Mary Anne Reflects On Moving Forward And Onward

A message from Mary Anne from this week’s One Bread One Body:

A few months ago, I offered my reflections in this space on the beginnings of our Saturday community. Saturday worship is a wonderful, high-quality liturgy attended by a small, but lively and enthusiastic group of people. I offer my thanks to all of you, whether you have attended on Saturday or not, for taking part in this vision of a new community within St. Nicholas.

My heartfelt thanks to the members of the Total Ministry team who contributed so much to making this worship experience a reality – Hal Stratton, Steve Raftery, Anna Stefaniak, Denise Butera, Bill Barlow, and Eunice Dohra. And of course, I am deeply grateful to Steve, Manny and Paul, for this opportunity to preside during liturgy. Together we brought to life something truly remarkable.

Although the Saturday community is wonderful, the Total Ministry concept never really blossomed at St. Nicholas. We all gave it our best, but Total Ministry has not worked out here as I had envisioned. I had planned on being ordained a priest through this new model of parish team ministry.

Now I am about to embark on a more typical path towards ordination. In consultation with the Commission on Ministry, Bishop Lee has recommended that I take a couple of specific next steps. I am very excited to do so.

First, I will be doing field education at another parish. For the next few months, I will be serving at St. John’s in Naperville. I am looking forward to experiencing ministry in a different setting and, I am sure, learning a lot.

Second, during the summer months, I plan to complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. CPE takes place in a hospital or other care-giving facility, where students receive education and training, offer spiritual care to patients and their families, and engage in personal and group reflection on the experience. I expect both of these undertakings to contribute a great deal to my own spiritual growth.

Of course, while I am excited about these new opportunities, I will miss all of you here at St. Nicholas. Although I won’t be around much, I certainly want to remain in the loop about what is going on here. So please keep in touch. I may even pop in unexpectedly every so often. And don’t worry, I’ll be back.

St. Nicholas is a very special community. I want to thank each of you for all the prayers and support you have given me along the way. I wouldn’t be at this point without you. You each hold a special place in my heart.

Lots of Love,

Mary Anne

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