This past week I had the wonderful blessing to give a series of talks at St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers, Indiana just north of Indianapolis, for the 2014 Parish Mission. My time with the St. Louis community began over the weekend as I preached at all the Masses and presided at a few of them. The staff and community was incredibly welcoming and it was a gift to be with them.

The theme of the mission was “The Last Words of Jesus,” and although the subject matter seems like it should belong to Lent or Good Friday alone, those who were able to come to the talks quickly learned that what Jesus says from the Cross should inform and shape our whole Christian experience.

During my time at St. Louis, I was fortunate to experience a variety of events and participate in the life of the parish. On Sunday, after the last Mass (the 5:00pm, which was Mass number 5 of the weekend), I was privileged to join the parish staff for a dinner over which we got to know each other better and share a nice conversation. I celebrated the morning Mass with those who gathered daily and shared the talk of the day with those who could stay after the liturgy. On Wednesday morning I presided over and preached at the school Mass, which included students from Pre-K through 8th grade, along with some parents, teachers, and other parishioners. On the last evening, after the final talk, we had a lovely reception where I was able to chat with a number of folks at length, including my mother’s cousin who happens to be a parishioner there (small world!). Each evening the parish also had a book signing, another wonderful chance to connect with so many great people.

Despite the freezing temperatures, unusually cold I was told, the warmth of my welcome made the outside weather seem negligible! I have to thank Sandy Stanton especially, she and the other staff at St. Louis de Montfort arranged things so well that even with the occasional surprise or change of plans, the whole experience felt flawless.

The whole community at St. Louis remains in my thoughts and prayers!

Photos: Louise Firsich


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