Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! With all the bad news in the world that covers our headlines, it is important not just to be nostalgic, but to once again, root ourselves in those things that are truly good, beautiful, and true (cf. Philippians 4:7- 9). For in these things are true joy and peace. For in these things we encounter the Good News who is Jesus Christ.
This year, for me, I look back and I am thankful for the work of all our pastoral ministers who have tirelessly worked in the vineyard with equally passionate volunteers. Events such as Joe’s Camp to Summer Bible School to the events surrounding Our Lady of Guadalupe show how much God had been working in the lives of our people. For a second year in a row, those who entered the Church through the Easter Vigil celebration, made up a group so large that the room where their classes where held was moved to a much larger one in the Parish Center. This year our sacristan crew (those who help prepare for Mass), more than tripled in size! I am so humbled to see their selfless dedication to this important task each week.
I am grateful that the Lord has blessed our school with a large increase in students which has allowed us to spread the Good News to more children and their families. The school community continued to grow in vibrancy. I am also so grateful for our wonderful teaching and administrative staff at the school. The sense of camaraderie and morale is inspiring.
I am excited about the work and direction our Core Building Committee who have taken a year to explore all the options for a new church building. Please note that I did not say renovation. In the course of our explorations, it turned out not be a significant cost difference to rebuild versus renovate the existing structure. So, early on after making that decision, we explored almost every location and arrangement of a proposed new church. In the Spring, we will have a feasibility study done in order to determine what financial potential there is in this project. I am so pleased with the discernment that has been so seriously undertaken in this task. I believe you will love what will come out of it all.
Finally, I am so very thankful for all the people who have newly come to worship here at St. Anne’s. They have helped us have new people helping with ministries. They have brought fresh eyes and ears to help us with our mission. I hope that we continue to be that church where Jesus is prophetically preached, hearts are healed, and the Mass becomes ever-more the center of our faith, for it is there that we encounter the sacrificed and risen Lord, Jesus Christ. In all, there is much for which to be grateful. May all these things give glory to God!
May God bless you all!
Fr. William Holtzinger