Last week, as I introduced our new topic for this coming year of catechesis for our Family of Faith program, I re-emphasized a point that I made last year that our entire parish community is a family, so we are all invited into this process of ongoing formation in our faith. This week, I would like to focus a little more on this concept of being a parish family, with a special focus on one particular member of our parish family.
In St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, he uses the image of the body to speak about the Church, how the body has many members, all having a specific role to play in that body. Although some members of the body are more visible, all of the members are nevertheless important. We are therefore called to rejoice in how God brings together all of the members of the body for the good of the entire body. This image translates well into seeing the Church as a family as the same dynamic exists where various members of the family make up our parish, and each member of this family has great value to the entire family. Much more can be said on the importance of each of us adopting this attitude and being proactive in sharing our gifts for the good of this family, but as I wrote above, I want to focus on the good that has been offered by one of the members of this family and to give thanks to God for those gifts.
For more than twenty years Lisa Duffey has been a part of this parish family, first as a cook in the school, and now as our Parish Secretary for close to 17 years. She has also been active with the Cathedral Council of Catholic Women. Lisa has been a very visible and active member of this parish family, and for that, we praise the Lord. At the end of this month, Lisa will be retiring. This is certainly good news for her, as she and her husband will have more time for travel and family. As happy as we are for her, there is some sadness as we will miss her very much. At the same time, we are confident that God, the Father of this parish family, will provide for us, just as He has done in so in many ways in the past. I invite all of us to keep this intention in our prayers, that the Lord will choose for us a committed intentional disciple to fill the huge void that is being left with Lisa’s departure. The Lord is always working for our good, so we can trust that our prayers to Him will be heard and that He will provide the person who will serve this family faithfully as a Parish Secretary.
Lisa has asked that we not make a big deal of her retiring, but I would like us to have the opportunity to express our gratitude and well-wishes to her in some way. We have decided that we will have baskets at the entrances to the church in which you can leave a card or a note of some sort. You can also drop in your contribution for a spiritual bouquet that we would like to offer her. By contribution I mean a spiritual offering of some sort, such as promising to pray a decade of the Rosary for her, or perhaps the entire Rosary. Perhaps you could offer to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. You could pray a novena for her intentions. You could offer your communion at a certain Mass for her. So please join me in thanking God for the gift that Lisa has been to this parish family and pray for her as she moves on to the next stage of her life. And let us already thank God for the person He is preparing to send to continue this important service for our parish family.