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FAREWELL FROM FATHER RAJ

 

When Thomas More’s daughter, Margaret, visited with him in the Tower of London, she was very upset over his pending death, and he attempted to comfort her by painting a picture of life’s journey as a stagecoach ride. He explained that he was getting off today, but that she would have to continue on the coach a while longer before she would be getting off. That’s how I feel right now. We have been on a stagecoach ride together for two years, helping one another through our love, prayers, faith, and friendship. 

Now, I have to step off this coach to embark another coach to continue my journey. Of course, that means leaving you behind causing me pain and heartbreak. As I reflect on these last two years, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the gifts you have been to me in my priesthood: gifts of hope and love, gifts of generosity, encouragement and appreciation. I thank you for that and thank the Lord for all the wonderful people he brought into my life during this ride. I am truly blessed to have been able to serve at this joyful parish and I will never forget my years here at St. Walters.  I am also sure during these past two years I may have made some mistakes or I might have hurt someone by what I said or did, or I might have let you down in one way or another, or you have not seen Jesus because of me, for all these I sincerely ask your forgiveness

I am at a loss as to how to say ‘thank you’ in a way that will convey totally the feelings of gratitude I have for everyone. Though I can never repay all of those who have sustained me on this journey, I am compelled to express my gratitude to all. I could start thanking people by name, but that would go on forever, and I’d probably leave people out, so let me just say, from the bottom of my heart I am so very thankful to each and every one of you, who made me the priest that I am during my stay here St. Walters. My special thanks goes to the children who showed me Jesus and who made my life in this beautiful place an exerience of God’s love.

Before stepping out, however, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Father Mario, who was very generous to me during my stay here. My gratitude also goes out to Frs. Phil and our deacons and the staff of St. Walters, especially Linda, Liz, Maria and Donna and to all the Mass captains whom I spent so much time with on a more frequent basis. I step off this coach filled with peace knowing that you will sustain me by your prayers as I promise my prayers for you. I pray that God will bless each and every one of you with every good gift from on high. 

If anyone would like to contact me, I will be delighted to hear from you. Here below will be my email and phone number:

sunrajk@comcast.net
630-605-8813 

Thank you and God bless one and all at St. Walters!

I will miss you!
Father Raj

 

FR. PHIL'S STORY

I grew up in a small Irish farming community in Read, Ontario, in the parish of St. Charles Borromeo. Read was well known for vocations. During its 160 year history, when the population of the parish was never larger than 140 families, 18 priests (I was number 16) were ordained, and 35 women entered religious communities. I entered St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto after my senior year in high school. I was ordained on June 1, 1968 in my home parish.

Over the next 10 years I had three assignments as an associate pastor before being named the first pastor of a new parish, St. John Bosco, in Brockville Ontario. It was during my 15 years at St. John Bosco that I developed my interest, some would say a passion, for liturgy and liturgical space. The parish built a new church, the first church in the diocese to have flexible arrangements and an immersion baptismal font. Those years were some of the most enjoyable and fruitful years of my priesthood. I also learned the importance of collaborative ministry; for the work of the Church includes everybody, their gifts, their dreams and their faith. As a faith community we tried to put the vision of the Second Vatican Council into practice.  

When I left St. John Bosco in 1994, I took a sabbatical year at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley CA, enrolling in a graduate degree program in the Institute of Liturgy and Spirituality. The following year I came to Chicago to do doctoral studies at Catholic Theological Union (CTU). It was during those years (1995-1997) that I arrived at St. Walters’, having met Fr. Mac in January 1996. In the summer of that year I was hired by the Archdiocese of Chicago as the director of the new department of Art and Architecture in the Office for Divine Worship. For the next 12 ½ years I worked as the consultant and resource person for all the church building and renovation projects in the archdiocese, and directed a two year certificate program for lay ministers in liturgical studies. I was also an adjunct instructor in the Word and Worship faculty at CTU, and associate director for the national Institute for Liturgical Consultants.  

That positon was eliminated in 2009. Since then I have continued as a liturgical design consultant and speaker across the country, including projects in Houston TX and Worcester MA (both Lutheran congregations), and Catholic parishes in Stockton CA, Green Bay WI, and Rockford IL.

Currently I write for Liturgy Training Publications in areas of liturgical theology, act as the part-time chaplain for the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, and assist at my beloved community of St. Walter’s.

My fifty years of priesthood have been blessed with amazing people who have shaped and enriched my priesthood, in ways I never could have imagined. The Holy Spirit always seemed to be working behind the scenes; and more often in plain view, as I look back at the experiences and encounters of those years. In my youth I never set out to be a priest, but I never regretted the call of the Lord, nor can I imagine doing anything else. I find a profound joy in my ministry, and a deep feeling of humility when I think of the remarkable journey of those years. It has been a journey on behalf of, and in the midst of the most wonderful people, like each and all of you. I could not have done this without your love, your prayers and your presence.


Thank you, I love you so much.  
Fr. Phil         

 

 

 

  WELCOME  FATHER CLIVE OTIENO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Note from Tom Malouf

 

Dear St. Walter Parish Family,

It has truly been an honor to serve this community for so many years. I have been blessed to celebrate with you in joy and in sorrow. This community has been a wonderful place for Jane and I to raise our family and make so many great friendships. Simply put, St. Walter is a holy place, and you have made me a better man.

After a 41 year career as Director of Music, I believe that it is time to retire from my duties as Director of Music. The older I get, the more difficult it has become to work in two places with the proper energy.  St. Francis High School has asked me to return to a full time position next year and I have accepted.

Having had the opportunity to direct so many talented and generous people in our ministry has been a total gift to me. I could not have done my job as well without their loving and unselfish spirit. Joan Figley has been the best associate director of music that I could have asked for, and Fr. Mario’s support for our ministry is a joyful blessing.

I began my ministry here in August of 1977. My last Sunday here will be Aug. 5, 2018.Thank you again for being such a huge part of my life and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers forever.

 

With much love and gratitude,

Tom Malouf

 

 

Joyful Disciple

June 24, 2018

Tawnia Nowakowski

Why am I a follower of the Lord Jesus?

Jesus gives me peace in my heart during a time in my life when everything else is so crazy.  I find comfort in going to Mass and participating in my Catholic faith, but really it's my personal relationship with Jesus that brings me peace.  I know that I can turn to him with all my needs and he will hear me.  He answers prayers even if not in the way I planned

How do I follow him?

I follow Jesus in all aspects of my life.  I try to be a joyful servant, giving of myself to others and following His Word.  I pray daily, often less than I'd like but definitely taking a few moments at the beginning and end of each day to thank Him and be quiet with Him.  I participate fully in our Church life, serving on Parish Pastoral Council, working with our young family ministry, and helping with Vacation Bible Camp. 

 

 

 

 

 

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