Office Space, part two

by Jun 3, 2022Pastor's Blog

Here they come
The boys in the bright white sports car
Waving their arms in the air
Who do they think they are?
And where did they get that car?

Trooper – The Boys in the Bright white Sports Car, 1976

Get ready for more Canadian Classic Rock! Back in April, I was very excited to introduce you to our new Director of Evangelization and Parish Growth, Lorne Stang. He arrives officially in the office later this August.

Now, our parish office continues to grow! I have already mentioned them at Mass in the last couple weeks, but please say hello to Fr. Kevin Burgess, Deacon Michael El-Nachef, and Nathan van Putten! They are all here this summer, working with our parishes, and can often be found at Maison Shalom House! Also, somehow, they all drive a Honda, including Lorne with the Honda mini-van! I’m the odd man out, driving a Subaru these days. Good times.

Our new full-time secretary will also be arriving mid-July. (please stay tuned to see which care they will be driving). However, the fact that our parish office has been growing has led me to ask some important questions of how to lead as a team! Our pastoral work in the past year with Amazing Parish, Divine Renovation, and Rebuilt, have all equipped me with really good ideas. Now is the time to implement them.

Being a team leader doesn’t mean you’re there to do other people’s work for them or micromanage at each step. I’m am trying to be clear on what’s expected from our new parish staff, and how best to help them in their respective ministries. How should we help our team members reach a level of independence which enables them to enrich their role within our parishes?

We had three main focuses in the past almost two years together:

  1. Get the Parish Office up, and running!
  2. Get the Pastoral Calendar up-to-date, and …
  3. Reorganize our Sacramental Preparation in the lens of Evangelization, in the lens of the Mission!

We’ll continue to monitor these three criteria, but last months’ meeting with the Pastoral & Finance Councils have us dreaming bigger! We’ll continue to focus on:

  1. All things evangelization, and we look forward to working with Lorne this Fall.
  2. As we come to the end of the Easter Season, and prepare for Pentecost weekend, we realize the importance of relying on the help of the Holy Spirit in all we do for our parishes, and families.
  3. Finally, the momentum continues on building up our leadership – in the office, within our different ministries, and with our volunteers! If you would like to participate in a leadership role, or be part of a specific ministry please let me know.

Next week will be the end of the Pastoral Year, preparing for some vacation time, as well as starting to plan for the Fall Programs – including Advent, and Christmas! WOW! We’ll also take time of officially thank our sisters of the Holy Cross for 166 years of leadership and service in Glengarry! Please consider coming to the 11am Mass at St. Finnan’s Basilica, June 12th. We’ll also be receiving Hope Lightfoot, a grade 12 student at Holy Trinity in Cornwall, into the Catholic Church. Following Mass will be a reception at the Fraternity Hall across the street. Again, everyone is welcome.

Finally, here are are a few details on our new current parish office staff. Let us continue praying for one another this Summer. Peace.

Ask Fr. Kevin about his favourite dessert!?!

Fr. Kevin Burgess was recently ordained to the priesthood, May 31, along with Frs. Marc Gaudet, and Connor O’Hara. Fr. Kevin grew up in a loving family and has two sisters.  His parents, Linda and Michael, both had an important role to play in his relationship with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Fr. Kevin is a graduate of École secondaire Catholique La Citadelle in Cornwall and participated in many youth events and groups within the diocese.

In those teenage years, Fr. Kevin started thinking about a vocation to the priesthood.  However, he was interested after high school in a career in teaching science.  He studied chemistry at the University of Ottawa (B.Sc. 2010) and obtained a doctorate (Ph.D.) in chemistry at the same institution in 2015.

During these studies, Fr. Kevin’s home parish was Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa.  He then moved to London, On, where he continued his scientific career at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  It was during this time where a local priest and friend invited him to a “Come and See Weekend” at the seminary.   He joined the seminary in 2016. Fr. Kevin is my roommate for the summer, and will begin his official assignment as Vice-Rector and Associate Pastor of Notre-Dame Cathedral Cathedral Basilica starting late July.

Ask Deacon Michael about his upcoming vacation!?!
(please send us a postcard)

Deacon Michael El-Nachef was ordained to the transitional diaconate May 6, and will return to the seminary this Fall for his last year of Theology. He is also excited to join our team this summer, living in Alexandria with Pere Didier Kaba, and working with me at Maison Shalom House.

Deacon Michael’s journey towards the priesthood began after an encounter with the Divine Mercy while on pilgrimage in Poland.  He began his studies for the priesthood in 2016, and will return to St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto this Fall before his ordination to the priesthood in 2023.  Michael’s parents are Lebanese-Canadian, he was born in Montreal and grew up in Barrhaven.  He studied Biology at the University of Ottawa and was planning on working with wildlife or becoming a veterinarian.  Again, please help me welcome Michael to SDG!

Ask Nathan about his scholarship!?!

Nathan van Putten is a student-athlete at Carleton University who studies Criminal Psychology and plays for the Ravens Men’s Baseball Team. On campus, Nathan is continuing the Catholic mission as part of Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a university campus-based faith organization dedicated to evangelization. Nathan is also an executive for Carleton’s Greater Love Canada, a youth-founded, non-profit organization dedicated to showing those experiencing homelessness that they are loved, and cared for.

Nathan has been a part of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall since he was born, starting at St. Anthony’s Parish in Apple Hill and now attending St. Finnan’s Basilica. Early in the Spring, the Cornwall Diocesan office was successful in acquiring a summer student grant, and Nathan accepted the job! He will be working in youth ministry for our North Glengarry Parishes, also available at Maison Shalom House all week, Monday to Friday. Nathan will focus on youth gatherings, ministry through sport (Ultimate Frisbee every Friday night), and Vacation Bible School (August 8 – 12). Welcome brother!


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