This Sunday, Aug. 2, our parish feast day, is Fr. Stanich's last Sunday at Queen of Angels. We will have a rosary procession after Mass to honor our patroness and for the intentions of the SSPX rosary crusade. Then we will celebrate our parish feast day with a barbecue cookoff and chess tournament. It is the last in a series of ideas that Fr. Stanich has implemented to build unity in our parish and to teach us how to celebrate as Catholics.
Fr. Stanich also worked tirelessly to improve the parish academy, adding eleventh grade this fall. He got the students involved in volleyball and soccer tournaments.
Then he organized a multi-state youth choir that practices individually, then meets at one parish to practice together and sing a special high Mass. I have heard that this will continue after Father leaves and that some Syracuse youth will join.
We did not have a schola before Fr. Stanich came, and if he did not institute one other improvement, training and developing the schola would have been enough. Even as Father prepares to leave, the schola has been enriched by new, young voices.
What a legacy Fr. Stanich leaves us!
I was discussing this with another parishioner yesterday, and she believes that Fr. Stanich has laid a foundation for our parish that has prepared us to really grow spiritually, and that is why we are going to benefit so much from Fr. Zendejas's pastorage, who comes to us from the SSPX's Ridgefield, CT, retreat center. I agree with her. I like to consider how the gifts of individual priests are used by our Lord for our benefit. Although I hate to lose them when they are transferred, I see the benefit for the parish as a whole, if we can hold on to what we have learned and graciously receive what the new priest brings. May that be so.