First of all, I apologize to anyone I may have hurt during the time I’ve been here. I know Sr. Jolene and I did not always agree on how to move Nativity forward and I wish the transition could have been smoother for both of us. Before she left for Racine, I spoke to Sr. Jolene about the difficulties we struggled with over these past years and she nodded in agreement. I also promised her that I would do my best for Nativity and reminded her that it may not be the way she would have done it, but it would be my best. And that’s what I will offer you…my best as we move forward.
For those who may be wondering about the Parish House and the dogs, two of the dogs have found wonderful homes. Dakota, the black lab, has a temporary home, but is in need of a permanent home. Sister’s family and her Racine Dominican family have taken most of her things and items that were left behind will be offered to parishioners. Sr. Mary Watson has also left and will be living at the mother house in Racine. With an empty Parish House, I have asked Horace, one of the alumni from the ROPE program, to move into the House. Horace is a wonderful man and will be an asset to Nativity. My hope is that I will be able to split my time between Nativity and St. Charles and stay for a few nights each week in Nativity’s Parish House.
My friends, we may think our “roots’ in Nativity are about our past glories as a flourishing parish with a grade school and a high school, but our roots are so much deeper. Our roots are in Christ. He is our foundation and our source of life. Maybe that’s why we’re here together, shaken up by all the events of these last years and being asked what we hold on to when much is taken away from us. If we don’t hold on to Christ as our foundation, we will certainly fall. My prayer is that we will go to our “roots.’ We will go to our beloved Christ who brings life out of death and hope out of the most desperate situations. He will bring life to us if we allow it!
In Colossians 3, Paul says, “Because you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive any grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Over all these virtues, put on love, which binds the rest together and keeps them perfect.”
Paul’s words are my prayer for us at Nativity. In these months ahead, may we allow these words to sink deep into our hearts. May we be quick to forgive and slow to anger one another. May we laugh more and criticize less. May we just find joy in being in one another’s company. May we hold each other with deep reverence.