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New Beginnings

By Melissa Wilkinson, Pastoral Associate

Wow, what a summer of transition for us here at St. Mary’s. We’ve had some massive change happen here in such a short period of time. We said goodbye to Father Tom after four years of serving our parish. We celebrated Father Matt Duclos as he was ordained into the priesthood and began his first assignment. We mourned the loss of Joan Grishkot, who made a huge impact in our parish and all over Warren County (not to mention brought joy to hundreds of thousands with her role with the Balloon Festival). We spent each week at Mass with Father Kelly who came out of retirement for the summer to help us. We also got to know Father Busch, our Episcopal Vicar as he stepped in to lead us in our time of transition and helped to implement changes that will set up Father Scott for success. We are grateful for the years of dedication and of Theresa LaPoint and Jim Kane as they transition out of their roles as trustees and welcome our new trustees, Tim McNulty and Gerianne Sanok into their leadership roles.

I am so thankful for Father Busch and Father Kelly. My goodness, I can’t even begin to imagine what this summer would have been like without their support.

We are now ready to welcome Father Scott as he transitions into his role as pastor. While he still has some responsibilities to his previous parishes in the next two weeks, St. Mary’s Coxsackie and St. Patricks Ravena, he’ll begin celebrating Masses here the weekend of September 18th and 19th.

On that weekend, we are beginning our Fall theme of “Launch into Purpose.” The “Launch” part was inspired by the Adirondack Balloon Festival. (I know Joan liked that when we told her! She originally told me she’d get us a balloon for that day as well. She’ll surely be smiling down from heaven on that day!) And the “into Purpose” comes from the book, The Purpose Driven Life, that our Small Groups will be reading for the season.

Father Scott’s homilies throughout the next two months will include messages from The Purpose Driven Life, and we encourage you to join or host an in-person or online Small Group. If you don’t feel ready to join a Small Group yet, I invite you to pray about it and ask God for His guidance on this. If, after prayer, you still don’t feel ready, I encourage you to get a copy of the book so that you can read along with us.

We’ll kick off the season with a “Launch into Purpose” event right here on our church grounds on Sunday, September 19th following the 11:15 a.m. Mass, and ending at 2:30 p.m.. We’ll have food, beverages, games and a Ministry Fair. It’s an event for the whole family! You’ll have an opportunity to meet Father Scott, spend time with your family, meet other parishioners, sign- up for Small Groups, Faith Formation, Ministries and so much more. You can even pick up your own copy of The Purpose Driven Life for only $5 at the event. (Retail is $19.99!) You can also pick up your copy, if you previously pre-ordered the book. it up at the event if you pre-ordered your copy.

We’re still looking for volunteers to help make this event a success. We’d love to have some of our teens helping with the games (the little kids look up to you!), some help with set up and help with clean up. If you can help, please email Katie Sullivan at or fill out the form at

There is something special about Fall and as we transition from summer into this new season, I pray that you keep an open mind and open heart about the changes to come.

Peace be with you.


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