Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,

It’s been quite the week+ since our last email.  I thought I’d share some of the happenings at Good Shepherd.

Confirmation

We were finally able to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation with last year’s Confirmandi.  The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis graciously welcomed us as our church wasn’t large enough.

Bishop Rivituso was kind enough to celebrate the Mass and perform the confirmations.


First Holy Communion

This past Saturday, we celebrated the First Holy Communion for Kenley Moore.  Congratulations, Kenley!  With her FHC completes First Communion class of 2020.  Congrats to all!

Note from Marya

With the celebration of Confirmation and the completion of all First Communions, we sadly yet with gratitude say farewell to Ms. Marya Pohlemier, who graciously served at Good Shepherd for eight years!  She asked me to share the following note with all of you:

Dear Families at Good Shepherd
In this crazy time of Covid-19 when we gather so infrequently, I just wanted to say a fond farewell to you and to say thanks for all your support these past eight years I was able to be with our youngsters and their parents through PSR.   When I think of you and especially the staff of catechists and aides who volunteered through the years to share their faith and their lives, I say:   “What a gift you are!”
Over the years, I had many opportunities to be in the church building.  There are several things that touched me that I will treasure.   There are two notable Good Shepherd renderings.
Number One is the stained glass window above the altar.  Of note is that the Shepherd and the sheep are all looking at one another.  That tells my heart that if we are to be decent sheep at all we must keep our eyes on Jesus and do what he says….because the Shepherd has His eyes on us in our needs and desires.
Number Two is the statue on the right.   Of note is that both the Shepherd and the sheep are not looking at one another but looking out beyond themselves.   They are reminding us as does the end of every mass, “Go, and spread the Good News.”  Of course, we all do this in our own style.  We go out as the unique person we are to be a follower of Jesus.  Keep it up!
Just one last fascinating window for me.   It’s the window with the Nativity Scene on the west side…  I’ve asked folks what they think the shepherd is offering to the Babe Jesus.   What do you think?   Best I can come up with is it’s from a shepherd, so offering what he has and is….it’s got to be a ball of wool already spun into a ball of yarn!    What do you think?
Thanks once again for your generosity, your discipleship, your fidelity.    Ms. Marya Pohlmeier

On behalf of the whole Good Shepherd family, our sincerest gratitude and promise of prayers to you, Marya!


Installation of Archbishop Rozanski

This past Tuesday saw the installation of our new shepherd, Archbishop Rozanski.  It was a privilege to be present and to welcome him on behalf of Good Shepherd.  Please keep him in your prayers, that his time with us may be abundant in the grace of Jesus Christ!  (Below is a picture of him sitting in his cathedra for the first time)


First All School Mass

Due to space limitations and COVID-19 protocols, as a school we had only been able to celebrate Mass at an individual class level.  However, this past Wednesday, with beautiful weather and outdoor spacing, we were able to celebrate our first All School Mass with a special Mass of the Holy Spirit, asking for his guidance, wisdom and courage in challenging times!

Thanks to Matt Collins, Mike Camden and Steve Heine for helping with setup that morning!

Day of Prayer for Teachers

The beginning of a school is ordinarily an exhausting and challenging time for teachers, but this is especially true this year.  Mrs. Mariann Jones spoke to this, so we gave the students a day off and gave the teachers a day of rest, prayer, and time to enjoy one another’s company.  We spent half a day at Il Ritiro with a special focus on finding Jesus in the storms.  Thanks to Paul and Brenda Bone and Debbie Landry for serving us a delicious lunch!

JeffCo Mask Mandate

You may have seen news of a mask mandate going into effect this past week, followed quickly by it’s overturn.  I don’t know what the future holds for such a mandate, but from my reading our current protocols and procedures place us safely within its guidelines either day.  We’ll stay the course for now.  Thank you all for your flexibility and adaptability!

Eucharistic Adoration

This month, we’re moving Eucharistic Adoration to the second week of September to accommodate Labor Day weekend.  Signups should be available soon.  Please be generous in signing up… last month we almost had to suspend the last half due to people not signing up until the day of.  Thanks!  This is a beautiful opportunity to practice “where you look is where you go”!

11am Mass time change?

I mentioned at Masses a couple weekends ago about the idea of moving the 11:00am Sunday Mass back to 11:30am.  This would allow extra time for several things:

  • Sunday PSR cohort (families could attend either 9am or 11:30am)
  • Fr. Buehler’s presence at RCIA
  • Adult faith formation classes
  • More time for Hospitality Sundays
  • Monthly Sunday confession times

Some of you offered feedback (mostly positive, some reserved), but I didn’t get much feedback overall.  This is a consideration I take seriously, so I’d like to get more feedback this week.


“We” or “I”?

You may have seen in the news this past week about a priest in Detroit discovering that he was invalidly baptized, and so he had to receive Baptism, Confirmation, First Holy Communion, and Ordination “again”.  What was the big deal?  We believe that the words Jesus Christ gave to us have power to them, and so we have been very careful over the 2000 year history of our faith to stay true to Christ.  Sometimes this is misunderstood, and so well meaning clergy can do something they feel is pastoral, which unfortunately strays from what Jesus gave us and invalidates the sacrament.  In the case of the priest mentioned above, since Baptism is the gateway to all other sacraments, his invalid baptism invalidated all other sacraments, which then invalidated many other sacraments he attempted to minister since he wasn’t actually a priest.

What happened?  In this particular case, a well meaning clergy baptized with the formula “We baptize in the name of the Father… “, instead of “I baptize…”.   What’s the difference?  The ‘we baptize’ was meant to make people feel included by giving expression to the communal nature of the celebration.  A beautiful desire, but it neglects the deeper reality that no matter who is performing the baptism or who else is present, it is always Jesus Christ who baptizes for he alone has the power to do so.  This is what is signified in the formula “I baptize”… the minister of the sacrament is acting in persona Christi, or ‘in the person of Christ.’.

“Father, isn’t this all just a bunch of legalistic rigorism, and God will sort it all out in the end?”  God’s mercy is abundant, but we see time and again in Scriptures that our Lord calls us to give our best in our liturgical and sacramental practices as an opportunity to love him… to not take him or his words for granted.  True love always asks, “what more can I do?”!

If you know of anyone who was baptized with the formula “we baptize” or any words other than “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, please let me know so we can get things straightened out.

Away for Weekend

Lastly, I will be away this weekend.  I found there was an opportunity to get away for some much needed RnR, so I’ll be taking a ‘staycation’ at a nearby rectory.  Please welcome Fr. Ed Stanger, pastor of Holy Infant in Ballwin, as he covers Masses this weekend!

That is all for now.  Let’s keep one another in prayer!

Gratefully in Christ,
Fr. Buehler

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