Pastor's Column for February 4, 2018

At our all school Mass at the end of January (we have these about twice a month), we baptized Ava Graewe into our Catholic family. And last Sunday we also baptized Chase McCoy and Della Shadd. Ava and Chase are both students in our school and both were as excited about being baptized as we were to have them receive that first Sacrament of Initia- tion. So as we welcome them we also welcome Della who is a member of the Shadd family from our parish who have a long history here at St. Leo’s. It’s always a wonderful thing to baptize God’s children and to welcome them into the Church.

Of course on the other side of baptism are the prayers the Church offers for her children whom we pray are being born into eternal life. We were sad to say goodbye to Mary Jane Funta and to Terry Olenick whose funerals were held last Saturday. Mary Jane turned 90 this past year and would al- ways stop to say hello to me at the end of Mass. She loved going to Mass. She had 3 children and would call on the help of the Blessed Mother when raising her family. She was a PSR teacher here at St. Leo’s & involved in the pastoral care of others. She said that she longed to hear Jesus say to her at the end of her life: “Well done, good & faithful servant!” I have no doubt she has heard those words.

Terry & Betty Olenick were married here at St. Leo’s but in our Parish Center, not in our church. That’s because the church was undergoing renovations at the time. Terry went to our parish school here at St. Leo’s and so has a life-long his- tory here. He and Betty would open their home to family & friends who needed a place to stay from time to time. Betty and I prayed the last rites for Terry in the hospital and he had family members with him when he died. We pray for Terry and for Betty that they may both find God’s peace until they meet again.

This past Tuesday we celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for Judy Bizjak. She was described by her family as “loving, kind & generous” and had an incredible zest for life. She not only enjoyed her own life but reached out to others so that they could share in her happiness as well. There were many virtues that were part of Judy’s life and she will be missed especially by her 4 children, 2 sisters & brother. We continue to remember her in our prayers as well.

When attending a wake for a parishioner, I always pick up a holy card at the funeral home after signing the register. I thought it might be helpful to make a copy of these in the bulletin so that you might cut it out in remembrance of our deceased parishioners and use it to remind you to pray for them. You’ll see the first of these in today’s bulletin.