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Pastor’s Connection Dec. 20, 2018 

From Father Dave
Dear Saint Stephen the Martyr Parish,On behalf of our entire parish staff, I would like to wish you and yours a very blessed and joy-filled Christmas season. Our parish has experienced many blessings and graces in the past year, along with the sadness and disappointment of scandal and abuse in our Church. Through it all, we recognize that the light of God’s love will continue to shine through the darkness of uncertainty and evil. It is with this great hope that we look toward tomorrow, and we know that whatever happens in the future, God is already there waiting for us.
I am so grateful to be a part of our parish family. Please know that I love you, and that I pray for you and your intentions every day. I ask that you continue to pray for your priests, deacons, parish leaders, and the many members of our parish family who are working to bring the hope and peace of Christmas to the world.
May you have a Blessed Christmas!

In Christ,Father Dave

From Father Padraic:
Dear parishioners,

As Christmas draws near and we make final preparations to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, I am filled with gratitude for the great gift He truly is and continues to be. I have been blessed by our Lord in many ways this year, but especially in being given a share in His priesthood and being sent to a wonderful parish. This parish is indeed a tremendous gift to me and I am grateful this Christmas for the many blessings I have received from all of you. I pray that this Christmas you receive the abundant blessing of Christ’s life within you and are filled with joy as you continue to make Jesus present in our parish and in our world. 
Father Padraic
From seminarian KyleDear friends of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish,

At the close of this calendar year, I feel like praising God for my time in the parish so far. I can honestly say that it upsets me that my stay here is already halfway over. The fall was filled with activities such as being around the day school and Religious Ed. programs to visit classes, ministering at the nursing home/hospital, and meeting with staff members to learn about their roles in our parish. I’d say the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is getting to know so many amazing families. Thank you for ‘taking me on’ and letting me become a real part of your lives. I’ve even had the pleasure of (re)introducing the phenomenon that is “hacky sack!” Talk about a wonderful way to start and build relationships.  
I can’t say enough about my experience. Even through the darkness of the clergy abuse scandal, I can say with confidence that I still feel called to serve as Jesus’ priest. This is because God provides for His children. He has provided abundantly for me in the two priests who have been my mentors this year in addition to the prayers and support of this entire parish family. 
Thank you once again, and I look forward with earnest to the New Year to come. 

Mutual Prayers,Kyle LoeckerSeminarian Intern

God bless you all,The 3 wisemen of St. Stephen the Martyr

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