Last weekend was a mix of sadness and of joy—just like all of life.  I was privileged on Saturday morning to concelebrate the Mass of Christian Burial for Robert Conway, father of our Pastoral Council chair, Sean Conway, at Nativity Church in Pleasant Ridge. The church was packed; in fact, the parking lots were all full and one had to drive blocks to find a place to park. Each of Sean’s and Tracie’s children were involved in the liturgy along with Bob’s other grandchildren.  On behalf of St. Clement Parish, I extend our deepest sympathy to Sean and his family.  I was touched that the choir sang all five verses of “How Great Thou Art” as a Communion meditation, just as the family did around Bob’s bedside as he lay dying.


On Sunday, St. Clement Church was filled with abundant joy as 21 children received Jesus for the first time in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.  Oh my, were they awesome!  I think this was my most fun time preaching at a special liturgy like this.  The kids were very engaged! Special thanks to our second-grade teachers Lauren Clements and Devin Ankenbauer who had the children so well prepared, to Tracie Conway who works closely with them also, to Colleen Gerke, our DFF, for her coordination of the Liturgy and to our music minister, Marty Cunningham, who has such a neat relationship with the little ones and directed their choreographed singing of “We Come to Share God’s Special Gift.” Congratulations to these children and to their parents and guardians.  I pray that these children are able to receive the Lord regularly, not only here at school, but also on Sundays together with their parish family.  Moms and Dads, they need you to bring them to church, of course, and will be greatly blessed by your receiving the Lord along with them.


God feeds us all so generously.  He invites us to feed one another, especially those in the greatest need. You all continue to do that as you reach out regularly to our St. Vincent de Paul organization and to other special requests.  Our own Food Pantry serves many persons in need. I just learned that it was inspected earlier today (Tuesday) and according to coordinator Emily Mulvey, “we passed with flying colors.”  We are blessed that Emily continues to give of her time on a weekly basis in this important ministry. You will recall that Emily was Colleen’s predecessor as our Director of Faith Formation who felt called to other ministry, and yet still helps us so generously.  Thanks also to Larry Boehmer, Linda Moeller, Diane Smith, Paula Voborsky, Dave and Kathy Harcourt and Jan and Randy Johnson, our weekly, dedicated group of Monday night volunteers.  In addition to our St. Vincent de Paul outreach, St. Clement also provides “power packs” of food to qualifying students in our school. Emily just wrote: “I want to thank Mandy Geraci and Chris Wimmers for their weekly efforts in getting our Power Packs hauled up 3 flights of steps and distributed to the backpacks of our students.  We couldn't feed so many without all their awesome support!”


Deacon John and Colleen Gerke are going to be away from St. Clement from April 21-28, for a time of rest and relaxation in Puerto Morales, Mexico.  They will be living among the people of St. Joseph the Worker Parish there. John will be assisting the pastor.  These two terrific ministers have really pored themselves heart and soul into their ministerial life here at St. Clement.  Travel safely and have fun!   And continued Easter blessings to all!