"Preparing for your Return" - A Letter from Fr. Jan
Several times during the Liturgical year, we spend our time waiting and preparing. However, even with the end of the Lenten season, we are still in a season of preparation. During our time apart, we at St. Therese are preparing for your return. Although you may be spending a few moments a day with us online, the staff here has been diligently working each day to make sure our spiritual home is ready for your return. Outside of the church, we were inspired by a prophet from the Old Testament and have ordered new signage to the parking lot, a commandment, to help keep the fire lanes free. It reads: Thou Shall Not Park Here. Those signs will be arriving soon.
It was noticed that perhaps some were being blessed by holy water, from the sky, coming and going to the church. So, we have had a few leaks in the overhangs repaired before the rainy season arrives. Also, as St. Francis of Assisi might have once mentioned, we are thankful that cows don’t fly. We have also installed a brand new, enhanced security camera system in and around the church. So not only will you be safe while prayerfully inside, but your vehicle will also be safe, in case another car isn’t as careful with social distancing. Sometimes we need a reminder to love your neighbor.
Inside the church, the work also continues. Deep cleaning has begun, with the floors washed of their sins, so that they may be assembled on again. For those who need to excuse themselves during services, the restrooms have been addressed as well, and are fully stocked with 2020 trending wealth. As our hearts become pure when we all gather again, rest assured that the air will be too, as all the air filters are now replaced.
There have been a few more items on our list that we just could not ignore. The sound system is enhanced so it doesn’t mess up my royal accent, that we hear the angels sing, and the Word of God touches our ears with ease. The beautiful Ambry has been installed. This installation will be a wonderful reminder of some of the significant stages of life with the Holy Oils that will soon be viewed by all. Please keep in your prayers our very slow Wi-Fi, so that your emails don’t standby. Hopefully, someday soon, it will be on our list too, but I am afraid that if we upgrade that now, I may be fasting until next Lenten season.
So even though the all-clear has not yet been declared, know that you are on our minds daily to make sure your spiritual home is safe, clean, and prepared for your return. We hope that you continue to join us for Mass online, for we plan to continue posting mass daily on our website. Our website is the best place to also check for updates on the latest news at St. Therese. I genuinely thank you for all that continue to give to the church. We know that we are in challenging times, and we are thankful for your gracious gifts that arrive by mail and online giving. May you continue to stay safe, and I look forward to the time when I can celebrate with you all again in person.
Sincerely Yours in Christ-
St. Therese Open for Prayer, Reconciliation & Communion - April 30, 2020
Fr. Jan's Easter Message - April 12, 2020
Fr. Jan Letter to Parishioners regarding COVID-19 - March 26, 2020
March 26, 2020
Dear St. Therese Parishioners,
The impact of the COVID-19 has truly been world-wide. Here at St. Therese Parish, our primary concern during this time is the holiness, health, and safety of our parishioners. We are praying for those who have been affected by this current health crises, especially the sick and their care givers.
The primary role of a Parish is to provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the faithful. Additionally, as members of the broader community, we are committed to participating in the larger response by our cities and state. Bishop Dewane’s decision to cancel all Masses, as well as all other liturgical events and gatherings, was based on the CDC and state government guidelines. Local priests are to provide for the needs of their parishioners within these parameters.
We must continue to pray and support those most vulnerable – the poor, those with less stable employment, and parents who need to work and are unable to find childcare. In a special way, we want to support the elderly, sick and shut-ins who may feel isolated and lonely. In the spirit of Lent, I ask all to embrace the works of mercy with zeal and to practice a spirit of gratitude and generosity to others by praying or carrying out acts of charity.
We will continue to communicate with you about our Parish events and activities as often as possible so that you are aware of what is going on at St. Therese Parish. The following is a good way in which you may stay connected, check our website home page daily. Visit www.sainthersechurch.net and look for updates. We will also be posting the weekly bulletin online here because we are not having Mass at this time.
During these times of uncertainty and administrative decision making, please be sure to check back often for updated information, as the guidelines for events remains fluid.
Please know that we are committed to continuing the good work of our Parish at this time. THANK YOU for the many ways you support our mission. It is my hope that you continue to support the work of our Church. Our Parish is dependent upon your weekly financial gifts to continue its ministries in this critical time of crisis when we are not able to go to Mass.
Please mail your weekly offertory donations to St. Therese Parish, 20115 North Tamiami Trail., North Fort Myers, FL 33903, or please use this time to transition to online giving using this link: www.osvonlinegiving.com/295. Please click and follow the here, Online Giving Users Guide to Create an Account. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
Join me in prayer for the repose of those who have died, for the recovery of those who are sick, for the strength of healthcare workers and caregivers, and for an end to this health crisis. Please be assured of my prayers for all of you, our St. Therese parishioners, and know that our Parish community is here for you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Jan Antonik
A message from Fr. Jan Antonik, our new spiritual leader - February 9, 2020
Dear Parishioners of St. Therese,
It is an honor for me to have been asked by our Bishop Frank Dewane to lead St. Therese Parish now that Fr. Tom has retired. Like many of you at this parish, I, too, have traveled both near and far to become a part of this community. And no, my accent is not from my time in the Midwest, rather I was born and raised in Poland. I started my studies to the priesthood in Krakow, and then moved to the United States where I completed my studies in Michigan. I graduated in 2003 and the same year was ordained a priest by Bishop John Nevis in Venice, Florida. Although my journey has taken me many places, I am happy to have called Southwest Florida my home for the last seventeen years, a beautiful place where the sun seems to shine enough that some of us need sunscreen all year round. During my time in the Diocese of Venice, I have served the parishes of Sacred Heart (Punta Gorda), the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, St. Thomas More (Sarasota), St. Agnes (Naples), and St. Andrew (Cape Coral).
My dear friends, change can be worrisome for a parish and a new priest as well. There is no “easy button” to activate, so everything may run perfectly the way it should. I hope to learn from Fr. Tom and his experience here, to make this transition as smooth as possible. Please be patient with me as I am a new kid on the block, and as I continue to learn how to assist this parish to the best of my abilities. With my gifts and talents as well as my limitations, I will do my best leading us all in our spiritual lives to be closer to our Lord and his Blessed Mother, in small but meaningful steps of our patroness St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Thank you to so many of you for sending me 'welcome cards to the new parish.' This is something entirely new to me, and I never have seen it done before. It testifies to the truth of how caring and thoughtful Fr. Tom has always been. I look forward to serving you as your administrator with kindness and a generous heart.
Rev. Jan Antonik, Administrator