upon these last nineteen years of my life. My ordination anniversary was Tuesday. I continue to be reminded by the Lord about the abundance of graces we have as Catholics; and particularly the graces I have been given through the vocation of the priesthood. Most especially are the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Eucharist which are provided through the lives of priests.

Beyond that, I have spent some time reflecting back upon these last seven years of my life. Today (1 July) marks my seven year anniversary as Pastor of the parishes and school in this cluster. Among the countless experiences upon which I could reflect, I continue to return to a grateful disposition. Particularly the gratitude directed to the Staff members over the years who have supported our accomplishments as parish cluster. We always hear about surrounding yourself with good people; well God was instrumental in providing good people. I want to highlight Carrie Adams who is my longest term employee who began as limited DRE, then DRE for the cluster, then DRE and Head Teacher, and currently Head Teacher and Teacher at Saint Boniface Catholic School. I also want to highlight Deacon Wendt who has provided brother clergy support in and around the broad ministry which God has entrusted to us here.

Volunteers are the backbone of parish and school operations. I especially highlight Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council Members; some of whom served before my pastorate, during my entire pastorate, and I trust will continue to serve beyond my pastorate. There are also others who have and are the primary reasons our parish events and activities are successful. Volunteers accomplish many behind the scenes chores which help us reap the benefit of the fellowship, sense of service, and financial rewards of our countless activities. At the core of what we accomplish as Catholics is our collective liturgical worship. Again, there are faithful volunteers who see to it that we pray in a worthy manner which invites God’s graces to transform our lives.

Broadly speaking is gratitude for each of you, God’s people, who call a parish in this cluster your spiritual home. Among you are the people who faithfully attend worship services and stand as witnesses to our Catholic faith. Know that some of you have and will continue to inspire me as I take your memories with me. Among you are also countless people who have offered supportive words or gifts over the years and in recent weeks. Believe me that you will continue to be in my prayers long into the future. From all who have prayed in our churches over these past seven years; let’s continue to pray for one another.

As I have offered comment on the more pleasant experiences while ministering here, I feel the need to reflect upon some of the more challenging experiences, too. I have been met with some difficulties over these years, and, to be concise, these struggles have made me stronger. Sure, there is the strengthening of my own will. However, the more overarching strength has come from my increasing reliance upon God, who in His great plan has allowed experiences both good and bad. My strength has, and continues to come from Him. I truly have grown stronger in the Lord as I have sought His presence, even in challenging circumstances. Finally, I conclude with my special gratitude to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God only knows all of the experiences I have encountered during my assignment here. The God whom we all love will continue to expose the lessons learned according to His will, in His good timing. A good priest will spend time praying each day so that he can continue to live in relationship with the author of all that is good. God’s presence has and will continue to be a support for me and I hope He continues to inspire you to experience an ongoing conversion.