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A Loving Farewell...
Goodbyes are never easy, especially when we aren't ready to let go. But sometimes, when these transitions are imposed on us, it is because God is asking us to embrace something new, something different, even if largely unknown to us at the time. This seems to me to be our case.
Lauretta and I (Lisa) have worked together for all of her years at St. E's. We've been through it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. And we have been each of those things to each other. (Let's be honest - we are not perfect and stuff comes up.) But at the end of the day, we had a common mission and a common motivation: for the good of the community because we love the community.
My memory isn't great, but I know there are countless stories to tell about Lauretta's faith, commitment, humor, and perseverance. Not to mention the amazing and sometimes crazy things we have seen, heard, dealt with, and prayed over and about. We always say, we should write a book about the happenings at St. E's. Lauretta always adds, "Except we would have to sell it as fiction, because no one would believe us." She is right about that!
Lauretta and I were providentially paired to work at St. E's. We could not be more different from each other, and yet we provided a good balance for the work of the church. We supported each other in various ways over the years, as both the church and our own needs changed. She for me, and I for her.
I know for me, that continuing on in my role won't ever be the same. Who will listen to me verbally process accounting entries and smile and nod at me? Who will serenade me from across the hall, practicing for a special Mass? Who will make me laugh at the ridiculousness of things that I tend to take too seriously? Who will provide the balance?
It is fitting that this Sunday's readings are about Mary and Martha. I am very much a Martha, and well, that leaves Lauretta very much a Mary. Lauretta is a great listener. And an ultimate prayer warrior. She can make someone laugh in the midst of their worst days of grief. And over the years, she has provided thoughtful nuance to Liturgies and Hospitality that have left their moving and happy mark on the rest of us. Someone recently commented about my role at the church, that I "must be the brains of the operation." And I replied, "I don't know about that, but Lauretta is undeniably the heart."
Fare thee well, my colleague and my friend. God has plans for you yet.
The Story and You
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
My husband Ben just came in from the garage, grinning. “Well, that was harder than I thought, but it’s all ready to go.” Our housemate had asked him for help with her car, and he spent the morning changing the oil and the air filter. He is never more content than when doing something mechanical, or something that requires physical strength, for someone else. He’s a Martha.
Except that, now, showered and relaxed, he’s back in his chair, reading his book on Saints in Church History. We won’t see him for the rest of the day. He’s a Mary, for sure.
We all are both, aren’t we? We love to serve. Thank God for the Marthas who make every event---a funeral, a wedding, a baptism---so comfortable for the rest of us. They make delicious and nourishing food magically appear, and then just as mysteriously disappear when we are finished. Parish life as we experience it would disappear without them.
Those same Marthas, though, are the ones in the front row for any scripture classes. When there’s an opportunity to be Mary, they’re the first ones there.
I have a priest-friend who shared this about the whole Martha/Mary pendulum. After giving a talk at a parish retreat, he would help gather the dishes, and stay in the kitchen washing them up as people were leaving.
When he was praised for this service he wished he could tell the truth: Do you know what a relief it is to have some quiet, after talking all day? I’m an introvert, and I’m exhausted. Please give me some dishes to wash.
He’s a Mary-Martha. I’ll bet you are too.
What service do you render, cheerfully, to help strengthen your parish?
Kathy McGovern©2022 www.thestoryandyou.com
A 'Redda Celebration!
Lauretta has long been the heart of our community and her departure evokes a lot of emotions and memories. As she moves on, we plan to gather as a community after Mass on Sunday, July 31st to honor her service and celebrate her sass, um spirit!
There will be a gift table for the option of farewell gifts, and a gratitude box for the option of writing a personal note to Lauretta. There may even be a mic available for those willing to offer an anecdote or two recounting stories about Lauretta...
We are going with a red, white and hearts of all colors theme - so please feel free to dress accordingly!
If anyone would like to help plan for the festivities, please contact Lisa ASAP: email@example.com
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 at Morisson Park n' Ride across from Phillips 66 at the exit of HWY 470 at 9:00 am. We can carpool to the trailhead from there.
Prepared prayers and time for sharing are built into our hike.
At this late date, if you are planning on joining the hike, please email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Looking forward to tomorrow!
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be remiss not to thank Liz Barreca for her leadership, enthusiasm and grace as she assumed the responsibilities of Religious Education Coordinator at St. Elizabeth of Hungary this past year. We will miss her lovely spirit in this role, but grateful she may remain a member of the community.
In her short time with us, Liz restarted the Good Shepherd program, rebuilt a Youth Group for our teens, held a Book Study for adults, organized an inter-generational hike, and walked with our kids through First Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation and RCIA! That is a lot in a short amount of time.
Thank you, Liz for your faith, determination and inspiration.
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Many of you may not know we hired an Event Coordinator this past year too. So thank you to Fiona Walsh for her assistance with weddings and concerts these last months.
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One last and BIG Thank You to Nicki Pine, who so generously gave of her time to lead nearly ALL of the Good Shepherd classes this past year. Nicki has provided a safe, inclusive, fun and loving space for our little ones for years. But this year, we would not have been able to offer the program so consistently without her support. Thank you!
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 below. 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 May 2022.
Note: At the time of this publication, the file could not be updated. Please check back after Sunday for the snapshot through May 2022, and again at the end of the month for Fiscal Year End data. Thank you.
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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 **
On 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!
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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
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