Message From Fr. Tom
To the parishioners of The Church of the Risen Savior
I am delighted to be your new pastor beginning July1! I look forward to ministering among you with your dedicated and competent staff. Here is a little background about me as we begin to know each other and grow together as a community of disciples of the Risen Christ.
I grew up on a dairy farm near Montgomery (yes – the Kolache capital of the world), about half an hour southwest of The Church of the Risen Savior. Being the oldest of ten children, I learned early on the value of hard work and responsibility. My mother still lives on the farm with one of my brothers who does organic farming. My father died of cancer in the year 2000.
In 1977 I was ordained a priest of this archdiocese by Archbishop Roach. For twelve years I served as an associate pastor of four different parishes. Then I served for ten years on the faculty of The Saint Paul Seminary in St. Paul as spiritual director. Since 1999 I have been the pastor of The Church of St. Richard in Richfield, a parish of 1000 households. So Risen Savior is my second opportunity to serve as a pastor. I tell the folks at St. Richard that they trained me so well that the Archbishop assigned me to another parish more than twice the size.
Some of you may remember me from twelve years ago. For about eight months I came to the parish as a Sunday presider when you were in between pastors. I remember fondly how well the assembly participated wholeheartedly in the Eucharistic celebration. I remember being impressed by the many activities happening in the parish. And your sense of outreach to the sister parish in Gris-Gris, Haiti, and the Latino Ministry within the parish are admirable. What I see is a healthy balance between communion and mission, coming together to celebrate the presence of Christ and going forth to love and serve in a Christ-like manner.
In my leisure time I enjoy being out in nature, traveling, reading, sharing a meal with friends, and listening to classical music. I like to write. I wrote two books. In 1999 I published a book titled Formation for Priestly Celibacy – not a best seller but an important work for seminary students and faculty that is used in seminary formation programs throughout the country. Recently I published Praying With Both Lungs: A Communion of East and West. Inspired by Pope John Paul II’s imagery about the need to breathe with both lungs in the Church (East and West), it describes and outlines fifteen different prayer forms from the rich treasury of both the East and West. Click here to purchase Praying With Both Lungs: A Communion of East and West now.
I know that you are going through quite the heartache with both Fr. Wozniak and Fr. Gorman moving from the parish. Their presence and ministry among you has been a labor of love. Know that I keep the good of Risen Savior parish in my thoughts and prayers during this transition time. I look forward to devoting my ministry and energy as your next pastor to build on the strengths of your vibrant and flourishing parish.
Blessings of Easter peace and joy!
Fr. Thomas Krenik