I write you this letter during the Lenten season—a time of introspection, calling us all to conversion—to encourage you to use this time for increased spiritual growth and involvement in your parish. Here at St. Joseph Church we are working hard on many levels to build up the Kingdom of God.
Let’s take an inventory of some of the many things that have happened at the parish since I arrived as pastor in June, 2011.
Spiritually, in addition to our regularly scheduled Masses and services, we have had some important events like our Saints Event, Living Nativity, Living Stations of the Cross, Ecumenical Lenten Prayer Services and Luncheons, a biblical presentation by actor Frank Runyeon, Days of Recollection with Fr. John Collins, CSP, 40 Hours Eucharistic Adoration with guest homilists Fr. James King and Fr. Jon Thomas, and an added Pro-Life Mass on Wednesday evenings. To benefit our Spanish community, we have held various devotions and celebrations including the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We hold retreat days for our First Holy Communion and our Confirmation students. We re-initiated our Children's Liturgy of the Word on two Sundays each month and our Children's Choir. In addition, our Filipino community has enhanced our music ministry through the Couples for Christ Choir. Penance Services and the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation are made available throughout the year, but especially during Advent and Lent. Please check our weekly church bulletin, our web page or our facebook page to see the many opportunities that are offered!
Since I have mentioned technology, to improve our use of it in the parish we have revamped our web site (www.stjosephsomerspoint.com) complete with a mobile version for your smartphones, improved our phone system to make it more accessible, added a facebook page for our parish, and I personally publish a spiritual blog entry each week (www.fr-ed-namiotka.com) in conjunction with the weekly church bulletin.
Some of the most obvious enhancements have been to our physical plant. Our parking lots were resurfaced and relined. Our annex building’s exterior was sealed and painted and the Pre-K 3 rooms renovated and relocated into that building. We added a “cry room” to the church for parents with toddlers and infants. Our stained glass windows are being repaired and restored. Repairs have also been made to the bell tower, to the rectory building and walkways, and to the convent. Currently, the cracks in the interior walls of the church are being fixed and the entire interior should be repainted just in time for Easter.
As you can see, we are doing our part to help our parish—yours and mine—to grow and increase. All I simply ask is that you assist us in what we are trying to accomplish. Weekly participation at Mass is essential! Your presence in our pews together with regular, ongoing giving to support our many spiritual endeavors and the physical upkeep of our campus, will help ensure the future of this parish.
It has been said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. We can’t just sit back and do nothing and expect everything to continue without interruption or possible decline. We need your continual help, and I am asking for it now once again.
Fr. Ed Namiotka
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