Pastor’s Letter, January 7, Fr. Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the start of a new calendar year, it is natural to look forward to the months ahead, and for those of us who are at the later stages of life, we not only think of the months ahead, but the years ahead—and wonder how much time we have left on this earth.

I will be seventy years old in a few years’ time and my heart is full of gratitude for the many blessings God has given me. One of the most important blessings has been the opportunity to serve as your pastor. It has been a great joy and privilege to see the Catholic witness and life of Our Lady of the Rosary, Greenville grow and prosper over the last thirteen years.

What has been accomplished has been built on the faithfulness, loyalty, generosity and hard work of all the people and priests who have labored at OLR since its founding in the early 1950’s.

They built a good foundation for the future, but we must always be looking further into the future and planning accordingly. That is why this year we will launch an ambitious new building project for the parish and school facilities. To do so is to plan for God’s work in this place for the decades to come.

I hope as we move forward together that this project will unify the parish in new ways and that we will take pride in what we are able to do with the help of God. Planning effectively for this project will require us to think strategically about every aspect of our future. There are three categories of future planning we should keep in mind for ourselves, our families, and our parish.

The first and most important is spiritual. Are you doing any long term planning for your spiritual future? We should not only think about our final destiny, but also how to work with God’s grace to come ever closer to the sanctity he has planned for us. In other words, “Take your spiritual life seriously!” My grandmother had a cross stitch over her kitchen table, “Only one life ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Second is our mental state. Plan to grow mentally this year and in the future. Read more. Turn off the screen. Attend adult education classes. Take advantage of the mind God gave you and use your mind, emotions, and memories to grow closer to Christ.

The third category is physical. This includes the material blessings God has given. This year we will embark on a major capital campaign and we will be presented with some real financial challenges that will empower our witness at OLR church and school for decades to come.

Please keep all this in mind as you plan for a prosperous and abundant 2024!

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker