PASTOR INTERVIEWS Part I
From Fr. Tom Phillips 1984-1997: Fondest memories– warm welcoming of people upon arrival, country-like, 200 families, opportunities to be with parish members who loved their parish, Latino services began in1989. Most Impressed –– volunteerism was the theme, Music Ministry with Adele and Mary Jo. Challenges— Building WC, keeping Stone Chapel and cemetery going. Favorite activities— Beginning Seder meal, Liturgical celebrations, Christmas, Holy Week, Senior Prom by Youth Group for Parish Seniors. Admired– Fr. Wolfe for building Kilduff Hall and it was a privilege to assist during his final illness. Final Thoughts– – “ worship is not an obligation but a personal relationship with God. People who accept this make it a priority because they want to, not because they have to”. There are several over-built parishes in Harford County. St. Francis should be the main parish in eastern Harford County
From Fr. Mike Schleupner 1998-2006: First Impression—SFDS was my 1st Parish after 20 years as Archdiocese Chancellor. It was a breath of fresh air. Immediately found a warm community, people able to get to know me, be myself as a person, as a priest, found diversity, good times together, liturgy was a priority, also social support programs. Fondest memories— Got to greet everybody every Sunday, building new Education Center, hiring Mary Jo & Beth, great team members. Rededication of restored Stone Chapel felt so good. Impressed Most— The new Worship Center was the right size, intimate. People really collaborated, did things together e.g. Liturgy Committee sat around dining room table to plan my 1st Holy Week. Great prudent Finance Committee. Knights of Columbus were so active and there for parish needs. Challenges— overseeing very 1st Capital Campaign upon arrival. Raising funds for building the Education Center. Favorite Activities— Donut Sundays, Parish Picnics and dunking booth(one time). Admired Predecessor— Fr. Wolfe “a legend in his time”, very human person, good person, easy to relate to; Fr. Tom was a seminary colleague, the right person, right time, Worship Center was a wonderful undertaking. Final Thought— St. Francis is the model of good Parish Community & approach to a caring community.
REMEMBER WE ARE ST. FRANCIS!!