GREETINGS FROM SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE (SPA)!
A while ago at my priests’ prayer group, Fr. Bernie asked me how I wasdoing at my new parish. My answer was, “I’m well, and I’m blessed to beat this faith-filled community.” When I was driving back to Gurnee,I reflected on that question for a moment. I recalled that the first monthswere challenging due to the newness of place, staff, people andresponsibilities I’ve encountered at Saint Paul the Apostle. Nowadays, Ienjoy enormously the actuality that I am at SPA. I still need tons of timeto adjust, learn and grow into my new parish.
Although, I call SPA my new home, Saint Anne, and especially you, will be always close to my heartbecause I learned at your parish what it means to be a people priest, how to appreciate each other’s quirksand positive facets of our lives. I want to thank you for that! And I’d like to thank your parish leadership,staff and especially Fr. Bernie for friendship, support and teaching me how to be a pastor.Talking about being a pastor … hmmm where to start?!I’m so honored to be entrusted with such a loving, generous, and devoted community. For sure, there areno two days that are the same, and there are challenging days of dealing with many more pastoralresponsibilities. By the way, now I know what Fr. Bernie meant when he told me so many times to “enjoybeing a prince when you are an associate pastor, because when you become a pastor, it becomes anotherball game.”
Nevertheless, there are many many more good days. Days when I can see the fruits of God’s graceworking through so many dedicated SPA’s ministers. I’d like to mention just three of the initiatives Icompleted with their help since I came to Gurnee: all 20 staff members have their comprehensive jobdescriptions; together with leaders and heads of ministries, I introduced to the parish the commissionmodel of the parish leadership at SPA’s first Leadership Summit, and my first little campaign of foundingfunds for new XXI-century-style votive candle stands.As you can see, there are a lot of responsibilities and pastoral duties to be grasped, but I’m trying to take agood Chronos approach and Kairos speed for each.May God continue to shower you with his amazing grace.
Pastor of Gurnee Mills, Great America and SPAFr. Chris D. Ciastoń