from Fr. Gerard LeComte, CJM
September 1, 2020
For over 40 years, Mission Circle has been a key part of the St. James – St. Leo Catholic Community. Under Fr. John Howard’s leadership, the intent of Mission Circle has always been to provide parishioners the opportunity to become “missionaries for a day”. Initially, this was focused on a needy home for girls in Tijuana called Casa Eudes, and over the years, other projects have arisen that have expanded the reach of Mission Circle volunteers. These include the Food Packaging events, the peanut butter and jelly ministry, the shoe program, tutoring kids at the St. Leo Mission, cookies for Kairos, and other similar opportunities.
As Pastor, my dream has been to integrate the spirit of Mission Circle into our faith community in a much more dynamic, inclusive way, touching all of our ministries. This is a challenging vision, but I’m excited to move it forward in a direct way today. I’ve asked Deacon Peter Hodsdon to take the lead as Administrator of Mission Circle, effective immediately, reporting to me. His immediate duty is to propose a new Board that represents all facets of the Parish, from the Academy to St. Leo to the Youth to Catechetical Ministry, and to revisit all of the programs under the Mission Circle umbrella. I am particularly interested in how to coordinate Mission Circle with our Social Justice committees so that we balance charity and justice in purpose and practice.
I want to emphasize that this new direction is in no way a criticism of the current Board and leadership. They have recognized the need for new blood and new initiatives to me on several occasions and share my desire to see Mission Circle thrive and expand. Our parish owes a significant debt of gratitude to these dedicated volunteers. I have no doubt that they will continue to help us in the months ahead.
Please join with me in realizing Mission Circle’s guiding principal – people helping people in need.