Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Today's pastor's column starts with a question.  (That, as you know, is the normal way I begin my homilies).

Who spends more time in church than the priest?  I can only speak for myself and tell you that Carol and Larry Cruz, who have been the head sacristans at Sacred Heart Church for almost 15 years, have indeed, spent more time in the church than myself, and I'm sure, Monsignor Malone before me.  The list of activities that Carol and Larry did on a daily and weekly basis were so many, that I dare not try to list them all here.  Suffice it to say they have been a HUGE blessing to the priests and parishioners they have served for all these years.  I can't begin to thank them enough for their tireless and faithful efforts when it comes to the environment of our church and making sure everything is ready for Mass.  I look forward to recognizing their efforts and all of us thanking them in some kind of public gathering in the future.

By now you probably realize that they are retiring from their position, though they are willing to continue to help in some way and are ready to help the new head sacristan(s) in learning what needs to be done in terms of our liturgical celebrations and environment.  We are blessed to have more than a couple of assistant sacristans who are regularly giving of themselves to set-up for all the Masses that happen here.  We need some, or a number of people, to take over Carol and Larry's duties.  I cannot expect to find any person or couple who's willing to spend as much time as Carol and Larry did in this ministry, (though I would be thrilled if such people stepped forward).  If you are interested in the head sacristan position and want to know more, please call me at 501-209-2502.  I'm looking for someone, or persons, with good organizational skills who can work well with others and who have a love for the Lord and the Church as Carol and Larry do.  Please pray to God in thanksgiving for Carol and Larry and in petition for a person or persons to step forward and serve the Lord in this important and fulfilling way.

GOD BLESS YOU CAROL AND LARRY.  Enjoy your freedom to pursue other interests and activities at this point in your lives or just rest from your labors.