Keeping Up and Keeping On

I’m not sure what I should call this column because it’s just a “two-fur.” For July, I will continue to make sure The Messenger hits deadline and goes out on time. That wouldn’t be possible without the great staff that has made sure I stay on track all this time. Added to that, Shannon Philpott-Sanders, who was a prominent member of our staff from 2003-2007 has stepped back into her newspaper role to bridge the time when I leave until the new editor takes over.

So, I negotiated this space to keep you posted on what’s going on in this office and around the diocese as much as I can. People in our parishes have let us know that their Vacation Bible School is an important part of summer faith formation. We’ll be posting photos from the various programs as they send them to us either in the paper or on our Facebook page. Also, Sue Huett, director of the Office of Worship, has been opening lots of envelopes with applications for “Into My Vineyard” the adult faith formation program for the diocese. You can see the schedule of topics for the first year of the two-year program at

Sister Leona Luechtefeld, ASC called today for a chat. While she said she has retired from her work with seniors in Belleville she has not stepped back from helping others. She is among the Southern Illinois Hospice volunteers who knew Sister Mary Simpson, the founder of Hospice in the area. Monday she was scheduled to give a talk about the founder and her vision for assisting the dying and their families.

People who are dying are still trying to find a way to live and to die with dignity. Hospice programs can give them the support they and their families need at a very difficult time. Sister Leona wants to remind them of what Sister Mary Simpson stood for and what she intended Hospice to be when it was founded in 1981. How wonderful for Sister Leona to be able to put “flesh and bones” on the personality of someone as gifted and giving as Sister Mary Simpson.

On a personal note: Thanks to all of you who called or sent cards and words of encouragement as I change jobs and supervisors. I was glad that I could change jobs as I know there are people out there struggling with theirs, remember that there are opportunities out there for everyone and a little help from people like will get you there. My new supervisor will celebrate her first birthday in August, and my secondary supervisor is due to arrive the first week of August as well. I’m looking forward to my new job with excitement and no small amount of anxiety at being managed by someone so small. I will be happy to hear any advice from grandparents around the diocese. Barb Hasenstab has already made a couple of interesting suggestions, but I’d like to hear from you too.