During the past thirteen years I’ve served as a full-time staff member, part-time staff member, and retired associate priest. However, my coveted title has been “Priest Not In Charge”. In fact, I now like to think of myself as “Priest Not In Charge Emeritus”. But regardless of title or status, I’ve been blessed beyond words during the past thirteen years in my ministry among you. I have the joy of offering the Eucharistic sacrifice, preaching and teaching, consoling the troubled, absolving the penitent, and enjoying the fellowship of our wonderful parish community without ever having to worry about the budget, a leaking roof, or malfunctioning restrooms. No “buck” stops with me. Praise God! And along with all of this, Dorothy and I have found kindness, warmth, hospitality, generosity, and the priceless gift of friendship.
We’ve found a spiritual family and a home at St. Michael’s and it is joy for us. We came to St. Michael’s and remain at St. Michael’s because it is a place where the “faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints” is celebrated and lived (Jude 1:3). We know that we will not be subjected to heresy proclaimed from the pulpit or affirmed in any other venue. We will not be told that the eternal order of God given by Christ, nor the moral truths declared by the Lord God, are no longer valid and can be ignored or mocked because the church and the world have “moved on”.
In short, St. Michael’s is a place where the ancient and eternal faith of Christ and the Apostles is preached, taught, and celebrated. It is a place where Mass is celebrated with reverence and solemnity, and the Bible is understood to be the inspired written word of God―through which the incarnate Word of God, Jesus, speaks to us yesterday, today and forever. It is a place where the Creeds are understood to proclaim the identity of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), apart from whom there is no Other, and are recognized as the means by which we profess our faith in Him alone.
We love St. Michael’s because Jesus Christ―the Head and most important member of the Church―is present, and that whatever unity St. Michael’s possesses is found in, with, and through him. When I arrive at St. Michael’s, I always hope and pray I’ll see you so that we can enter into the joy of the Lord together. There’s nothing on earth like it.
This article was written by Fr. Ivor Kraft, Associate Priest, and published in the 2018 Spring Messenger.