Father John’s Message

Fr. John Gerritts  |   

4 June 2023

Last Sunday was a great day in the life of the Church for the Diocese of Superior with the ordination of three young men to the priesthood. Our Cathedral was packed, filled with people and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our Diocese will be richly blessed for many years because of the willingness of these three individuals to say “yes” to God’s call. We here at Saint Patrick Parish will enjoy this blessing in a particular way as Father Dan Tracy begins his ministry as priest with our parish. One’s first assessment as a priest is always something one remembers well. Many of us describe the time as some of the best years of our priestly ministry. Father Dan will be with our kids at Extreme Faith Camp in the month of June. He will also have some vacation time and then will begin his time with us on July 1.

I mentioned previously about our need to find a place for Father Dan to live. God is good! The owner of the condo unit next to where I live mentioned to me a few weeks ago about his intention to sell his unit. I asked if we could talk and if all goes well on Thursday, we will close on the purchase of a second condo. He offered it to us at a great price, below the market value. That is the good news. The flip side is that it needs a great deal of work. Some of the work will need to be done professionally, but there is also a good deal of work I believe we can do with volunteers. Watch for upcoming calls for volunteers for cleaning, painting, and other tasks.

Fortunately our capital campaign was so successful that after we have all of the projects completed, pay off the loan on the condo where I live to our school endowment, and fund a future maintenance fund, we will still have about $75,000 left. We will put this toward the purchase of the condo for our associate. The remainder will come from parish savings, but we are also going to be inviting people to either extend their donations to the capital campaign or make an additional gift toward the capital campaign for the purchase of a residence for our new priest. Watch for this invitation to come in the form of a letter in the mail.

Something else that is new: you may notice our deacons sporting new shirts. Our Bishop has approved the wearing of gray clerical shirts by our deacons when they are engaged in ministry. Wearing gray clerical shirts is meant to distinguish them from priests who typically wear black. But the wearing of a gray shirt will help them to be more easily recognized as deacons. Deacons are not required, but now allowed to wear a gray clerical shirt in the Diocese of Superior.

An additional piece of parish business involves our Parish Administrator, Jeff Hommes. It was great that Jeff could speak with us at Mass a few weeks ago. It has been something he has wanted to do for some time. As he mentioned in his remarks, he was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Jeff had a surgery that successfully removed the tumor from his colon. Unfortunately, doctors have discovered that the cancer has spread to other areas in his body. As a result, he needs to undergo several strong doses of chemotherapy. Jeff has started an eight-week medical leave as he receives treatment. I know you will join me in keeping him in prayer. If there is anything you would normally contact Jeff regarding, please reach out to me during this time.

Finally, make sure you plan to join us next Sunday for our Corpus Christi procession. It will take place following the 10:30 Mass. We will exit the church and walk about 1/2 mile on a route that is both stroller and walker friendly. Last year, I believe we had over 150 people join for the procession. We will sing songs along the way and stop occasionally for prayer. It is a great way to show the world our love for the Eucharist by taking Jesus out of our church and onto the neighboring streets.

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