I would like to take a few moments just to say thank you to a number of people who have helped make this autumn a true time of celebration here at St. Mary’s. First, I want to thank all of those who are so generous in the donation of their time in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel – a little over a month ago we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of this great endeavor and the spiritual fruits which have flowed from the Chapel have led to an abundant harvest both in the lives of those who pray and the entire parish community. Thank you to all who take an hour, who serve on the substitute list and those who serve as the stewards of the Chapel. Please be sure to check out the weekly note as to what hours are in need of coverage and consider donating some of your time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, be sure also to check out the reflections which are printed every week in the bulletin which are reminders to us of the importance of the Eucharist and of prayer.
Secondly, I would like to thank the members of our parish staff and all those who volunteered to help with the Pilgrimage of Mercy and the visit of the relics of St. Maria Goretti. They put in many hours in preparing for the weekend and during the weekend to make sure that things were ready and that everything ran smoothly. A word of public thanks also to the Elm Grove Police Department who lent their expertise and helped ensure safety and good traffic movement through the Village. The organizers of the pilgrimage counted 8,800 people who were present over the course of the weekend to venerate the relics of St. Maria Goretti. People came from around the Archdiocese and the State of Wisconsin as well as from all over the Midwest. There were many graces which flowed from this pilgrimage and I believe will continue to flow into the future. Be sure to ask St. Maria for her prayers, she now has a special connection to St. Mary’s and may we always hold her memory and witness in our heart while our minds and lips ask for her prayers.
I would also like to thank those parishioners who have so generously donated to help us prepare the new Atrium Gardens outside of the Atrium. A special thank you to the parishioners who have donated to cover the cost of the landscaping, another thank you to those parishioners who have donated for a statue of the Blessed Mother to grace the center of the garden, and another thank you to the parishioners who have donated benches to be placed in the new garden area in Spring. Beauty is an attribute of God – God Himself is beautiful and so whenever we encounter beauty, we encounter the Lord Himself – having the entrance to our parish church be one of such beauty helps prepare our minds and hearts to meet the One who is the source of all beauty in the Mass. While winter is just around the corner, I look forward to spring when the gardens will be in bloom and the little children of St. Mary’s will play in the gardens after Mass under the watchful gaze of the Blessed Mother.
Speaking of children, I would also like to take a moment to thank our parents, especially the parents of young children. We have so many young children at St. Mary’s and they are a beautiful sign of life and vibrancy. I know it takes a lot to get the little ones up and dressed and ready to go for Mass. But as much of an effort (or battle!) that it must be at times to get them there, I can only imagine how much it must please God to see so many little children at Mass. Thank you for bringing them and thank you for passing on the Faith to them.
A blessed and joyful thanksgiving to all of you from myself and the entire parish staff!