Happy Easter, brothers and sisters!  Our 50-day celebration of this glorious feast continues undiminished.  Even on cloudy days, even when one is feeling down, even if it seems at times that everything is going to heck in a handbasket all around us, Christ is risen and Christ has destroyed the power of death. In our celebrations at St. Clement, we are trying to do all in our power to keep the Easter spirit alive.  Our glorious music at the Sunday liturgies makes that so apparent. And your generous contributions to the Easter flower appeal and a kind gift from a donor will enable members of our Worship Commission to keep the church looking alive and beautiful.  In a spirited meeting last evening (Monday), in which we evaluated our Holy Week celebrations, we talked about the kinds of flowers we can get that will add color and freshness to the environment for the remaining weeks leading up to Pentecost, the climax of the Easter season.


            Pentecost is just a month away, June 9th.  Our parish tradition is to choose new Pastoral Council members on that day.  Actually, we have been trusting the Holy Spirit to select names from among those who have been nominated by parishioners and who have expressed a willingness to serve. We will replace three members who are completing their three-year terms.  “The Council is a consultative group that is led by the pastor and charged with prayerfully discerning parish needs, setting pastoral priorities, and empowering            parishioners to participate in the mission of Christ. Together with the pastor and the parish staff it charts the future of the parish.” (from the Council Constitution)  So, if a member of the Council approaches you to consider putting your name up for election, won’t you prayerfully discern whether you can share your gifts in this way. There will be an opportunity for nominated individuals to learn more about the commitment they would be making. The Council meets once a month, except in July.


            This week, five parishioners and I will be participating in the Amazing Parish Conference taking place at the Cincinnati Convention Center. Archbishop Schnurr has strongly  encouraged pastors and parishes to participate. In a letter to pastors, he wrote: “The  Amazing Parish Conference is about assisting pastors to become the leaders they are called to be in bringing about                the important work of meeting the needs of a changing culture and      environment.”  It’s about a team of persons helping the pastor be better at managing the parish as an organization. The parishioners whom I have asked to join me are Lauren Clements, Sean Conway, Deacon John and Colleen Gerke and Dr. Marian Schwab.  I am grateful to these individuals for the commitment they are making, which will continue well beyond this week’s conference.  The funds to cover the conference are coming from the portion of our Capital Campaign—currently we’ve collected $26,000 over our $900,000 goal, and gifts continue to come in—allocated for youth and young adult ministry. Won’t you please keep us all in prayer?  I look forward to learning a lot!

                        Finally, Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!  Undoubtedly, I could learn a lot about management from you!  You surely manage with love—the best way to achieve a goal.  Fr. Jim and I will bless you at Masses this weekend.  Pope John Paul I memorably stated once during his short papacy: “God is our Father; even more God is our Mother.”  Amen to that.  Alleluia! Alleluia!