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Final Mass schedule and farewell Sunday brunch with Rev. Nathan Reesman is January 8, 2023

West Bend, Wi – Rev. Nathan Reesman is beginning his assignment as Vicar of Clergy with the Milwaukee Archdioceses and on that note he is saying goodbye to the congregation in West Bend, WI.
Rev. Nathan
Rev. Nathan farewell brunch is Sunday, January 8
Dear Friends at Saint Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish and Saint Frances Cabrini Parish:

Praised be Jesus Christ!  And, a Blessed New Year!  Today marks the end of the Christmas Octave with the customary solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.   There is a long history and long story behind this celebration but suffice here to say that what we call to mind today is that the Blessed Mother is the lynchpin that holds together all that we believe about Christ, the Church, our lives, and ourselves.  God has a mother.  This fact firmly grounds him in our human condition.

Knowing this, it is a long-standing custom of piety to end Church documents, theological essays, personal notes, etc, with a nod to the Blessed Mother.  She’s always the fitting end to things for all of us who understand that it is her role to bring to a completion whatever we did not complete, to fix our shortfalls, and to place us and our work into the hands of her Son who is the ultimate point of everything.  This makes it especially fitting that her Solemn feast day aligns neatly with the closing and the opening of the Civil New Year in the West.  She is very much a marker of endings of what is old, and the beginnings of what is new.   All of it is safely tucked beneath her royal mantle and her motherly love.  With all that comes and goes in life she and her Son are the constants.

I find great comfort in all of the above this year, January 1, 2023.  This is the official appointment start date of my new role as the Vicar for Clergy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which also makes it the official end of my many years as your pastor here in West Bend.  I did not plan any of this, but of course God did, and it always amazes me over the years how the Lord weaves the Blessed Mother into the fabric of my priesthood, often leaving me to discover the fact almost by accident.  It is fitting that my long time here in West Bend should come to an end on a Solemn Feast Day of hers, especially one that marks the passage of time, and of endings and beginnings.

As is the case with the ending of any long theological essay, this would be an appropriate occasion to entrust anew to the Blessed Mother the entirety of my priesthood spent here in West Bend since June of 2009, and to entrust to her anew all of you.  I do so knowing that over the long years here there is much that I could have done better, and probably much that I could have done worse, too.  None of us are accurate assessors of our own abilities or accomplishments.  This is why we simply attempt to offer it all back to God and trust that he, with the powerful intercession of Our Lady, will sort it all out according to his own good purposes and for the good of our salvation, regardless of any good or ill that we do.  It is for God to sort out and judge whatever good I actually accomplished here.  All that I can safely say is that I tried my best, that I am grateful for your patience with me and your mercy as my parish families, and that through it all God is good.

Please always know of my tremendous gratitude for the blessing and the privilege that it has been to be a priest here in our parishes.  These are wonderful parish communities filled with so many good, generous, and holy people.  I have learned so much from all of you about the gift of God’s presence and grace in the hearts of his people.  Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.   Please keep me in your prayers and know that you will always be in mine.

What else can we do but entrust it all to the Blessed Mother?

She knows our hearts, and always knows what is best.  These are truths we learn the easy way and also the hard way in life.  She has shown me these truths here in West Bend over and over again, both the easy way and the hard way.  As we all celebrate with joy this Solemn Feast Day again this year, she again reminds us that she knows our hearts, and that she always knows what is best.
This is indeed good news.
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.
Here is a list of Father Nathan’s final Masses at SFC…
Saturday, January 7; 4:30pm at SFC
Sunday, January 8; 8am and 10:30am at SFC

 

Rev. Nathan’s new residential mailing address is at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee:   3257 S. Lake Drive, Saint Francis, WI 53235.

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