Dear Parishioners ,
My Favorite Saint
On the day of this writing, the Church celebrates one of my favorite saints, St. Ignatius of Antioch. Born just a few years after Jesus' death and as a follower of St. John the Apostle, then Bishop Ignatius was given a choice by the tempore to deny the faith or be sent to Rome to be killed. Ignatius chose martyrdom. But, he didn't simply get hauled off to the eternal city, but instead, stopped en route to many bf the cities and towns along the way. How do we know? Well, Ignatius spent time and wrote seven, now famous, letters to the various communities. He encourages the faithful to hold fast to the Church's witness and obey her teachings. His popularity was such that he had to tell the people not to stop his journey to Rome where he would face the lions in the Circus Maximus. He is the first to coin the word, "The Catholic Church" and "Where the bishop is, let the people be, as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church" and he spoke forcibly about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He is a saint who is now receiving the rewards of his faith. This courageous man died ca. 107 A.D.
In the past month, both our Coordinator of Faith formation and Youth Ministry notified me of their decisions to resign. Both Tania DeSantis and Mary Kiefer have done fantastic jobs in their respective positions. I am sure we will all hate to seem the leave. Yet, they both would testify that their decisions are the fruit of much discernment. Given that fact, I wish them the best for the future and have confidence that they are listening to God's prompting's. They have always inspired me and have been a true delight to work along side with in the vineyard of the Lord. I have since began publishing these openings at 20 hrs/wk with benefits and will pray that God will open the hearts of those who need to come forward and continue where Tania and Mary left off. I must admit that I have panicked many times about all kinds of happenings in our parish, but strangely enough I am not worried. These events are pretty big in our small community and that just reminds me that I am not in control. Rather, it is all in God's hands. If God opened doors for Tania and Mary, then he's clearly got a plan for us too. If you know of someone who has a heart for children, teens, and ministry, then please encourage them to send me a cover letter and resume. Our parish continues to grow. The families here at St. Anthony's are amazing. I am privileged to be part of the life of this parish. Let us all join in prayer to stir the hearts of those whom God is calling to join us in our journey toward Christ. In the meantine, I encourage you to offer your thanks and well-wishes to Tania and Mary on the next chapters in their lives. Well done, good and faithful servants!
Since my last posting where I asked for financial assistance for my podcasting ministry, I received monies that will subsidize the St. Anthony's Podcast for almost a year. Thank you to the donors who have so generously given to this noble cause. I pledge to continue and hopefully expand the podcast as listeners offer ideas.
Thank you for all your prayers! God bless you!
Fr. William Holtzinger