gathering spaces
Spotlight on: Casey Green, New Coordinator of Outreach Ministries

The following excerpts from Pope Francis' exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) describe Pope Francis' vision of Outreach Ministries in today's world:
"I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security." "Their greatest concern must be the poor and marginalized, since they are victims of an unjust, global economic system that prizes profit over people. The poor need the tender, merciful love that the church can provide."

Casey Green, a St. Mary of the Lake parishioner for 18 years, recently joined the St. Mary of the Lake staff as Coordinator of Outreach Ministries. Casey grew up in Stillwater where she attended St. Mary's Catholic Church. At age 20, she entered the Benedictine Order at St. Paul's Monastery and was a nun for 8 years before discerning that her life's mission was meant to occur outside the convent.  Casey has a BA degree and was enrolled in the Pastoral Studies Master's Degree program at the University of St. Thomas. Her education and experience afforded her the opportunity to work at various non-profits, such as the Anoka County Crisis Nursery.   

At age 50, Casey married Mark Green, a well-liked and respected teacher in the White Bear Lake School District.  After 13 years of marriage, Mark passed away from cancer. Casey tried retiring in 2013, but quickly realized she still had much more to accomplish with regard to social issues and justice, which is what drew her to the Coordinator of Outreach Ministries role.

Casey is passionate about "doing for the least of my brothers" and is excited to use her role to evangelize through identifying unmet needs in the community and developing ways to meet those needs.  When asked what challenges she encounters as Coordinator of Outreach Ministries, Casey mentioned: limited time, the number of needs in the community, and finding people who need our help. On a more positive note, she shared, "The parishioners of St. Mary of the Lake are dedicated and wonderful."

Please join us in welcoming Casey Green and wishing her success in her new role as Coordinator of Outreach Ministries at St. Mary of the Lake. Her experience and leadership skills are bound to make a lasting difference in our parish and our community.
A Mission-Oriented Parish

Over the past year, St. Mary of the Lake has undertaken several initiatives to become a more mission-oriented parish. So, what exactly is a "mission-oriented parish?" In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes that the Church exists for mission and that each member of the Church should announce the Good News of Jesus Christ and invite others into a relationship with him. Pope Francis also emphasizes that the center of ongoing missionary outreach must be the local parish.

At St. Mary's, this focus on mission means we've heard parishioners share their faith stories and invite others to do the same. We've participated in events such as Women in the New Evangelization (WINE). We've made changes to how we welcome visitors and parishioners to Mass.

Now we are taking the next step by inviting all parishioners to participate in small groups that encourage sharing our faith stories and the good news of our faith. Be My Witness, a 12-session program, will begin this winter forming approximately 20 small groups among people with common interests - those who live in the same neighborhoods, are of like ages, have comparable career backgrounds or are experiencing similar life milestones. Our hope is that each small community group will grow in time, reach out to invite new friends and build additional groups.

Small group leaders will receive training during the early winter months. In mid-January, parishioners will be encouraged to sign up for the small group that best fits their faith needs, time availability and interests. Through guiding pages of reflection and sharing, parishioners can grow their relationship with Jesus and each other and become the evangelizing disciples we are called to be.

A library of resources will be made available for the groups after the 12 sessions are completed, or a group may use materials of their own choice, to continue their faith journey.

Each of us has a story and by sharing these stories, we not only encourage others, we strengthen our own faith and faith story. Will you consider discovering yours with a small group and help St. Mary of the Lake become a more mission-oriented parish?
Issue: 19
December 1, 2017
In This Issue
Our New Mission Statement

We are a joyful and welcoming Catholic community centered in the Eucharist - - forming disciples who know, follow and go forth to share Jesus Christ. 
Upcoming Events
Learn more about these and other events on our website

Parish Day of Prayer:
December 6
Immaculate Conception:
December 8, 8 AM & 5 PM

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St.Mary of the Lake

4690 Bald Eagle Ave

White Bear Lake, MN 55110

(651) 429-7771