A DECADE OF GOOD SHEPHERDING REMEMBERED
This week we gather to say farewell to Fr. Terry Keehan, a friend, colleague, mentor, spiritual leader, shepherd and above all our parish pastor, who has been at the center of the life of St. Matthias and Transfiguration Parishes for the past 10 years.
How appropriate that just this week Pope Benedict announced a “Year for Priests” in celebration of the 150th anniversary of John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. St. John Vianney, also known as the Curé of Ars, was conscious of the immense gift a parish priest is to his people, and Fr. Terry, we hope you are aware of the great gift you have been to the people of St. Matthias and Transfiguration. You guided us through a time of great transition for the church, parish school, and surrounding Lincoln Square community. During your tenure, St. Matthias Parish has seen a growth of over 450 new families, and St. Matthias Transfiguration School has increased enrollment by 70 percent and transformed itself into an exemplary model of project-based learning, advanced technology use in the classroom, and inclusive education for all faiths and abilities.
If someone were to ask where you excelled most, you might be tempted to say your ability to list all NCAA basketball champions in chronological order. As impressive as that feat is, it is far surpassed by your celebration of the sacraments. During the last decade, St. Matthias and Transfiguration Parishes have been blessed with outstanding preaching, inspiring liturgies, and uplifting holy day celebrations. You have invited the people of the community not only to join in these holy occasions but you wholeheartedly encouraged them to serve as eucharistic ministers, readers, choir members, sacristans, ministers of care, and catechists. Through your inclusive spirit we have all felt welcomed to play important roles in the life of the parish, and we have been enriched in the process by deepening our relationships with our fellow parishioners, the priests and ministers of the parish, and ultimately with God.
Being true to your name as pastor, you have been there for us, the 1,200 parishioners of St. Matthias and Transfiguration, in our times of deepest sadness and anxiety and greatest joy and festivity. Your attention to the person or persons and not the task has made a difference in so many lives. You have been able to give meaning and perspective, comfort and acceptance, discernment and direction to all that life has presented to us. Highlights include the baptisms where you held a baby over your head and talked of the circle of life from the “Lion King” and described yourself as the baboon—which always got a good laugh; the weddings where you allowed the couple free expression to capture the momentousness and intimacy of the event; the funerals where you took extra care to present accurate portraits of the deceased and share hope-filled stories of our faith.
And like the Curé of Ars , who Pope Benedict tells us, knew how to live actively within his parish, you made a point of making yourself a part of the parish neighborhood by your daily runs and evening strolls and your unique way of evangelization through frequenting the shops and restaurants of Lincoln Square and getting to know the community’s merchants, vendors, and public servants. Had they saved them, the parish staff would no doubt have a drawer full of bar napkins on which you scribbled many a great new idea and the names of prospective donors, contacts, and volunteers while you were out among the people.
Finally, as our pastor, your greatest gift to us has been your lively sense of celebration and fun. Our special events—St. Patrick’s Day party, the Fiesta, Globalfest, Friends of the Grape, and Chistkindl—each launched during your tenure, have raised more money and brought more people, cultures, and clans together than in the history of the parishes. You have generously shared yourself, your lifelong friends, and your family with us for the past ten years. We will cherish what we have been given and what we have learned from you, and in gratitude we will continue to welcome people and embrace life in all its varied and holy moments as you have so eloquently taught us.
Farewell, Fr. Terry, and safe passage to your new home at Holy Family Parish in Inverness. We have been changed for the better and for good for having known you.
Our Mission Statement
We are a Catholic community of two parishes. We commit ourselves to celebrate our diversity, to give thanks for and preserve our rich traditions, to share our resources and to build a more collaborative faith community.
For detailed instructions refer to John 6: 1-13
Misión de la Iglesia
Somos una comunidad Católica de dos parroquias. Nos comprometimos a celebrar nuestra diversidad, para dar gracias y preservar nuestra rica tradición para compartir nuestros recursos y construir de manera más colaborativa nuestra fe comunitaria.
Para mas detallada instrucción lea Juan 6:1-13
Two Parishes - One Faith Community
English - Spanish - Tagalog
Dos parroquias - Una sola Fe
Download This Week's Bulletin
Click on the link above to view, print and download this week's bulletin and be updated on all of our churches' happenings.