A new year is always full of opportunities It can also be a chance to reset and get our priorities back in line. Here at St. Francis Solanus, we are blessed with many great opportunities to reset our prayer and faith lives as 2022 gets underway.
One of the most exciting new opportunities are the small prayer groups that are in development. Fr. Steven Arisman says that parishioners should consider faith-related groups in which they have been previously — or are currently — involved. The parish would like to offer resources and support to help continue or restart these groups.
“I am excited about the idea of more small groups”
“I am excited about the idea of more small groups,” Fr. Arisman says. “This is the biggest initiative that we want to start. I believe this will be the lifeblood of renewing our parish.”
Fr. Arisman has been at St. Francis Solanus for just over a year. Since he arrived here during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he hasn’t had a chance to meet as many people as he might have otherwise. So, he looks forward to more in-person opportunities to get to know even more people in 2022.
As the new year gets underway, St. Francis Solanus will also be working on continued expansion in the parish, school, and playground. Fr. Arisman would like to see more green space for the school children.
“I am looking forward to expanding the footprint of our property”
“I am looking forward to expanding the footprint of our property,” he says.
Fr. Arisman is also grateful for all of the exciting upgrades that were made in 2021. He is most excited about closing off the street between the church and school. The parking lot on the west side of the church was also redone, and one of the houses near the church property was purchased for continued expansion. Masonry work was completed around the church and school, and a flue pipe for the church boiler was repaired. Also, the flooring in the parish house, which was last replaced in 1979, was redone. A group of volunteers repainted with paint donated by a parishioner.
“It is awesome to have all of this done,” Fr. Arisman says. “I am not sure people are fully aware of all this great work that was completed.”
As we look forward to 2022, Fr. Arisman points out that there will be a Lenten parish mission from April 9-12 led by Fr. Joseph Tuscan, OFM Cap.
And, in honor of the Franciscan history at St. Francis Solanus, a scholarship will be launched to help families with tuition at the school.
Since he arrived at our parish, Fr. Arisman has added a 5:30 p.m. Mass from Monday to Thursday. This is in addition to the 6:30 a.m. Mass. He invites everyone to add a weekday Mass to their faith lives. He asks all of us to use 2022 to make prayer a part of daily life — and if you have a strong prayer life, consider praying during even more of your day.
“Everything we do can be a prayer if we offer it that way, Pray as you drive your children to school and ask the Lord to be with you on your way to work. When you wake up, say, ‘Thank you God for the gift of this day.’”
“Everything we do can be a prayer if we offer it that way,” Fr. Arisman says. “Pray as you drive your children to school and ask the Lord to be with you on your way to work. When you wake up, say, ‘Thank you God for the gift of this day.’”
The church is open during the day, so consider stopping in, even if just for a few minutes, to give thanks to the Lord and spend time in prayer. Fr. Arisman would also like to offer more opportunities for parishioners to meet and connect with the seminarians of our parish in 2022. In the summer, he plans to continue Vacation Bible School and Totus Tuus programs for the children of the parish.
This past September, Fr. Arisman started a Master’s program in ecclesial administration and management at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He compares it to a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, for a priest. He will complete the program in August 2022.
“I just want people to know that my first year has gone really well, despite the disruptions of the pandemic,” Fr. Arisman says. “This is an active and exciting parish, and I am excited to see what we can do. God will lead us in good places.”
Fr. Arisman asks parishioners to download the smart phone myParish app. Send a text message to 88202 and type App in the message — this is a great way to keep connected with happenings at St. Francis Solanus. Stay tuned to the website and church bulletin for happenings in 2022.