By now it’s no secret that these parish Staff members are leaving us (in order of years of service here): Lynn North, Sr. Mary Catherine Fodrocy, OP, Graciela Valdez, and Geary North
To each and to all I say… Thank you! … Gracias! I try to make “Thank you” a prominent part of my vocabulary; and I have thanked each of these servants of the Church personally many times. But public recognition: I’ve been lacking there.
I see a sort of parallel in the way veneration of St. Joseph has come to be acknowledged. St. Joseph, our holy Patron, is known to us first by the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Then, holy people of the early Church wrote about him, using the faith of the People as guide, and some legends about him that arose or were discovered as the years and centuries passed. But only in the last two or three centuries has Joseph begun to be acknowledged by the whole Church—you could say, recognition “from the top down” followed the widespread devotion of the faithful.
I know that anyone who has been served by one or more of the Staff members who are leaving feels gratitude for their service; and as we have come to know each of them in a personal way, our appreciation has deepened.
- Lynn has served St. Joseph’s since 1986, first as support in the Religious Education department and in the School, and these last years as Manager of the parish office.
- Sr. Mary Catherine is finishing 24 years of service as Pastoral Associate.
- Graciela came to be sort of the “Mother” of the rectory Staff, starting in 1999.
- Geary joined the Staff as Supervisor of Maintenance (and “doer” of most of it) in 2009.
We’ll all have a chance on the weekend of June 17th & 18th, 2017, to extend our personal thanks to each of these parish servants. I suggest that you consider the gratitude in your own heart and write a note to each one of the departing Staff members as appropriate. Say a little about your gratitude and what makes you grateful to this one and that one. And to God for them all. And, if possible, spend a few minutes after one of the Masses on June 17th or 18th greeting them personally.
My heart is full of gratitude to and for these women and men who have served alongside me. May God bless each one in his or her new directions. May God bless them all with days of fulfillment and happiness!