As we look to the start of a new year, I would like to point out a few special things that will be happening here at St. Mary’s in addition to all of our normal activities. The first thing to point out is that our Perpetual Adoration Chapel will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary in October, this is an amazing achievement, that for thirty years, someone has been praying before the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament every day all day long - a true gift to those who have spent time in the Chapel and a true gift to the entire parish community. We will mark this celebration in October with Forty Hours Devotion which will take place from October 5 – 7. Forty Hours Devotion is a particular devotion with the celebration of Mass as well as exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in church over those days. As it approaches, you’ll be hearing more about it.
Also, this October St. Mary’s will be hosting the relics of St. Maria Goretti over the weekend of October 17-18. This is the first time the body of St. Maria Goretti has come to the United States and we are one of only two parishes in the state of Wisconsin who will have her body present with us and the only parish in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee which will have this privilege. We will begin with a special Mass in honor of St. Maria Goretti at 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 17th and then public veneration will take place of her relics that morning and again after the Saturday evening Mass and again Sunday afternoon. More information will be coming, but mark your calendars now, what a tremendous grace it will be to have the body of a saint in our parish church and the honor to venerate the relics of this young martyr for chastity.
This fall will also see St. Mary’s becoming a Teaching Parish of St. Francis de Sales Seminary. As part of the formation process for seminarians, each is assigned a parish to work and minister to over the course of his four years of study for the priesthood. St. Mary’s has been asked to become one of these teaching parishes and will have the honor of becoming the Teaching Parish for Mr. Levi Schmitt, a seminarian for the Diocese of LaCrosse studying at St. Francis. We’ll have a biography of him in the bulletin and he’ll be introduced at the Masses this fall and you’ll be seeing him around the parish and getting the chance to meet him as the years go by. As a member of the Seminary Board of Admissions, I’d like to encourage everyone to consider attending the annual fall Seminary Dinner which will take place on Friday, September 18th – information can be found at their website, www.sfs.edu. Supporting the seminary and encouraging vocations, particularly to the priesthood, is something we are all called to do.
I would also like to take a moment to officially welcome Mrs. Nora Mihm to a new role as Director of Parish Advancement and Communication. Nora has already been working for the parish in our administrative department but she will now take on this new role encouraging our own growth in our faith through a deepening sense of gratitude to God for all He has done for us and thanking Him by the generous giving of our own time, talent and treasure to the mission of the parish.
Finally, thank you again for your patience as we reconstructed the parish parking lot this summer, I know that it made for a disruption in normal routines as well some inconvenience during the process. However, looking at the completed product makes it all worthwhile!