In this Sunday’s gospel, the second Sunday of Easter, we hear Jesus tell his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Well over 30 years ago, Ben and I heard this same call to ministry in family life.  We began by volunteering for marriage prep and it grew from there. It has been the source of much joy, and a deepening of our love for God, one another and family. It has also challenged us to live our sacrament of marriage more faithfully. Having been given the task of coordinating family life ministry here at S. Francis about 5 years ago, has been for me, a privilege and one graced with many blessings.

 As I take leave of my position in Family Life,        May 1st and assume the new role of coordinator of evangelization, I want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the many dedicated parishioners with whom I have ministered these past five years. You too have answered Jesus’ call to ministry. Often I am asked, “How do you do it all?”  None of it would have been possible without the support of all our volunteers and collaboration from the pastoral staff.  I want to acknowledge all of you for the commitment you have made to this ministry and our parish community. It is impossible to name everyone individually since it could easily take the entire bulletin.  Nonetheless, I do want to thank you all and especially the ministry leaders for their leadership and support.  There are so many others who have helped in the various ministries of Family Life as well as the Diversity Initiative. Know that I am most grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you in ministry.

AAMEN Leon Cooke
Adoption Ministry Marie Kaczynski
Baptism Prep Regina & Bill McCrorie
Diversity Alberto Lopez
Marriage & Family Enrichment Steve & Ceci Becker
Marriage Prep Workshop Theresa & Mark Baumgartner
Men’s Ministry   William Strickland & Tom Byrnes
Special Needs   Heather Lisk & Karen Ondejko
Wedding Directors         Julie Fuell
Women’s Network Marlys Varga & Susan Yurcak
Young Adults     Sarah Kuszaj & Elizabeth Henry

There are two others whom I would like to acknowledge and thank for their support, and without whom I could never have accomplish the many facets of this office – Maria Lynch, the Administrative Assistant for Family Life and my dear spouse, Ben Whitehouse.  Maria has been my right hand person for the last few years, always looking for ways to better organize me and the management of the day to day operations of the ministry. But more than that, Maria has become a dear friend. We’ve shared many years together.  Thank you, Maria for your immeasurable support and help. You too have answered Jesus’ call!

Ben had supported me and assisted in facilitating many of the marriage and family events – far beyond the call of duty. He has occasionally had to remind me that he has another job on staff. We’ve tried our best to respond to Jesus’ call to ministry. It has certainly strengthened our own marriage and family and yet required sacrifice and sorrow at times. Like Thomas, we needed to be touched by the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion in order to know his resurrection.

 Thanks to all of you – those named and those un-named, who have been such an important part of my ministry here.  May God continue to bless you and your families with his peace and all good things!   

Gladys Whitehouse

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