First, the Archdiocese will resume the celebration of public Masses the weekend of May 30/31 - Pentecost. The Archdiocese has issued a set of guidelines to help parishes return to public Sunday Masses and we are working to get things ready here, at St. Mary’s, for that resumption. This is something to look forward to and to be grateful for! Later this week you will receive some things in the mail outlining how public Masses will be resumed at St. Mary’s and they will, subsequently, be posted to our website. The Archdiocesan Guidelines govern numerous things and so there will be some changes from what is familiar, so I’d ask for your patience as we navigate things.
I’m also happy to share that Perpetual Adoration here at St. Mary’s has been going on in the Atrium over these past couple of months, and while we have been limiting attendance to two people, we will be able to expand the number of people who are able to go to Adoration to ten people - please, however, do keep the number to ten.
You may remember having read, prior to the pandemic, about a number of projects the parish was going to be completing. We are going to put most of those projects on hold during this time of uncertainty, however, one of the projects had already begun before things began to shut down – that project being the work on the corner of Crescent and Juneau including new gardens, a new sign and an outdoor classroom space. Work began with the cutting down of trees and the beginning of laying out the site and was put on pause as we waited for the end of the school year and approval from Elm Grove on the signs, with the expected completion date of early summer. Since the work was already in process, we are going to complete that project, albeit in with a phased approach, which will complete the first phase (gardens and sign) this summer and delay the second phase (the outdoor classroom space) for the time being. Even though the project isn’t going to be completed in total as hoped, it will be nice to see that corner go from derelict to beautiful this summer!
In other good news, this weekend also sees the ordination of new priests for the Archdiocese, including one of our own parish sons, Fr. Patrick Magnor. Fr. Magnor is the third son of this parish to be ordained a priest in three years - this is a great grace! We will look forward to a Mass of Thanksgiving at some point in the future, but, in the meanwhile, we keep him in prayer during these joyful moments and pray for him as he begins his assignment as Associate Pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Greendale this summer. In addition, one of our seminarian interns, Fr. Justin Weber has been ordained too. We also look forward to the ordination of another of our seminarian interns, Deacon Levi Schmitt, for the Diocese of LaCrosse later this summer!
Speaking of priests, it’s with great joy that I share that Fr. Justin Weber will be assigned to St. Mary’s as a priest this summer! Fr. Weber will be completing his studies in Rome in the fall, but between June 16th and September 16th will join myself and Fr. Gibson in serving the parish as one of our priests. Many of you have come to know him over the past three summers and we are grateful that we will be his first official assignment as a priest!
Finally, we are looking forward to continuing to plan for Graduation, First Communion and Confirmation, keeping in mind the Archdiocesan Guidelines, so those of you who have children going through those will receive more information as more information becomes available to us and we get the green light from the Archdiocese to proceed. These special moments and, even more so, the grace of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation will be given to those children and teenagers who spend so long preparing for them!
We have been through a lot over these past few months and we will still have difficult moments ahead, but, in the midst of it, there are many things to be grateful for and to see the Holy Spirit at work.