There is a song by Nicole Nordeman called Gratitude. In the lyrics of the song she tells God what she wants:
Give us rain to break the heat,
Give us food to sustain our bodies
and Give us Peace to fix our world.
God does not give her exactly what she asks for.
Instead, He gives shade and breeze,
He gives nourishment for the soul
and He gives the lessons and the tools needed to create Peace.
To me, the gist of the song is that we should be grateful that God doesn’t always give us what we want, but instead, He provides us with what we need.
Like this song, we have been praying and yearning for the things we WANT for this community.
We prayed for the health of our dearest Fr. Larry – wanting him back so badly but God knew better. He knew Larry’s suffering had to end, so he called him home.
He heard our cries for a shepherd during that time, and He sent Fr. Bill to guide us through and feed our souls.
God heard our fears and worries that this community, where we love each other so deeply, would cease to exist -- that we would be clustered, merged or closed -- and He sent the Holy Spirit to work, within the Archdiocese of Detroit.
God heard our Wants and Desires and in His infinite wisdom (and true parental guidance) he has given us what we Need…
And this is where I ask that you put on your positive Rose-colored glasses,
because I am going to hand you a poorly wrapped package
that may not be what you want
or what you think you want or need
but has endless possibilities inside.
Contrary to my last article in the bulletin,
I must inform you that we are not being assigned a new Pastor come July.
We are not closing, clustering or merging either.
We are staying open and retaining our unique identity.
You may be wondering, how is this possible?
Is this a Good Thing?
In my honest opinion, my answer is yes!
It is a great piece of news and here is how it was made possible…
The Archdiocese of Detroit has been truly moved by the Holy Spirit and they are letting thriving communities, like St. Louis, stay alive. There will be every attempt made to keep from closing down an entire community, or forcing incompatible communities to become one, for lack of a priest. Instead, they will reorganize the clergy and give the lay people more opportunities to get involved in running their faith communities.
In the last year, you’ve seen this here first hand – you know it can work.
And because we are no longer waiting in limbo,
I think this next year will be the most exciting and praise filled year yet!
I am over the moon just thinking of the possibilities.
The Archdiocese is calling this movement, Families of Parishes, and while they don’t have many of the details in place yet, you can read about it at Families of Parishes.org. We will also be publishing the fact sheet in the next weekend’s bulletin.
The first wave of this plan will be announced during Advent this year and will be implemented by July of 2021. It is assumed that we will be in this first wave, but I’ve assumed things before. (I’m a bit of an optimist.) But It isn’t just us, at St. Louis, who are doing this. All churches in the Archdiocese of Detroit will be moving towards this plan in the next couple of years.
So there you have it… the haphazardly wrapped gift of information you didn’t want but needed to know. (It’s sort of like when your mom would give you socks and undergarments for Christmas.)
Fr. Doug of St. Hubert’s will remain our temporary administrator, and though we may not have an assigned pastor, we have one of the best shepherds around in Fr. Bill. He has agreed that he sort of likes us and will stick with us. Please pray for both of them daily!
I think The Rolling Stones said it best, (and I’m paraphrasing) “you can’t always get what you want…you just might find, you get what you need.” Thanks be to God for giving us what we need.
Here is to a VIBRANT Community-Run Parish!