Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter-November 18, 2018

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

We’re experiencing some more transition in our offices these months. Sr. Theresa Moser, RSCJ, has been our Parish Office Administrator for nearly five years. Though tasked with a number of odds and ends as well, her primary responsibilities have been working with couples as they prepare for their weddings at St. Ignatius, with new parents to arrange the baptisms of their newborns, and with families as they prepare funeral liturgies for their loved ones who have gone home to God. Sister T has brought many gifts to her role, but chief among them are her kindness and hospitality. She has been “a good face,” as they say, for our parish, giving the people she works with a lived experience of our Parish’s welcome and hospitality. Sister Theresa will be stepping back from her position to make room for new commitments with the Religious of the Sacred Heart–she was invited by her Provincial to be part of the leadership team of her province, and those duties require her to be in St. Louis and other parts of the country for extended periods of time.

Stepping into a newly expanded role is Samantha Sidwell. Sam and her husband, Scott, are parishioners of St. Ignatius, and Sam has been volunteering at the reception desk for nearly a year. Sam is proving to be a great addition to the staff and she brings her own brand of welcome and hospitality to the job.  We’re glad to have you with us, Sam!

A few weeks ago, members of our high school youth group and a few of their friends spent time putting together packets of toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, socks, granola bars, and little notes of inspiration. Calling themselves Hygiene Heroes, they walked over to the Haight and the east end of Golden Gate Park to hand out the packets to some of our sisters and brothers without homes. The Heroes reported taking time to hear some stories from their new friends, as well as receive their feedback on how to make their outreach more effective next time. This weekend, our youth group is also hosting an Advent wreath making workshop after the 9:30 am Mass. Please join them in the Maier Room (in Fromm Hall). And if you (or your son or daughter) are interested in joining our high school youth group, please contact our USF student youth leader, Raphael Rathle (raphael.rathle@gmail.com).

Also, during the months of November and December, work will commence on the repair and preservation of windows on the north side of the church, beginning in the sacristy.  Nzilani Glass Conservation of Oakland, who surveyed and assessed all 125 windows in our church, will be coordinating the project. Nzilani is an award-winning Bay Area company becoming well-known for their work on churches, museums, and historic buildings. The project is one of several window renovations planned as part of the ongoing restoration of the church building.

Finally, Thanksgiving is here. If you’re like me, the holiday is a welcome one, something exterior to ourselves that calls us to one of the most important dispositions of the human heart–gratitude. In The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu, and Douglas Abrams, the authors recount their conversations (between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) on the subject of gratitude. One of the contributing factors to living a life of joy is the ability to experience gratitude. Let’s each be a bit more intentional this week about our gratitude, as the world around us can always use a bit more joy.

I wish you and your households a wonderful holiday. Be assured of my prayers for you, especially ones of gratitude.

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Greg