As most of you know I just returned from vacation, and I am delighted to be home at Saint Simon again. I know I am not meant to have goals for vacation but that is the way I am wired. My goals were quite reasonable though: rest, read and hike. I am happy to say that I reached all my goals. I hiked 165 miles over the three weeks away (most of it in the Utah mountains at high elevation), read four books and dozens of articles, watched many movies and tv shows, napped every day, and enjoyed the evenings dining and chatting with family. It was wonderful and filled my soul. I am so grateful for this time away to rest and recharge. It has been a long, tough year for me with many personal losses that I needed to take time to reflect and internalize. I am grateful to Fr. Thuc and Fr. Chris for taking on the extra work load and to the whole parish staff for holding down the fort while I was away. I am also grateful to the parish community for your support in allowing me to take the time to slow down and rest. Your many personal letters and cards are deeply appreciated and thank you for your kind words of support for my birthday in July. It was lovely to come home to so many positive comments and gestures. You are really an amazing parish of love and support.


While it was wonderful to be away,  it feels  fantastic to be back! I missed being with you all and celebrating Masses. While it is always nice to visit other parishes, it is not quite the same experience as celebrating Mass in our home parish. Sometimes the experiences of other parishes give us a better appreciation of what we share as a community and a reminder to be ever so grateful for what we have here. I am grateful to the many ministers who volunteer their time each weekend by their active participation in the preparation and execution of the parish liturgies. I look forward to the year ahead as we prepare for the beginning of school and many of our parish ministries that will start moving into full gear in the coming weeks.


Yesterday, we heard the sad news that Msgr. Lou Andre died. As many of you know, Msgr. Lou was pastor here and was a towering figure in our community history. He moved the community into full adoption of the Vatican II Church and spearheaded the renovation of the Church to be inclusive of full active, conscious participation of all. He was a particularly strong advocate for full participation of women in the Church leadership not only here in the parish but also across the diocese. He led the building of the Parish Center and took the school and community to new levels of engagement. He enjoyed many years of retirement in Arnold, CA where he loved his hiking, skiing, reading and independence as a retired priest. He kept current with Church matters both locally and universally and was a strong supporter of Pope Francis and his reforms of the Church. He died peacefully surrounded by family and friends. He was a quiet and unassuming priest, his commitment to the Vatican Church was an inspiration to me as a young priest.  We have much to celebrate in his life, so please say a prayer for him and his family and please join us for his celebration of his life. We will celebrate his life with a Funeral Mass at 10am, Saturday, August 13 followed by a reception in the Msgr. Andre Parish Center. May his soul rest in peace.


God Bless,

Fr. Brendan