Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: A Last Note

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

This will be my last Pastoral Pearls. It is with a heavy heart that I inform you all of my decision to leave Guardian Angels Staff and Parish. I have so enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you. Jobs are being restructured here at GA, and I find this just doesn’t fit me, so I am choosing to retire at this time. I feel this is God’s plan for me. You may be able to find me in the near future by searching: Life Coach; MaryPat Potts – currently VisionVenturing. Maybe we will meet again.

I have been honored to work with so many families to help ease the burden of having to plan a funeral while grieving a great loss in your lives. I have been so touched by your love for your family member, and inspired by the stories of their lives that you shared with me.

And our Funeral Coordinators truly excel at making funeral families feel guided, supported, comfortable with the service. I have been so honored to work with them and watch how caring they are!

I am truly humbled by the great commitment of our amazing BeFrienders, who have such great desire to serve folks who may be hurting through their compassionate listening and ministry of presence. So many of you have gone through the grueling 90-minute interview with me that began your discernment process, sharing deep thoughts and personal stories that show me who you are. That you were willing to go through 15 intense hours of training, some hands-on practice before you took the plunge and were commissioned shows people how important this is to you. And your dedication to helping others through your presence, in ways that are so counter to our own culture – non-judgmental, not trying to fix,.. – truly is evidenced by the commitment you make to your own personal growth through our monthly meetings of ministry support and ongoing training, even when you are waiting for God to bring you just the right person for you to serve. I surely hope and pray that those in our parish who could use a listening ear will take advantage of the quality BeFrienders here at GA, and do the courageous thing -ask for help. (Ask Terry Quinn)

I will miss the Caregivers here at GA who have had the courage to be part of our Caregivers’ Support Group, as well as the Grief Support Group (Healing Hearts.) I hear time and again how much the participants in these groups have gained from the support and insights of others who are traveling similar paths - caring for their loved ones, and figuring out how to do so in the midst of their own busy lives and needs, and wishing they knew what they needed to know to be a Caregiver, or trying to navigate all the roller-coaster emotions and, disbelief, difficulty functioning, confusion, and overwhelm of learning to live and find new meaning once your loved one has died. Participants from both groups often tell me how helpful it is to know they are not alone, or crazy, and to share their joys, but also their challenges and sadness with this group, knowing their feelings are welcomed and safeguarded. I have been honored to be privy to their emotional stories, and to watch their strength as they work through things together. I pray they will find a way to continue to support one another. Perhaps a first step might be for those who are caregivers to express to Fr. Joe and Pat Ryan how important this group is to them, and ask that it somehow be continued.

It has been truly gratifying to see the army of Homebound Communion Visitors bringing Communion (Jesus) to those who cannot get to Church. They are a lifeline for these people to their faith community. I was truly impressed to see the depth of their commitment when asked to update their training in how to do this ministry and people came out of the woodwork to be trained. I hope that those who cannot get to church – temporarily or permanently – will speak up and reach out to ask for someone to bring it to you. We have Communion Visitors available. (Talk to Deacon Mike)

I have been so honored to work with our admirable Health and Wellness Committee that does such great work offering opportunities to parishioners for learning about how to build their health – mind, body and spirit. A more organized and committed, knowledgeable and hard-working group of people I have yet to meet. May you continue going strong, and adding to your numbers of people on the committee – health care professionals, dental, massage, life coach, etc,…

And finally, I wish the staff and the parishioners of Guardian Angels the very best – those whom I have had the pleasure to meet, as well as those I wish I had been able to meet. May God bless you with whatever you most need in your life. Take Care. I will miss you. 

With all my prayers for you                                             

~ MaryPat Potts, Pastoral Care Minister


to leave comment

© 2024 Guardian Angels Catholic Church   |   8260 4th Street North, Oakdale, MN US 55128