After a couple of years because of Covid, it is good that Fr. Sleeva is back staying with us for the summer.  We were talking of when he was first invited here by the-then-pastor Fr. Vince Becker and it has to be 35+ years of making his way to St. Mary’s each year.   That means, cumulatively, he has been  serving at St. Mary’s longer than Fr. Bryan, Fr. Ryan and myself combined!  It is also good that Fr. Bryan has been able to be more present to us as he begins transitioning out of his assignment with the North Buffalo Family of Parishes. 

God’s timing is good, as their presence here has allowed me to embark this past week on an opportunity to receive a certification on Church Management along with 7 other priests from our Diocese and other clergy from around that country that was offered at Villanova University in Philadelphia, PA.  I took an extra couple of days to check out some of our nation’s historical sites while in the area and do some sightseeing.  Again, God’s timing was good as this moved right into my already scheduled vacation time, where this coming week I am in the Adirondack’s to retreat a little bit, do some camping and hiking, enjoy the fresh air of being out in beautiful creation, perhaps do a little spiritual reading and retreating, and hit reset during these summer months.  I hope to come back with some stories to share, and I look forward to being with everybody soon enough.

Coming up next week is the Parish’s Feast Day on August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.  As we have done, we are scheduling a Day of Mercy leading into this day, beginning with our regularly scheduled 6pm Mass on Sunday, August 14th.  From then on, there will be 24 hours of adoration and a priest available to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation with you.  There will be other times of prayer throughout the day.  This will conclude with our parish’s feast day celebration with a 6pm Mass outdoors and a picnic to  follow!  Please see elsewhere in the bulletin for details about how to participate in our upcoming festivities. 

This year is special, moreover, because we are moving closer to our 175th anniversary as a parish.  As you know, we have a theme each year leading up to the actual anniversary of the parish.  This past year, our theme has been, “I am a disciple” in which we explored what discipleship means and how we have been living it out.  The feast day will serve as a transition to our next year of preparation with next year’s theme being, “The impact of discipleship.”  Indeed, St. Mary’s has a rich history in which the lives of so many has been impacted by the grace of God.  We want to celebrate that history, and capture how being a disciple truly is different and makes a difference in the lives of people still today.  Thank you for being a part of something special here at St. Mary’s.


Fr. Luke