Coady 8/26/18

This week our new bishop, Gerald L Vincke, was ordained in Salina.  The Holy Spirit had to spread out a wide circle (Michigan) to find us the perfect fit.  Of course, he will have to respond to that call wholeheartedly, and we will have to continue to pray for and be open to his leadership.  From now on, we will mention his name is every Eucharistic Prayer at Mass.  Let us mean that.  Being bishop these days can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job.  We are grateful to Bishop Vincke for accepting the call and putting his life in the service of our diocese.

It has been a privilege for me to serve as diocesan administrator these past nine months, but I am also happy to pass the baton.  I am grateful to all of you for your graciousness during this time while my attention was often drawn away from the parish and toward the diocese.  You have been most forgiving.  I am particularly grateful to the parish staff, who were always willing to pick up the slack and make things work.  Of course, I will continue my duties as Director of Liturgy and Director of Lay Ministry Formation for the diocese, but I should be able now to focus more attention on this wonderful parish of ours.

~ Fr. Frank Coady

Smith, R 8/19/18

Ode To Our Garage Sale

The kids are in school;
The pool water’s stale;
It must now be time
For STM’s Garage Sale!

Our Knights load up trucks;
Their favorite sport
Is bringing in items
For the Ladies to sort.

Faith-filled volunteers
Ready the stash;
They all work so hard
To bring in some ca$h.

The proceeds are counted
Late Saturday.
Then what do they do?
They give it all away!

It’s a labor of love;
Our sisters and brothers
Dedicate their hearts
To support needs of others.

So in our Garage Sale,
Please take much pleasure.
After all, one man’s trash
Is another man’s treasure.

~ Rick Smith, Youth Minister

Watts 8/12/18

My husband and I recently returned from vacation.  We enjoyed a relaxing few days delighting in beautiful scenery, quaint small towns, and good food.  We arrived home on Saturday and attended Mass on Sunday here at STM.  Sitting in church before Mass began, I felt the most peace I had experienced in several days.  I have great affection for this building, these pews, this altar.  Receiving Holy Communion is always a blessed occasion, but it becomes even more special when it is shared with your personal faith community.  Looking around the sanctuary I know the people I am sharing this sacred meal with.  We have a common bond in our love of Christ, our faith in the Gospels, and our willingness to share what we receive with the greater community.  The people I share the bread and wine with on Sunday inspire me to try to live my life as the hands and feet of Jesus, to challenge injustices, and stand on the side of love with those less fortunate.

I believe our church is more than doctrines.  It is a place that marks the changes in our lives:  the baptisms of our children, first communions, confirmations, weddings, and, as we did last week when we laid Fr. Werth to rest, a place to say goodbye to someone we dearly love.  It is a place to celebrate, to heal, and to transform our lives.

One of the wonderful things about a community of faith is that you find the more you give, the more you get back.  The more you contribute to the goals of the faith community, the more the community gives back to you, and then…you want to give even more!  This cycle creates a living, fruitful Body of Christ that can truly make positive changes in the lives of others.

If you are new to St. Thomas More, welcome!  You have found a dynamic faith community.  Now that you are a member, search for a way you can give of your time and talent and take ownership of this community.  If you are integrated into our community, never take it for granted.  It is the time and talent You give that makes this place special, that makes it Holy Ground.

~ Sherry Watts, K-6 Coordinator

Smith, K 8/5/18

Fr. Loren Werth
Founding Pastor
October 16, 1930—July 30, 2018

Fr. Loren Werth passed away this week.  He will be greatly missed by our parish, our diocese, and our community. We were greatly blessed for the time we had with you.  For the celebration of his golden anniversary to the priesthood, Betty Frank wrote an “Ode to Fr. Werth.”  We would like to take the opportunity to share it one last time in his memory…

Fr. Werth, we adore you, on your golden jubilee;
Fifty years of priestly service to the church community.
When he joined the seminary, he still had hair, was thin and toned.
Now much later, things have changed—his hair is going and his waist has grown.

Through the years he’s served as pastor in Norton, Washington, Mankato,
Manhattan, Concordia, Phillipsburg, Osborn, Clay Center, Hanover, and Kimeo.
Just look for his green Volkswagen,
both he and his car are classics now.

After daily Mass is over, he plays the greatest game on earth.
Playing golf is such a passion; his nickname is Father “Tiger” Werth.
Did we mention he’s from Schoenchen, Volga-German through and through.
His favorite foods are strudel, bierocks, sauerkraut, and pickles, too.

His German background has caused problems; once he went too far, we fear.
That’s the time, instead of wine, he offered up communion beer.
If you’re going to confession and our Fr. Werth is there,
expect at least ten more Hail Mary’s for making jokes about his hair.

Bald is beautiful he says.  Only perfect heads are bare.
Still you may need your sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare.
We don’t think this verse is very funny, no more bald jokes, let it go!
Call us skinhead, chrome-dome, baldy; Fr. Werth is our hero.

We at St. Thomas More are grateful that you heard the bishop’s call.
First pastor at St. Thomas More and namesake of our first hall.
In the early days at All Faith’s, the next location you would tell—
Peace Lutheran, the Holidome, even a pasture—if you missed a Sunday, you were lost as hell.

Fr. Werth, we adore you, on your golden jubilee;
Fifty years of priestly service to the church community.
Fr. Werth, you know we love you.  Why else would we tease and jest?
Thanks for fifty years of priesthood, with many more may you be blessed!

~ Kelley Smith, Music Liturgist

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