Fr. Juan at the Memphis Gala

It was quite a great opportunity to be at the Memphis Gala on Thursday, September 25, in Tennessee. The Dominican Order is about to celebrate 175 years of continued ministry at Saint Peter’s Church in downtown Memphis. We are thankful for our presence in that great southern city. It was a gift to see the support of many parishioners, friends, and benefactors who joined the friars at Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant for the fund raising evening. Fr. Tom Condon, our provincial, the four friars presently assigned to Memphis, two of our student brothers from St. Louis, our vocation director, and myself were delighted to welcome the efforts of many generous benefactors. We had the best attendance and received the largest contributions to date. Praise the Lord!

On a personal level, at the Gala I was glad to meet Mrs. Laura Robinson -a life time friend of our beloved fr. Joe Konkel. We shared several memories about him, especially the many times they went “as a family with Joe” to Destin, FL. I said to Laura that I always heard him speak about The Robinsons with the fondest regards. It touched me to see Laura’s daughter, Beth, as a volunteer for the event; when I was introduced to her and she found out that I lived with him at Holy Rosary for the last 7 years of his life, she said to me: “You were so lucky.” Indeed I was; fr. Joe was more than a mentor, he was a joyful friar and a gentle role model of Dominican life that I will always treasure.

As I visited the columbarium at St. Peter’s where fr. Joe’s ashes were placed to rest, I asked the Lord to inspire me to be a bit more like fr. Joe -always ready to serve others, always with a smile on his face.

In the Risen Christ,

fr. Juan, O.P.

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Our Pastoral Council

I wish to thank everyone who participated in the September 13–14 parish assemblies. Even though I attended seven assemblies in a single weekend—one on Saturday night and six on Sunday—I felt exhilarated by the experience. I heard many affirmations about what the friars and the staff are doing right as well as many insightful responses about what the parish needs to do for the future.

The pastoral council met last Wednesday night and will continue meeting in the weeks ahead to draft a pastoral plan for our parish. This plan will include a mission statement, several three- to five-year goals, and many objectives to achieve those goals. The responses from the assemblies will play a major role in shaping the parish’s pastoral plan. Other factors that will be taken into consideration are 1) preaching, since Holy Rosary Parish is a Dominican parish run by Dominican friars, who dedicate their lives to preaching the word of God; 2) the archdiocesan pastoral plan, since Holy Rosary Parish is a part of the archdiocese; and 3) Marian devotion, since our parish is dedicated to Mary’s honor and fosters devotion to her.

The pastoral council plans to disseminate a draft of the mission statement and goals to parishioners on the weekend of October 25–26 and to ask you to sign up to work on objectives for those goals when we have our second round of assemblies on November 8–9. At the November 8–9 assemblies, the pastoral council will seek your approval of the mission statement and goals and then ask you to suggest objectives to achieve those goals. The council hopes to release the entire plan to the parish with its mission statement, goals, and objectives by next January with the aim of putting the plan into action at that time.

We are engaged in an exciting process by which we, the members of Holy Rosary Parish, are naming for ourselves who are we and what we want we to be about. I ask that you keep the process in your prayers as we move along. May Our Lady of the Rosary intercede for us.

Br. Ian

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