Faith Fridays - Late Late Edition
bringing our St. Elizabeth community to your inbox.
This last weekend, Sunday, June 26th, I had the opportunity to share in person, with the help of Father Mike Rapp, some news concerning future life and ministry at St Elizabeth of Hungary. Although I wish it might have come about with greater collaboration and consultation, there are many things that I am hopeful for and excited about in this news.
After I arrived to the Cathedral and St Elizabeth of Hungary, the financial situation of St Elizabeth's was made clear to me. Owing to multiple factors, some beyond anyone's control, St Elizabeth's has very limited savings and cash flow. I was told that, if circumstances did not change, we would have no operational funding beyond 12 months. This has been shared with the parishioners on a number of occasions over the past few years. I presented this deepening concern to the leadership of the Archdiocese of Denver, and, mercifully, I discovered very quickly that no one wanted to see St Elizabeth ever close.
Simultaneously, there have been changes emerging amongst the Fraterna community, the wonderful group of consecrated women who have rented the upper floor of the old friary for the better part of 20 years and have, at times, ministered in the community. Their current living arrangement will change at the end of 2022, leaving the upper floor open for new tenants.
In the midst of all this, my own discernment and voices amongst the people at St Elizabeth's, as well some at the Archdiocese of Denver, have been openly questioning what could be done with regards to greater intentionality around campus ministry to the Auraria community. Initially, I proposed to bring a group of religious brothers and priests to the church and its mission to the community and the campus. While I had a particular group of priests in mind, which I sought to invite to live and work at St Elizabeth's, I was told that the Archbishop and his Mission Leadership Team were developing other plans.
Beginning in August, the primary pastoral care of St Elizabeth's will be assumed by Miles Christi, a group of religious priests new to the Archdiocese of Denver. With two priests of the community initially coming to Denver, Miles Christi was founded in Argentina almost 30 years ago by a now laicized priest, who had Father (and then Archbishop) Jorge Bergoglio as his spiritual director--now better known as Pope Francis. Theirs is a traditionally Jesuit spirituality and vision of ministry. While the new priests will take up the direct pastoral care of St Elizabeth's, I will retain administrative oversight in my role as Rector of the Cathedral, which has St Elizabeth for its mission. My hope is that St Elizabeth's can enjoy a stability of priestly presence and direct priestly ministry for years to come, especially after the priests take up residence in the friary in January 2023. Personally, I hope that this new initiative might even allow St Elizabeth's, in the long run, to regain such financial stability so as to be elevated again to a full-fledged parish with its own priests and pastoral life.
The priests of Miles Christi will be assisted in the work of campus ministry by seven to ten young adult missionaries from FOCUS, which has the largest ministry to university students in the world. FOCUS is on over 200 campuses in the United States and has a presence in a number of countries around the world. FOCUS will be paying for a small renovation that will enable the missionaries to live on the main floor of the friary. As this would have to be closed off to respect their living space, our current staff has been at work to think creatively of spaces in the choir loft, work sacristy, etc. for groups to meet and gather. I know that this change of space will be a big sacrifice for St Elizabeth's parishioners, but I know we can get creative and that this presence of energetic young missionaries could be a great blessing to our community. Also, FOCUS had committed to contributing financially to the care of the facilities and would subsidize the presence of the priests on campus, all of which would be a boon to our community.
There are a few final points to highlight. First, financially, I am insisting that there continually be separate bank accounts maintained between St Elizabeth's and the Cathedral, as well as any other entity that is in relationship with St Elizabeth's. Lisa will remain in her position overseeing the accounts, although she will be physically based out of the Cathedral. Second, ministerially, while the focus of Saint Elizabeth's ministry will pivot more towards campus ministry this coming school year, the Archbishop himself has guaranteed the long-term presence and importance of the sandwich line. It is not going anywhere, and I hope that the missionaries and Auraria students are invited in and help take up care of this beautiful ministry of service to our community in need. Third, on a human level, I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to Lauretta and Liz for their service to this community. Lauretta's responsibilities will be assumed by the incoming priests, while parishioners wishing to participate in religious education would be graciously welcomed into the programming at the Cathedral. More information will be forthcoming about how to honor and celebrate our staff in this time of transition.
Both Father Mike and I are committed to seeing St Elizabeth move well through this time of transition. Although it will be more limited, we look forward to being on-site and amidst the community in the years to come on certain occasions. If there's ever anything we can do to help speak into this transition and address any concerns or answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.
Calling upon the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, may God guide us in this time and and bring great graces to bear in the midst of this wonderful community of faith!
The Story and You
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Is there anyone you know who has remained a joyful, committed Catholic throughout their lives because they are terrified of hell? I don’t.
