by Terry Nelson-Johnson
Sunday, June 4, 2017
This is the 18th year that I have had the privilege of hanging out at Old St. Pat’s and among her people. It has been such a rich, surprising, tender, fierce, graceful ride for which I am unspeakably grateful. Mary Oliver has a beautiful line that has always captured my imagination. I think it is particularly apropos on Pentecost, “What I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled.” One of the dimensions of my experience at Old St. Pat’s that has consistently inspired and sustained me has been the creativity, commitment, professionalism and resilience of the Staff. Allow me to “Brag on Them a Bit” — and I will bring us back to Pentecost, I promise.
The Maintenance Guys, Reggie, Cho, Andre, Victor, Erin, Michael, Issacare there event, after event, after event they show up and set up and break down; all with a certain quiet dignity and joy. Dazzling!
Katie Brandt and Bea Cunningham continue to infuse energy, challenge, and wisdom into all the facets of Family Ministry, and there are many, many facets. Dazzling!
Courtney Nichols is in the throes of finishing ALL of the coordination necessary to send our high school kids on Work Tour this summer. Kids fighting for spots in the hopes of giving a bit of themselves away for a week during the summer. Dazzling!
Katie Kearns and David Philippart plan and prepare for all of our liturgies; train and schedule many, many liturgical and hospitality ministers; welcome, orient and host our many visiting clergy; and, create an environment that enhances liturgy after liturgy, after liturgy. Dazzling!
Sheila Greifhahn and her special events crew, in a fashion that is truly hard to imagine continue to make special events special, exquisite, soulful, joyful, and successful. Dazzling!
Bernadette Moore-Gibson embodies, incarnates, Pastoral Care. Bern Moore-Gibson IS pastoral care. Dazzling!
Bob Kolatorwicz is the poet laureate of our staff, has his Soul Fingerprints on most of our adult spirituality experiences, and encounters here at Old St. Pat’s. Dazzling!
Jennifer Budziak, Laura Higgins and Mark Scozzafave suffuse our liturgies with prayerful, moving, inspirational music. Impossible to imagine our liturgies without the Gift. Dazzling!
Rachel Lyons, Vince Guider and Beth Marek, each in their own unique way, invite and provoke us to remember that justice and mercy are not luxuries, but rather constitutive elements of the gospel and of our Catholic heritage. Dazzling
Fr. Tom Hurley gives a pretty mean Homily, but there is much we don’t see. All the nocturnal hospital visits; all the baptisms and weddings with ‘special’ circumstances, demanding special sensitivity; all the board meetings and the visits to second graders; ALL the ‘Hey do you have a minute’ emails. Dazzling!
Jo Ann O’Brien gets the brides to the altar (on time) and with extraordinary attentiveness, patience, and grace. Dazzling!
Lauren Kezon produces this novelette EVERY WEEK, not to mention all other aspects of our communications and media, not the least of which is the Advent of Live Streaming liturgies and other events. Dazzling!
Barbara Klemmer, Skye Darke, Lauren McCallick, Tammy Roeder, Betty O’Toole, Linda Vasquez, Janette Nunez are the glue to this Operation. They hold us together, each in their own way. Dazzling!
Keara Ette and Christine Cockman have recently assumed significant leadership positions here at Old St. Pat’s. No Small task for either of them, and we are deeply grateful. Dazzling!
Now for the promised return to Pentecost. Here is the irony and the paradox of all of the above. Martin Luther King says about church, “It’s not the place you’ve come to; it’s the place you go from.”
All of the good, talented and generous folks referred to above expend enormous amounts of energy to create ‘Good Church’, not in order for us to have a place to come to, but rather for us to have a place to go from.
Pentecost is a rich, dense, fierce, tender experience of Inspiration. It is a clarion call to spill into the streets and give the Gift that you have received, to enter into Holy Communion with all people and all of creation. Also, to the extent that the good people that I have “bragged on” above have indeed contributed to your experience of ‘Good Church’ – to your experience being Inspired – to the extent that they have indeed Dazzled you – then we are obligated and compelled to Hit the Streets!