Merry Christmas! This is a season of celebration, parties, gift-giving, and family gatherings. It is also a time when we often look back on the year and measure what has happened. Here at St. Anne’s many things have happened. One event of real change was the transfer of Msgr. Moys and Fr. Ron to new assignments and the arrival of two new priests, me and Fr. Paschal. Here are some other things that have happened in the subsequent months.
Soon after our arrival in July, Fr. Paschal moved into an apartment and the parish house has under- gone extensive renovation. Sometime after Christmas, I will hold an open house at the parish house for parishioners to come and visit. Two months after our arrival, we finally finalized the budget which included some serious cuts in order to balance the budget. I held many listening sessions which allowed me to quickly get a sense of the parish’s warp and woof as well as desire for the future. In the weeks ahead, a summary of those sessions will be published in the bulletin. The Pastoral Council has been hard at work reflecting on the mission of the parish and advising me as to the pastoral needs of the community. The various committees of the Pastoral Council have yet to be revived, but in time they will be renewed. The Administrative Council has grown to nine members and now meets every month. I am still trying to get a sense of how things work. After all, a large parish, two missions, and a school involves a complexity that will take some time to understand.
In all, I am glad to be in Grants Pass and glad to be your pastor. You have been very supportive and loving. Thank you! In this week's bulletin, you will find reflections of the year from the various ministers on staff. Please take time to read their reflections and pray for them to continue the good news which continues in their respective ministries.
Remember that Christmas Joy is found in the celebration of Christ come as man for our salvation. That is truly good news. From the staff of St. Anne’s, please have a blessed and safe Christmas and New Year.
One more thing, someone sent me a delightful e-card which I found to warm my heart, especially since it involved a dog. Here is it for your viewing pleasure: Click Here
Fr. William Holtzinger