Some sociologists note an “axial moment” in the lives of believers. The first stage, represented in many Old Testament texts, and a few New Testament (like today’s gospel) is this: an angry, vengeful God is out to get me, and my whole life must be in service to keeping this scary God happy.
But look how the axis turns in that stunning Isaiah text: “Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts!” (66:11) This is another image of God the sacred scriptures give us: God wants to be like your mom. God wants to be your comforter, your nurturer. Draw near to this God.
And, of course, we have drawn near, and taken huge comfort in the God who loves us personally, who knows our name, who is with us to the end of time.
We are now in the third axial age. We respect and take great notice of the scriptures that warn us of hell. We will not be like those who have the gospel preached to them but turn away. We dread a judgment worse than what happened to Sodom. But we have also internalized, and utterly believed, that God loves us like a mother loves her child. And now we take that joy into the world, remembering Teresa of Àvila:
Christ has no body on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks out to the world.
In what ways does the image of God as a nurturer and comforter strengthen your faith?
Kathy McGovern©2022 www.thestoryandyou.com
Tom Reck Retires from Sandwich Line
For some summer fun, we will be hiking at Lair o' the Bear Park just west
of Morrison on Saturday, July 16th. This is a 2.7 mile easy hike suitable
for most abilities. We will meet in the parking lot at 9:00 am and start
walking promptly at 9:15. Prepared prayers and time for sharing are built
into our hike. Please sign up on the sheets in the back of the church, or
with the Sign-UP Genius link that will be published in Faith Fridays.
Looking forward to July 16th!
Click the bar button below to sign up for the hike. See you on the trail!
Sandwich Line News
Friday's Crew is in need of a new soup maker! If you have been wanting to hone your soup making skills, or want to show them off - now is your chance!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and/or in need of more information.
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Have you heard something amusing or poignant on the line?
Share your experiences here!
Submit to email@example.com
On June 19th, we were short-handed on Sandwich Line. Linda was apparently a one-person crew! But, she called in the help of her husband, David and son, Anthony on Father's Day! And two attendees of Sunday Mass came forward to help too: Nick and Kencha. It was so great to have this impromptu support! Thank you all so much.
Sandwich Line takes a lot of effort to coordinate, and a lot of cooperation to make it happen. It is such a blessing that so many are willing to step up and in to ensure that our guests get a meal each day.
While the original budget drafted for Fiscal Year 2023 was approved by the Finance Council back in May, the budget has since been revamped considerably given the pending changes described in Father Sam's letter above. This new budget will be reviewed by the Finance Council in July.
Click the button bar below to see a snapshot of the financial health of St. Elizabeth of Hungary through March 2022.
ONLINE: Start or increase contributions today through our electronic giving program. It takes just a few minutes to set up a recurring giving plan. To learn more, go to NEW! Online Giving.
ON YOUR PHONE: Download the VANCO MOBILE app to your phone from your app store for easy and efficient Mobile Giving. Search for "St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church" - and set up your profile. Simple!
THROUGH TEXT: Just text the amount of your donation (whole numbers only) to 844.975.3611. You will get a link back to which you connect to complete your donation. Fast!
On-Site Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 3pm
Business Manager - Lisa M. McMahon
On-Site T/Th: 9:30am - 2:30pm
NOTE: Staff (above) Meeting at Cathedral: Thursday from 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Maintenance - Trey Turner
On-Site Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 2pm
Safety Associates on duty 9am -12pm:
Sunday and Monday: Lisa McMahon
Tuesday through Saturday: Trey Turner
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Special for Rockies Fans
You Julia Greeley fans who are also Colorado Rockies fans have the opportunity to cheer on your favorite baseball team while helping support Julia's Guild, which works to spread the good news about Denver's Angel of Charity.
Here are upcoming Rockies games where you can get $40 lower level tickets for only $33 and support the Guild at the same time:
Saturday, July 16 vs Pirates @ TBD
Sunday, July 31 vs. Dodgers @ 1:10 pm
Tuesday, Aug. 9 vs. Cardinals @ 6:40 pm
Sunday, Aug. 14 vs D-Backs @ 1:10 pm (This is also Faith Day)
Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Giants @ 6:40 pm
Friday, Sept. 23 vs. Padres @ 6:10 pm**
**This is the fireworks game on the first base side
For more details, contact Mary Leisring at 720-352-4995.
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Everyone who receives this newsletter is invited to send in your own stories, pictures, anecdotes, or messages - or propose a new section for content. We would love to hear from you!
As of March 2022
At this time, St Elizabeth will maintain distribution of the Body of Christ only.
As for attending mass and programs at St. Elizabeth, you are encouraged to wear a mask.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church
To make an online donation: click the blue Online Giving button at http://stelizabethdenver.org/
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