The Minority Report

The Minority Report

  • Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father’s Day)
  • 17 June 2018

On the first of July, 1998, I was in- stalled as the second pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish. The social hall and kitchen had just been completed along with the administration wing. Since Fr. Leo had retired for health reasons, it was just Fr. Fred Schroeder and me on the pastoral staff. The parish was considerably smaller in those latter years of the last century, but major changes were in store as we entered the third millennium of Christianity. We soon had Fr. Tony Levi and then Fr. Brian Dudzinski as the parish infrastructure began to respond to the demands of our growing family. The parking lots were expanded with a new east entrance on 106th Street. The Parish Life Center and a new Rectory were completed by 2005 and more recently the new Ministry Center and larger social hall. Now the campus is under one roof that no longer leaks. But we are not about to sit back and just enjoy the ride. The challenges of this new century are compelling us to look toward a future that is ripe for a renewed sense of missionary discipleship.

The growth of St. Elizabeth Seton has been the result of thousands of hours of devotion and service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our parish is poised to embark on the next stage of our mission to make disciples, baptize and teach. We have the support of a great staff and a host of committed volunteers. At the end of this month we shall expand our pastoral staff with the addition of two more priests. Fr. Hilary has been staying with us over the last couple summers as he pursues his doctorate in theology. His time at the university in Rome is nearly completed, and he will be joining us as a full-time associate priest. We shall also be welcoming another priest from India, who has degrees in theology and communication. Both Fr. Hilary and Fr. Joseph will be involved in the pastoral and sacramental ministry of the parish along with Fr. John, Deacon Bill and Deacon Bob. This is like a dream come true for our parish to provide the kind of sacramental ministry to our hospitals and nursing homes, not to mention our educational and spiritual enrichment. I shall be working directly with our new priests to help them become more familiar with our culture and our unique Midwestern accent. Our parish is becoming quite international in character and our clergy will reflect this universal mark of the Church. As a native corn-fed Hoosier, born and bred in the briar patch, I’m excited to have this opportunity to learn and grow from the new perspectives and experiences of international clergy. We shall all be enriched as our parish continues to welcome the stranger as ambassadors of Christ. Now I find myself as the minority in an increasingly diverse Church – and that’s not such a bad place to be…not bad at all!