August 4, 2019

Over the past month, it has been a real joy to reconnect full time here at St. Joseph. Knowing that St. Thomas and Our Lady Star of the Sea are in good hands with the leadership of Fr. Raja has made the transition even better for me. I appreciate all the kind thoughts you have shared with me over the past few weeks, and I can tell you I am so grateful for the chance to give my full-time energy to ministry here at St. Joseph.

I return to full-time ministry here feeling like it is a new beginning. It is a new beginning with lots of advantages. I already know so many people here, and after eleven years, I have had the opportunity to see families grow and to accompany so many of you through good times and challenging times in your lives. We have shared our faith together, and you have helped me to grow in my faith.

This new beginning also provides an opportunity for me to step back and reflect on where we have been as a parish community, and where the Lord is calling us into the future. The summer is a great time, with its more leisurely pace, for some good reflection and I have been able to do that – and look forward to more over the next several weeks.

I would also like to engage all of us in this process of reflecting on where we have been and where the Lord is calling us into the future. For those of you who were here eleven years ago, you may recall that we held several listening sessions so that I could get to know you and to hear about your hopes and dreams for the parish. Those conversations were very helpful for me and gave us good direction in those early years.

With what feels in many ways like a new beginning, I would like to bring us together again to discern where the Lord is calling us now. As I have reflected on where we have been, my overwhelming experience is gratitude. When I think about where we are today and what the future looks like, I am aware of so many blessings as well as some challenges.

I would like us to gather as a parish community for prayer, conversation, and discernment – to celebrate and give thanks for all that has been, and to ask the Lord to guide us into all that will be.

We have planned two gatherings for September and I ask you to make every effort to join us for one of these. The first gathering is Monday, September 9, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. We will begin with a simple meal and then begin our meeting at 6:00 pm. The second opportunity is the following Sunday afternoon, September 15. We will gather at 12:30 pm for a simple meal, and then meet from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

I very much look forward to gathering together as a parish community in order to listen to each other, listen to the Lord together and then discern where the Spirit is calling us.

Have a wonderful week!

God Bless,
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni