Greetings In The Lord Jesus Christ
St. Mary Catholic Church is the spiritual powerhouse for hundreds of families and many more hundreds in the future to come. In my (very brief) time as your new pastor, I have seen the deep love for Jesus Christ and His Church so many of you have, not to mention the gifts and charisms you all have which build up this parish in the Lord.
Our mission is clear: that every member of St. Mary Catholic Church come to know and love our Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way; grow in maturity as an intentional disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ; become actively engaged in the full life of St. Mary’s parish; and joyfully utilize his or her gifts and charisms for the building up of the Kingdom of God and the salvation of souls in the Williamston area.
This mission is accomplished principally in a proclamation of the Word of God at Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments. Additionally, it is accomplished through efforts of evangelization, catechesis, and other programs where the Person of the Lord Jesus is encountered. To do this effectively demands that we have safe and functioning facilities (like a roof over our heads! Or working boilers!). I am so impressed by how much has already been accomplished at St. Mary. Many of you have expressed your concerns and ideas for future improvements to our facilities and programs which would make our parish a more effective instrument in the hands of our Savior. I agree, we ought to be an effective instrument in His hands, now, and in the future.
For this and many other good reasons, a process is under way, a process many of you have already expressed your willingness and readiness to begin, of a Capital Campaign to pay off our remaining debt and fund a new boiler system and air conditioning improvements for the school and parish. The Holy Spirit wants us to move forward (move the ball forward), He wants to build the Kingdom even more, and St. Mary’s beautiful and well-functioning facilities are part of that plan.
Over the past several months, the Capital Campaign Team has carefully studied what we need to so to accomplish our goal. They have developed a plan, but of course, the success of this mission depends on the parish. My request (which I am making on my knees as I type this) and my prayer, is that each parishioner takes time to pray and reflect on this endeavor. My prayer is that each of us will desire to be part of the Holy Spirit’s mission to “Build with Him.” Your gifts to the Church are very personal and are gifts directed to God the Father, a deep interior response of gratitude and love for all the Lord Jesus has done for you, most especially what He has done for you in giving Himself to you in the Eucharist.
Please prayerfully consider how the Lord Jesus is asking you to commit to Campaign so that together we can move forward in the plans He has for us in the future. Through your prayer, support, financial commitment, and your love for the Father, you unite yourselves together with your brothers and sisters in the Lord, from the very beginnings of this parish in 1868 to the present, who by their own sacrifices and efforts have made St. Mary the parish it is now, a strong Catholic presence in the Williamston and Webberville area.
Above all, pray that through the mighty intercession of St. Mary, the Mother of God, that the Holy Spirit may guide and direct all our efforts in this Capital Campaign so that all the needs of all our parishioners may be served. I commend you all and this great Campaign to the care of the Mother of God, the protection of St. Michael the Archangel, and the intercession of St. Joseph.
In Jesus Christ, and His Mother,
Fr. Mark Rutherford