Saturday, October 20, 2018


Great is what we’re going for! is the tagline for the spiffy airline safety video I have seen entirely too many times in recent months, not only because I have taken so many trips by air, but also because some of those did not go as planned, and I sat through more runs of the video than might be expected.  But it suits.
Great really IS what we are going for, and Exhibit A is the Fall Festival last week.  Even if the weather was a bit menacing as things got underway, and the crowds were a bit slow to come out, within ninety minutes we were up to full throttle and every part of the field was thronged.  
Great is definitely what we got. So many parish group pitched in to do their part from the HNS Masters of Bingo through the Sodalist Queens of Cake, including Scouts, the HSA of our School, Religious Ed families, our buddies the Rosensteel Knights, CYO’s SnackShack Enterprises, and a number of our younger members.  All worked under the unflagging example and leadership of Jasmine Kuzner, Maureen Dewey, Laura Konda, and Colleen Schaper, this year’s Genius Committee.  
Thanks, too, to all our sponsors; please, visit these businesses and mention that you saw their names on the roster at the Festival.  This is a community builder, not a fundraiser, and their sponsorship keeps it from becoming a fund-drainer! 
One thing I liked was the number of people I saw whom I had never seen before – visitors from outside the parish. They looked unfamiliar, but not afraid, and clearly having a good time.  I hope you said something friendly to them!
Great is what we’re going for! could also be the tagline for our parish and Archdiocese. But our momentum has slackened somewhat with the news last week that Pope Francis had accepted Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation, and the reality that we, as a local church, do not have a bishop as our head.  Cardinal Wuerl is still managing the functions of the Archdiocese as Apostolic Administrator, to which role he was appointed by the Holy Father until his successor be appointed and installed.  But that is not the same – for him or for us.  So we as an Archdiocese are fully functional but at the same time aware that we are also directionless.  So much depends on how the “new guy” will want to handle it.
With rumors flying to and fro about just who the “new guy” will be, and when he will get here, speculation can provide only so much insight or information.  In the meantime, we are left to wonder what we will do next.
The best answer I can offer is that we continue to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified, to hand on just what we have received; we continue to worship God in the celebration of the Eucharist and all the Holy Sacraments, bringing the dead to life in Baptism, filling up what is lacking with the gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, feeding the multitude with the Body and Blood of the Lord; healing the sick in mind, body, and spirit with Holy Anointing and the forgiveness of sins, and embracing that healing with acts of penance for our sins and the sins of others who have done so much hurt.  
I charge myself to continue to preach the word, being urgent in season and out of season.  This Church that Christ has given us is our sole vessel to bring us to the destination we desire, rather than the destruction we deserve. She will not fail us if we cling to her.  Great will be our joy in Heaven; and great is what we’re going for.
Monsignor Smith