From the Pastor's Desk
Regarding the letter from Arch. Rozanski: I fully understand the need for changes (declining number of priests and worshipers) and I kind of suspected that things wouldn’t go well for either of the parishes I serve (our small numbers), but I am still deeply saddened by it. I am not angry at the Archbishop, he is doing what needs to be done, but nonetheless I cannot help but feel a loss about it. Aside from ministry and my parishioners (who have truly been a source of inspiration and strength for me), I feel sad about the tabernacle space at St. Francis which I designed and for which a parishioner donated all the oak. Like-wise, I built the altar of worship at St. Stephen. So those things are dear to me. I’m saddened that they might no longer be used.
Those are rather trivial concerns to be sure, but they are a symbol that everyone of us is losing something, some things very dear.
However, YOU MUST NOT let any of those feelings dampen your faith or the practice of your faith. We are first and foremost disciples of Christ. Everything else is a distant second.
And now I still have a job to do.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The three persons of the Trinity each have a consuming focus, so much so that they are distinct from each other: Father, Creator; Son, Redeemer; Holy Spirit, Sanctifier.

“The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,” are not the words of Moses or any other person, but God’s own words to Moses. Those are not words describing unparalleled qualities like “omnipotent,” “all-powerful,” “almighty,” “all- knowing,” “high above the heavens,” though those qualities would certainly be true. But they are not God’s focus. Instead the words God uses are relational: “merciful,” “gracious,” “slow to anger,” “rich in kindness and fidelity.” The eternal God has always been in relationship — the Father with the Son with the Spirit. In essence God is outpouring love.
We cannot fully comprehend the mystery of the Trinity. If we could fully describe/define God, then God would not be God because God would then be less than our human intelligence. We would be more powerful than God! And we are quite certain that we are not God — not Creator, not Redeemer, not Sanctifier.

Perhaps it is easy to think that God is depicted in the Old Testament as a vengeful God, because God is always conscious of people’s sinfulness. But, if we look more closely, what God is really always doing is forgiving people. Throughout the OT God never ceases to forgive. God forgives the Chosen People, they sin. God forgives again, they sin again. God’s forgiveness is unlimited! God forgives the Chosen People for their unfaithfulness, over and over. God is not a God of wrath. Far-be-it, God is an endless abyss of mercy, even when we don’t deserve it. We fail over and over. God forgives over and over.
God forgives.  Jesus is the proof 
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. . .For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that they world might be saved through him.”
The Son came among us to redeem us. The inevitable result would be that Jesus would die. If the Father had prevented Jesus from dying, he would not be fully human. Humans die.
God is also visible as a forgiving God in the New Testament. We see this in Jesus, in the way that Jesus treats sinners in the Gospels. Jesus’ forgiveness is not distant or impersonal. He gets to know sinners intimately, and then loves them even more deeply. Look at how he treated Peter. Peter denied Jesus three times, so Jesus gave him the healing/forgiving opportunity to publicly acclaim his love and faith in the Lord: “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.” It wasn’t “how could you be so weak?” But rather, “Do you love me?”
Know that I am not making light of anyone’s pain at the changes to come. I myself spent no few hours crying after I received the Archbishop’s letter. It is undoubtedly sad. It is what it is. But it is also partly our fault for not attracting others to Christ and the Church. 
 Peace, Fr. Bob 
“Dear Padre” page courtesy of:
Mahn Funeral Home
Peaceful Ridge Cemetery
Mausoleum - Monuments - Cremation
900 Main & Mahn Ave - De Soto, MO 63020 - 636-586-2288/515 Collins Ave.-Festus, MO 63028 - 636-937-4444