Parish Vitality


January Pastor’s Report

December was a busy month and being short staffed, I am grateful for those who stepped up and put in a ton of extra effort to get us through the liturgical celebrations, faith enrichment offerings, added busyness of the day-to-day requests and needs of parishioners. Also, a big thank you to those who decorated the churches for the Advent and Christmas Seasons. With such a short turn around (only a few hours) to transition from Advent to Christmas, it was amazing to see the beautiful results from their labor—great job by all! I want to thank all who helped make the Christmas liturgies so special—especially the music ministry and all the other ministers who assisted at our Masses. Please note that we are still in need of a part-time secretary and so your help is needed to get the word out and help us recruit someone. Moving forward, we also will be needing someone to fill our Dir. Of Faith Formation position that has be vacant for the last few years. This will be a full-time position to handle RCIA; Adult Confirmation; Sacramental prep for Confession, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation, and to oversee, assist and promote several of our adult, children and family life programs here at the parish. (Jan Thyne will still be in charge of our Combined Religious Education programs –and we are very grateful and blessed for the work she and her crew do for our programs).

Given the challenge of finding someone to fill our secretary position, we are currently looking at changing our parish office hours at some point in the near future. Currently we are open Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are looking at moving to Monday thru Thursday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (essentially opening up one hour later each day).

On January 9th we will be welcoming Fr. Felix from Ghana to the Holy Ghost priest residence. Fr. Felix will be doing an internship for his course work for his Master’s degree in Dubuque and needed a place to stay. His internship will end in early May and may help us out from time to time with weekend Masses. You may not see too much of him as he may have some added responsibilities to fulfill with the Archdiocese. Please welcome Fr. Felix to our parish community.

On January 14th we will have Archbishop Thomas Zinkula here at the parish to celebrate the 11:00 am Mass at Sacred Heart. It is our small way of welcoming Archbishop back home and given his history here, we thought it would be nice to have him celebrate Mass and attend a reception for him afterwards in Kreibs Hall.

On the Feast of Christ the King on Nov 26th, we welcomed fully into the parish those who will received either the Sacraments of the Eucharist and/or Confirmation. Let us continue to keep in our prayers.  

A brief update on our committees:

We held our annual Christmas gathering/dinner for staff, Pastoral Council, and Finance    Committee members on December 8th. Thanks to all who help put this event together.

Since we typically refrain from holding meetings during the Advent and Lenten Seasons, our other committees did not meet during December.

On the financial side of things, we are still holding our own and have even made a payment of $5,000.00 on our debt of $160,000 to the archdiocese (first time in several years that we are able to start working at reducing this debt.)

Moving into the new year, we will continue to work on fulfilling our parish vitality goals which are listed as follows: 

  • Service to others (which our 2nd on the 2nd program and summer Religious Education program addresses)
  • Sense of Belonging (which includes programs through our Parish Life Committee like our Pictorial Directory, Card Program, and IGNITE program which will we will run again in the beginning of Lent next year. Additionally, will be engaged in outreach programs for our Marshallese and Filipino communities).
  • The Mass—we are hoping to put a big push on ministry involvement and training, as well as include Liturgy tidbit informational inserts in the bulletin. Additionally we will be offering a teaching Mass presentation and faith enrichment sessions on the Mass and the Eucharist.

Finally, I am hoping to send out a mailing sometime in January to address a few questions that have come-up recently—namely, 1) information and guidelines for Mass intentions, 2) addressing the recent Declaration “Fiducia supplicans” issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved by Pope Francis regarding the pastoral meaning of blessings, and 3) the process, findings, and implementation of our archdiocesan and parish vitality goals.

I wish everyone a blessed and prosperous new year!


Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Steve


Click HERE to view previous Pastor's Reports