Mayor Slay is in China. This blog item is by Jeff Rainford:
My priest is making a difference. That is important to the spiritual life of the members of our parish. It is also a lesson on the importance of leadership.
We have some of the most amazing, committed people in our parish. They volunteer their time, money, and ability to the church, the school and to each other. If someone in our neighborhood is in need, there is always someone to fulfill it.
But, a lack of leadership put the parish in a downward spiral that left many of us dispirited and pessimistic about the future. With Catholic parishes closing across the country, we could see that if something did not change, our parish and school could eventually wind up on the list. It felt like the Church had given up on us and had sent us a priest to close us down.
That turns out not to have been the case. Last year, the archbishop installed Msgr. Henry Beier as our pastor. He has brought a new energy to our parish. Instead of cutting costs or planning for the parish's demise, he is expanding by adding a new pre-school program, and giving our kids more reasons to participate in our youth group. Because of his leadership, there is hope. Because there is hope, people are again volunteering their time and talent.
So, our parish is doing well again. It is amazing what one person can do. Maybe a lesson for the Church as it decides what to do about declining parishes?