Father's Corner

Father O'Toole's Corner

Change, change, change

Entering my sixth year at St. Margaret of Scotland, I reflect on the changes that have happened here over the last five years.  In that time the number of households in our parish has grown by 16% to nearly 800 families.  The school enrollment this fall will be at 475 – that’s up more than 125 students in the same amount of time.  On a recent Sunday I baptized seven children and that same week I presided at the first funeral of a parishioner in over six months.  That tells you something about the ratio of our population.  The combined budget of the parish and school has climbed to nearly $3 million, a sign of the growing needs of our ministries, programs and services.  The other significant change has been with the personnel who staff our parish.  New faces are on the scene and new positions are being created.

In late spring two veterans of the parish staff moved on from St. Margaret: our business manager, Marcia Smith-Green now works for shared accounting in the Archdiocese, and our original parish nurse, Cathy White began retirement.  Mary Curran has taken the role in our health ministry.  Nearly two years ago I established the position of Coordinator of Faith Formation which is led by Erin Brennan.  Her service has provided great assistance to me in the work of preparing parishioners for the sacraments of baptism and marriage as well as the children’s reception of Holy Communion and Confirmation.  And the growth of our school has necessitated the increase in administrative leadership.  Joe Kilmade is our Assistant Principal, a new position.  Even the housekeeping and maintenance of facilities has seen some change in personnel in the last year.  Holding steady in the parish office is our Administrative Assistant, Susan Hannibal, who presides over a host of responsibilities and operations.  Peter Hesed is our Pastoral Associate and attends to our worship planning.  And Carmela Garza is handling some bookkeeping along with her oversight for the parish’s compliance with the Protecting God’s Children program.

In April I announced that St. Margaret would pursue the hiring of a Parish Administrator.  The person in this full-time position will serve under the direction of the pastor in overseeing the administrative functions of the parish, school, and its other ministries.  This person’s primary responsibility is to advance our parish mission through operational planning and management of ministries and initiatives; finances and resource development; and oversight of facilities, human resources, and community relations.  We have gathered many excellent resumes, and the search committee has interviewed a few of them.  We continue, however, to discern a good match between the skills and gifts of the candidates and the needs and nature of St. Margaret of Scotland.  Please lend your help by praying to the Holy Spirit that this person and our parish find one another.

All these roles and their accompanying costs have received the enthusiastic endorsement of our parish leadership, namely the Parish Council and the Finance Committee.  Those who work closely with the daily service of St. Margaret and who deal first-hand with the growth of our parish recognize the need we have to respond with employing professional persons who will help continue making us a vibrant place to pray, learn and serve.

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  • Change, change, change