I suspect our attitude towards change is like our attitude towards death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible. But change is inevitable, natural, and part of the fabric of our lives, our families, and our parish community. Change can be exciting, thrilling, sad, and more – all at the same time. Sometimes change brings about the experience of an appreciation of what was, once the change has occurred. That too is probably inevitable, but, it seems to me, even more sad. Hopefully we are mindful and appreciative of what is “now,” and the good that lies ahead.
It was almost 10 years ago that we Franciscans arrived here at Sacred Heart. There has been some change. It seems to have worked out. In those ten years, the demographics of the parish have certainly changed. The “view from the altar” is certainly different. In my time here, I have seen a lot, but I am very aware of the increase in the number of children participating in our various programs of Children and Youth Faith Formation. Several years ago we had a little over 100 children and youth in our various programs. In the year just finished, there were 265, and the breadth, depth, and quality of the programs has blossomed. Sunday mornings at the North Campus are jumping with life, energy, and faith. Yes indeed, lots of change.
The great changes are the work of many willing hands. Parents and parishioners have stepped in and contributed so much of their time and talent. The great changes are also the work of the amazing leadership of Linda Waggoner, our Director of Faith Formation. Three years ago, Linda stepped into the breach of a program that need critical care, rolled up her sleeves, and brought a major “can do” attitude to bear. Three years later, I am just amazed at the transformation. Now you can understand the Rosie-the-Riveter image in today’s column.
I am very mindful of the amazing things that have happened in the faith formation programs. I could not be more appreciative, thrilled, and thankful. Still, I am a little sad. The sad news (at least for us) is that Linda is stepping down to devote her time and energy to the new ministry of grandmother. Congrats to Linda, daughter Laura, and granddaughter Abby!
As I said, change is inevitable, natural, and part of the fabric of our lives, our families, and our parish community. Change can be exciting, thrilling, sad, and more – all at the same time.
What’s next? As you can imagine, Linda had that figured out also. With her advice and guidance, we have hired a new Director, Mrs. Barbara Ferreris. Barbara will bring great experience, energy, and faith to the program – and the program will continue to grow in faith and accomplishment.
As we welcome Barbara, we are not bidding farewell to Linda. She and Dennis will still be here as parishioners. Don’t tell Dennis, but Linda already has plans for how they will volunteer in ministry here in the parish.
From the beginning of Linda’s time on staff, I have been so aware and appreciative of the immense faith, talent, and energy she brought to the parish and programs. Now that she takes on a new ministry, my gratitude only grows. Thank you, Linda Waggoner.