February 14, 2018~Year 10, No. 25

Swifts and Swiftettes Named District Champions

The Nazareth Swifts and Swiftettes were both named district champions last week. The Swifts defeated Springlake-Earth 54-21, and the Swiftettes won against Hart 91-19. Both teams advance to regional playoffs.

SAYING GOOD BY by Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer

On February 8th, I will be moving to Borger to become the past of St. John the Evangelist Church in that town and St. Ann Church in Stinnett.

It is never easy to say good-bye. I was privileged to serve the parish of St. Hyacinth for six wonderful years. With God’s help and blessing, many goals were accomplished in the last six years: The community grew in size and vigor. A new Knights of Columbus council was formed along with an RCIA Team, a Vocation Committee, an Evangelization Committee and a Welcoming Committee. This past year saw the formation of an Encuentro Study Groups.

The members of these new groups, along with many other individuals, embraced their faith with new enthusiasm, reaching out to the business community through providing appreciation lunches, inviting guest speakers to the parish on matters of finances, marriage, family life and immigration.

The Social Concerns Committee, along with the Knights and the St. Faustina Circle kept a steady drum-beat for donations for the hungry, the poor, the children at the emergency youth shelter as well as parishioners caught up in crisis or emergencies.

The generous donations in the weekly offering plate have yielded thousands of dollars in college and parochial school scholarships, funded extensive capital improvements and established a solid emergency fund for years to come.

It has been an honor to be a shepherd of such a friendly and faith-filled community! Indeed, leaving a parish like St. Hyacinth is hard for a pastor. And it creates anxiety within the parishioners as well.

So, why is it necessary? Why are pastors routinely re-assigned to other parishes?

To answer that question, it helps to step back and ask ourselves, “What do we most value in life?”

I would venture to say that, for most of us, these deep desires of the heart are summarized in the words, “I love you.” Human beings love to hear those words. And we long to speak them. When we have people in our lives with whom we can share those words and mean what we say, it is then that our life feels complete, worthwhile and deeply valued. We long to hear the words, “I love you,” more than any other words in the English language.

This holds true for most people, but not for all. I dare say that priests are among those for whom this is not the case. Rather, for priests, the most important words we ever hear, and strain our ears to hear again and again, are the words, “Come, follow me.”

I heard those words as a young boy. They undergirded the prayers I offered at bedtime and were confirmed in the encouragement of my family and friends. I heard that mysterious summons in the winter wind that buffeted my parents’ old farm house. I felt their pull and tug as I worked in hay fields beneath the heat of the summer sun and felt the stab of wheat stubble on bare feet.

“Come, follow me.”

Eventually, those words led me up altar steps, down country roads and city streets, through hospital corridors and into prison yards. And now, in my later years, they drew me to Texas, a place of vast plains and red rock canyons.

“Come, follow me.”

I love of the sound of those words and am grateful that they led me to a town called Amarillo and a parish named St. Hyacinth. I will never forget this part—this wonderful part—of my journey to God in Christ.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. God bless you, always! Fr. Jim

Community Announcements

New Priest for Holy Family Parish

Father Vijayabhaskar “Bhaskar” Rao Adusupalli has been assigned to Holy Family Parish. His first masses will be on Ash Wednesday, at the 7:00 a.m. mass and the 6:00 p.m. mass.

Stations of the Cross

As lent gets closer, please consider leading the Stations of the Cross on Fridays. Groups, families, or classes are welcome. Please call Gladys to sign up by Friday, February 16th.

Construction Begins on the Church

Construction crews will begin work on the south entrance of the church this week, so the south  entrance will be off-limits. Church-goers are asked to use the side entrances to the church.

NISD Election

The school board will call for the election on Wednesday, February 14. Friday, February 16, is the last day for candidates to file for a place on the ballot.

Cookie Season Begins!

The Girl Scouts will be selling cookies until the end of February. Contact Angela Fulkerson if you are interested in buying!!

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