A Note From Father Eickhoff

March 3, 2024

A little while ago I was asked “what is my dream for St. Anne Parish?”

My fondest dream is a bit grandiose.  I imagine a vast crowd filling St. Peter’s Square in Rome one hundred years in the future.  A hundred thousand, no two hundred thousand people cheering for joy and giving praise to God on the occasion of the canonization of a new saint of the Catholic Church.  I hear the name of this newly recognized saint of the Church announced and a description of her holy and heroic life proclaimed to the people.  This account of her life begins with her Baptism at St. Anne Catholic Church in Oswego, IL.  It continues with how she attended Religious Education classes in her parish; how she received her First Communion at St. Anne Parish; how she received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Anne Parish.  The biography continues with how her famed virtues of faith, prudence, and courage were nurtured and developed in the parish she grew up in.  It is a wonderful dream.  I think that every pastor hopes that one day future generations of Christians will draw hope and inspiration from the holy life of a saint that began her faith life in his parish.

There are other dreams that are not so dramatic, but equally important.  It is not the dream of great spectacle or fame or earthly acknowledgement.  Rather it is the dream that every day a parishioner of St. Anne Parish, faced with a difficult decision that would lead him away from Jesus Christ, will choose the path that leads to Christ even if it is the more challenging path because of some word that he heard at Sunday Mass or some moment of inspiration that came to him at prayer at St. Anne Church.  It is the dream that a kindly word or generous deed from a parishioner of St. Anne Parish towards a co-worker, a neighbor, or a stranger will spark within that person a desire to know for themselves the person of Jesus Christ who inspires such kindness in His followers.  It is the dream of deeds done in the name of Christ that will not appear in any earthly history book but are known and forever praised before the judgement seat of God.

My dream for St. Anne Parish is one in which Christians are encouraged and aided by the grace they have received from God’s sacraments to become better disciples of Jesus Christ in this world so that they will take up the place that God desires for them in the world to come

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Stephen Eickhoff