From the Desk of the Pastor!
On behalf of Saint Olaf’s parishioners and staff, I welcome you home! A parish is many things to many people, but first and foremost it is our spiritual home, our family of faith in which we journey together with Jesus Christ and one another. St. Olaf’s is a vibrant, active community on the north side of Eau Claire that has a long tradition of being a close knit family of faith and service!
Often when we look for a new home, we are rather particular about what we are looking for. Just as families do careful research to see if a particular house will become their home, so, too, do people take great care when exploring whether or not a particular Church will be their spiritual home. In that spirit, my first question to ask you is this: What type of home are you looking for?
When I think of St. Olaf Parish, whether it be as it’s Pastor or my past experience from “outside looking in” as Chaplain of Regis Middle and High Schools, certain phrases stand out in my mind that define the parish:
Vibrant Liturgies: Though it is true that the Mass has the same structure regardless of what Catholic Church you attend, how that structure is expressed through song, communal participation, proclamation of God’s Word, homilies from the Priest or Deacon, and the overall ethos of the Parish can vary widely.
St. Olaf Parish prides itself on vibrant liturgies with well prepared music. My first weeks at St. Olaf Parish left me with the thought “This parish likes to sing and respond!” Therefore, if you are looking for a more vibrant, participatory, and communal feel to how the Mass is celebrated, St. Olaf Parish may be a very good fit for you.
If you are interested in being an active part of liturgical life as a musician, lector, or hospitality minister, click here!
A Community of Love: After Mass, it is my custom to greet parishioners as they leave. Some Saturdays and Sundays, I begin to laugh as I stand in solitude by the door with the vast number of parishioners refusing to leave. Our gathering space when full has a wonderful spirit of people who want to stay after Mass is done to be with one another, get to know one another, and get to know you. Therefore, if you ware looking for a parish that truly loves one another in Christ and values time together to get to know one another, St. Olaf Parish may very well be your new spiritual home!
The Hands and Heart of Christ: The dismissal at the end of Mass, Go in Peace, is not merely a tag line that ends the Mass, but is a commission to take what we receive at the Eucharist into the world. Whether it be serving at Sojourner House, First Friday Eucharistic Adoration, The Men’s Club’s Fish Fries, or the service of our women in the Parish Council of Catholic Women (PCCW), St. Olaf Parish displays the hands of Christ that wish to serve and the heart of Christ to rest in God’s presence through prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist. If you seek a community that will invite you have your hands and heart be transformed by faith to be Christ’s hands and heart, welcome to your new home at St. Olaf Parish!
I pray that you find St. Olaf to be a welcoming, loving community, rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. I look forward to walking with you on your journey of faith. Together, let us open our hearts to the movements of the Holy Spirit, asking God to help us become the person, the people, the parish, and the family God calls us to be.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. James Kurzynski
Pastor, Saint Olaf Parish