What’s Going On – Part 2

Last week this column space was dedicated to “what’s going on” with the Annual Pastor Appeal and a new parish communications system, Flocknote. There was enough to say that it took up the whole page, but there is still a lot more “going on.”

Destination: True North Fun-raiser. There is more information in this bulletin about the event on page 4. I would so like you to be there – and, trust me, you want to be there. Last year was so much fun. It was great to see the marvelous cross section of our parish there – from the Young Professionals to “seasoned” Professionals, the young families to the empty nesters, and every other way you might think about parishioners. Even some of our more mature, experienced parishioners were there – and they were able to enjoy the full range of the ship because there is an elevator! Continue reading

True North

Normally I muse about one thing or another here in the “pastor’s column” but only from time-to-time use the space to report on this or that. But this week I wanted to take a look ahead at what’s going on in this amazing parish and our future. One of the first things that comes to mind is our “Vision: True North”  (https://sacredheartfla.org/giving/truenorth) . It is a strategic plan and vision for our parish that addresses the phenomenal growth and change in our parish boundaries that could potentially double the number of households and families at Sacred Heart. As you know, we are landlocked downtown and have no ability to expand – but we have almost 10 acres just 1.5 miles north on Florida Avenue – the “North Campus.” The vision is that our downtown church will be our Center of Worship and a re-developed North Campus will be our Center of Faith, Family Life and Outreach. Continue reading

Looking Ahead

This time of year, one often spends some time at the boundary of the past and the present. We look to the past and from that view we make New Year’s resolutions. We might look to the past and see what needs to be done as we move ahead in time. “Time” magazine helps us look to the past in its annual accounting of famous people who have passed away in the year. And sometimes in the same swath of days, we refresh our newly minted calendars with dates of celebration for all the events of the living. Continue reading

Making Your Plans

Stewardship: “The start of Sacred Heart being a Stewardship Parish is for each one of us to be good Stewards in our own lives.” The movement towards stewardship as a community began in earnest a year ago, after listening sessions with parishioners. As a result, we announced “Vision: True North”, a vision by which we continue to live our gospel-centered mission, even as we build our future. A vision that continues our center of worship in our downtown church but provides us the ability to seek space and opportunity that will serve us during the new wave of growth in the downtown core and nearby neighborhoods; a growth we are already experiencing. This vision set our sights on fully engaging the North Campus, a 9.8-acre facility we already own and operate, as our designated Center of Ministry and Family Life. Continue reading

A fraternity in mission

Occasionally, people will ask me “What order are you?” and other questions that eventually lead to the inquiry, “Where are y’all from?” I have noticed that people not native to the South have picked up that Southern expression. But it leaves me in a dilemma. I wonder if the one I am speaking with understands there is a difference between “y’all” and “all y’all”. So, I am not sure if they are asking where I am from (y’all having, in some cases, a singular use) or they are asking where all we friars are from (all y’all would have been clearer in use and intention). The answer to the question “Where are all y’all from?” might well be “Holy Name Province.” Continue reading

Good and Necessary Things

This year is a year of transition for the parish. There are things we do so very well – such as our Lenten, Holy Week, and Easter celebrations. I have been around 12 years now, and these really were the best ever. We have had so many people make a point of sharing how moved they were by the celebrations. One person came up to me after Holy Thursday and simply said, “Wow, wow, wow…” What makes it so moving for people? Everyone is different, but what is constant is the behind the scene work of dedicated people and their ministries: the Décor and Environment Committee, Readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers, Ushers, Choir, Faith Formation/RCIA, the Knights, the parish staff, volunteers who pass out palms, greet people and a million other things. So many people are moved by the Eucharistic Procession on Holy Thursday – behind the scene are staff who recruit TPD for traffic safety, who go to the Franklin Street businesses to let them know, who visit the hotels to make sure they know our Holy Week schedule – so many little things – all that make the big thing the amazing thing. Continue reading

Ways and things to Celebrate

There are lots of different new years to celebrate. The Western world celebrated two weeks ago. The Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 5. It is the year of the pig in case you are interested. Lots of different dates around the world – and all are based on some different calendar, event and spirituality – and all have very different ways to celebrate.

One thing that seems to mark the passage into a new year is the hope for good, for peace, and for something new. 2019 will be a year with lots of new things going on in the parish. Some are still in a discussion or development phase; some are gearing up with plan in hand, and some are a vision, with the details on how we get from A-to-Z not yet clear. Continue reading