Follow-Up and the Week in Review

Last week I posted a survey here (if you haven’t seen it, check out last week’s article at  So far, fifteen people have completed the survey.  I will leave the survey open for another week and then post the results here.  So far the comments are good and encouraging.

This week was a short week for many with the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.  I did get to relax some in the afternoon for the holiday but first I said Mass at Calvary Cemetery and then made two trips to the hospital before noon.  The first trip was planned from a call on Sunday.  When I went the first time, I thought about checking to see if there were any other parishioners there but I decided not, so I could take some time to rest on the holiday.  I should have checked the list because less than an hour after leaving the hospital I was going back for an emergency.  I’m glad I went the second time because the person died within a couple of hours.  I got plenty of rest in the afternoon.  God provides.

This week had all the normal things of parish life ranging from daily Mass to a funeral and evening meetings.  This week is also final preparation to present our new Strategic Planning for the School next week.  We are putting together a great presentation outlining our goals and plan to make sure we work to ensure the future of our school and reverse the declining enrollment.  If you live in the area and are interested in Catholic Education Pre-K through sixth grade, the presentation is Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00 p.m. in the school gym.

The other “extra” item of the week is continuing the hiring process for a new Pastoral Associate.  Our current Pastoral Associate, Sr. Edna Slyck, is retiring June 30th.  We will have a retirement party for her after the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, June 30th.  For the last two weeks, the interview team I assembled has been interviewing applicants to find the right candidate.

When hiring a new employee, part of the challenge is always defining what the “right candidate” would be like.  Prior to last year, I had not interviewed anyone in my life.  Shortly before my arrival at Immaculate Conception, I was part of the hiring for our Director of Finance and Administration.  This year we are hiring both a new school Principal (to be announced soon) and a Pastoral Associate (also to be announced in the coming days).

In finding the “right candidate” there are always questions of their education and work experience.  In ministry, it is also very important to know how they interact with other people.  Then, I have to ask myself ‘is this someone I can work with.’  These are all important questions but there is one more question that must be asked, “Who does God want us to hire?”

While we are still finalizing the hiring of the school Principal and the Pastoral Associate, I believe that in all of these hirings, God has provided direction to show us who to hire.  The way some of the candidates came to us because of circumstances in their own lives and the way circumstances played out for us “screams” to me this is what God wants.  Nothing could be more important for me.

God provides! Thank you God!


Fr. Jeff

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