Charged Up!

When I began this blog, “Charged With Saint Charles” four years ago, it was for several reasons.  One reason was that my nearly thirty years of service in Jackson County had ended and I came to the northland as if it were a foreign land—people suggested that this would be a good means to stay in contact with former parishioners and friends.  A second reason was that Saint Charles Borromeo Parish had suffered a decade-long downturn and I was also losing energy—I hoped to recharge both the parish and me for the mission before us.  A third reason was that the Saint Charles Chargers (our school mascot) inspired me to reconsider, reflect upon, and write about, what kind of church we ought to pass along to future generations as scandals rocked our diocese and sadness loomed over ecclesial structures around the globe.  A fourth reason was that Pope Francis was courageously addressing issues that many bishops did not—I was encouraged to imitate his example.  There were other reasons, too: in my own way, I wanted to attempt to revitalize Catholics I know to keep doing God’s good works and become motivated by the grace-filled energy of the Holy Spirit.

Around that same time, our parish charged forth with the first phase of a Revitalization capital campaign.  It was built upon the work of an ad hoc Sustainability Team that re-envisioned our forsaken school.  We addressed decades of deferred maintenance with the generous help of people around Kansas City.  We razed a dilapidated old convent that was serving as our parish office, replacing it with a new office; we constructed a gathering-space addition to our church that has proved to be a great place to welcome guests and engage with one another; we upgraded technology and gave facelifts to our parish hall, classrooms, and throughout our buildings and grounds; and we worked our way out of huge debt.  It was a wonderful challenge that we accomplished together.  Though not yet where we hope to be, we have experienced substantial increases in enrollment, census, and community involvement.  Now we are ready to embark upon phase two.

During these years, I have written not only about happenings at Saint Charles, but happenings in the church, both locally and globally.  I have written about cultural items from art, politics, music, science, poetry, history, literature, psychology, and the classics, and how they can impact our spirituality.  I have written about birth and death and sacramental milestones in between them.  I have written about my hopes and fears for the Catholic Church based on decisions made and directions taken by leaders.  I have been critical of those in our church who place ecclesial structures ahead of Christ’s message and have praised those, like Pope Francis, who lovingly imitate the mission of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.  I suppose I will continue to write as long you are interested in reading my words, and I will continue to charge forward here at Saint Charles as long as I am assigned to do so.  In the past four years, the church has operated much more virtually and online than in prior decades.  I don’t know what is ahead, but I am extremely blessed and comforted knowing that you are taking the journey with me.

7 thoughts on “Charged Up!

  1. I can’t figure out how to get my comments to post so just sending them this way:

    Through your first few paragraphs, I thought you were setting us up for the letdown that you’d decided to stop writing your blog. I’m glad that isn’t the case! I appreciate the time spent crafting such thought-provoking pieces. Those of us who are long-time, increasingly conflicted Catholics need your words to keep the thread to our Church intact. I share your posts regularly with friends who are questioning and struggling with the Church of our birth. Know that your words make a difference in so many unexplainable ways. You are a beacon of light to so many people who seek illumination. So, thank you for the time, energy and intellect required to continue these meaningful blog posts!

    Co Bauman

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  2. Father Don- I hope you know that your blog continues to be a true jewel and shining light for MANY MANY people of Faith! It tackles controversial issues and restores the trust that’s been severely eroded in today’s Catholic Church. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you as you lead us in our individual Faith journey.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Please know that we appreciate all your work and keep you in our prayers 😘🤗🥰🤗! God Bless you always!!! Marge Ehr. St John’s parish in Savage MN

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. Father Don, it is always great to read your blog! It allows me to still hear your words of encouragement, things we need to work on as a disciple and sometimes a much needed breakdown of what the church’s direction is. I know they need to move priest and you can’t stay at a church forever, so this is a way to still hear what have to say to your sheep no matter where we are!

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