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Pastor's Corner

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Knock, knock … parishioner visits coming soon

Knock, knock … It makes you want to say, “Who’s there,” doesn’t it? Like: “Knock, knock … Who’s there? ... Orange … Orange who? ... Orange ya’ glad it’s Jesus?”

While I’m not interested in talking about jokes, I am interested in letting you know that fellow parishioners will be “knock … knocking” on your door this June.

In my time as pastor I have come to understand that there are many things that belong to the “DNA” of St. Francis parish: commitment to adoration, frequent use of confession, high attendance at daily Mass, just to name a few. But there is another part of the “DNA” of our parish: the deep memory of home visits from years ago.

I myself remember my parents being visited by fellow parishioners in our house when I was a child. And here I am, nearly 30 years later, still able to recall a simple brief visit from another parishioner. Home visits are memorable and impacting experiences that communicate an essential message: “You are important to us.”

Jesus himself knew the power of home visits. Luke 10:1 recounts that “the Lord appointed 72 others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.” And he instructed to them, “To whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household’” (10:5).

Did you ever consider that Jesus himself instituted home visits? Just like Jesus sent 72 disciples to homes ahead of him, so too St. Francis parish is sending parishioners to your home on my behalf. You see the Church clearly tells its priests, “A pastor is to visit families.” But how could I possibly visit 2,700 households on my own? So I have asked other parishioners to help me visit homes.

These visits are very simple and will not take much time. They will happen during the last three weeks of June. They simply include delivering a packet of information, a small gift and a kind hello. Their primary purpose is to personally contact every household in the parish in a hospitable and welcoming way.

I can’t express to you how wonderful these home visitations are! Jesus himself organized his disciples into groups to visit homes and to wish peace upon the home. Home visits are memorable and friendly. They are the way in which I, as the pastor of St. Francis, can have contact with every home by sending fellow parishioners on my behalf.

So, in a certain way, I guess you could say this is the parish saying, “Knock, knock … Who’s there … St. Francis … St. Francis who? … St. Francis parish just saying ‘hello.’” Would you please welcome these visits when you are contacted in June? Thank you.

– Father Jarrod Lies

Father Jarrod

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