Pastor's Corner

Closing of the Year of Faith

And Beginning of the Year of the Family

Presented by Father Anthony Ekanem, MSP


My Dear Parishioners,

It is my great pleasure to take this opportunity to thank you all, for your commitment and support to our SPN Church family.  I have been here for almost three months, and have been reviewing the 2011 and 2012 State of the Parish Report.   I want to commend you on all the progress I have seen in the parish family so far.  My sincere gratitude goes, first of all, to your former pastor, Very Rev. Robert Kajoh, MSP for the great work he did here.   To the Editorial & Graphics Design Ministry, under the able and dynamic leadership of Betty Kebede, who put all this together in order to enable us to appreciate and keep up with the Spirit of Stewardship displayed in our parish, I commend you, too.    

Having been here only a couple of months of 2013, this report is mainly about reflections and observations of what happened  when I came to SPN and  compliments rather than a  Report from the Pastor, especially since our Holy Father has declared this year, a Year of the Family.   And so I am making an appeal to all of the members of our parish family to come out and continue the good work the good Lord has begun in us. With the numerous ministries in our parish, collaboration, evangelization, renewal, communication, transparency, and full participation at our Liturgy is essential and necessary. The Psalmist tells us, “If the Lord does not build the house in vain does its builder labor”. (Ps 127)

Since my arrival, many have taken time to help me get acquainted with the Archdiocese Pastoral Program; parish pastoral Council, under the leadership of Ms Joan Graham, along with the Finance Council, under the leadership of Mr. Wesley Forte and our Continuing Christian Education program, coordinated by Mrs.  Lynn Hubbard.    Mr. Wilfred Gray, who is the president of the Ushers, took time to introduce me to the members who were present at their meeting, just as Mrs. Arnell Wells did with the Ministry of Lectors.  The warm reception after each Mass, organized by Parish Pastoral Council to ‘Meet & Greet the New Pastor’ was very uplifting and greatly appreciated.  Thanks for your kindness and generosity.

In the same vein, my sincere gratitude goes to the 2013 Bazaar Committee members for their tireless efforts with fundraising activity.  Ms. Beth Hahn, after a review of the 2013 Bazaar, generously accepted to chair the Bazaar for 2014 with Mrs. Sherry Chilo, as her co-chair.  The Committee is even looking at raffling off a car next year!  Please, be prepared to support all of our fundraising activities beginning with New Year’s Eve Dance, December 31, 2013.        

As you go through the new St. Philip Neri Catholic Church 2013 Church Directory, please do not hesitate to share your suggestions with us. We are looking forward to embarking on another one that will be a more comprehensive representation of our personal and parish family history. We shall need those who could not participate in this endeavor to consider our 2010 Vision: Love, Unity and Service, as our approach.  The company photographs came out good, but Kevin Guidry did an excellent job of his coordination with all of the ministry groups to take their pictures which are truly outstanding and really enhance the Directory.

As one of our out-reach programs here in the parish, the South Park Area Community Services, Inc. which has received the endorsement and support of the parish pastoral & finance Councils and of course, the approval of the Archdiocese is making its presence felt within the Community. We are proud of this as a parish, thanks to Deacon James Brooks, the Director of the Social Ministry and Executive Director of SPACS. We still need your cooperation, prayers, time and resources to move further in our Social Ministry. Our two other deacons, Deacon Ronald Simon and Deacon Dwight Burroughs have been very helpful in our pastoral work since our Clergy Meeting here in the parish.

Just a few weeks ago, we had our Advent Revival with about 47 Ministries in our parish.   We tried to end the Year of Faith in a special way.  Fr. Sebastine Okoye, the Revivalist, and associate pastor at Prince of Peace, reminded us that the faith we have received is not coming to an end.   Rather, it is just beginning.  He urged us all to go forth and evangelize; to bring the good news of Advent, Christmas and His second coming to our families, our community and our neighborhood.   A seed has been sown… water it, nurture it and let it grow. Let our light shine.

I am looking forward to a more fruitful collaboration with all the ministries, leaders, coordinators of various groups here at St Philip Neri. Therefore, I encourage all to “Come! Let us join and work together, renew and deepen our faith with all the resources our Heavenly Father has blessed us with so we can whole heartedly and joyfully serve our Almighty God.”  The Family as a domestic Church needs to be restored, especially with our Parish Family Vision of Unity, Love and Service for the glory of God and our salvation.  


Thank you!  May the good Lord continue to bless you all abundantly in our parish!  




Rev. Anthony Ekanem, MSP