Article

Transitions

In the life of many parish communities, this is a season of transition. For us at OLGC, we have some transitions this spring as well. I would like to announce them and use categories to help explain the nature of those changes. Pardon the length of this announcement, but I hope this method will help give a framework for them and answer some questions you may have.

Transitions

In the life of many parish communities, this is a season of transition. For us at OLGC, we have some transitions this spring as well. I would like to announce them and use categories to help explain the nature of those changes. Pardon the length of this announcement, but I hope this method will help give a framework for them and answer some questions you may have. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

Transitions I - Retirement

I would like to say thank you to Fr. Lewis Fiorelli, OSFS, and to Mr. Albert Reichelt, both of whom have served our parish for many years. Both Fr. Lew and Al are looking forward to the next stage in life as they move from active ministry to a time of retirement and renewed commitment to God and the Church in a new fashion. Please join me in expressing our gratitude to God for their dedication, love and commitment to our community. I leave you with reflections on their ministry and their hopes for this next stage in their lives.


Fr. Lewis Fiorelli, OSFS
When Father Metzger became Pastor eleven years ago, he invited Father Fiorelli to take up residence here and to help out when his other ministerial commitments permitted. When, a few years later, Father Lew's term as Superior General ended, he became parochial vicar.

In March, Father Lew turned 75 and on July 1, he will transition from full-time parochial vicar to "retired-in-residence" here at Our Lady of Good Counsel. Happily, he will continue to help out on weekend and daily ministry but on a more limited basis. He will also continue his ministry with the eleven Monasteries of the Visitation in the United States and with spiritual direction.

Father Lew writes, "Most of my Oblate life has been dedicated to teaching theology and Salesian spirituality which I thoroughly enjoyed. Until I came to Our Lady of Good Counsel, my parish experience had been limited to weekend ministry. I did not know if I would warm to full time parish ministry. God surprised me. I have loved it. I am convinced that the kind and good people of our parish and school communities have had everything to do with the joy and satisfaction that I have experienced here."

He goes on: "Over my eleven years here I have lived with a number of Oblate confreres. They have greatly added to my happiness here. Community and fraternal life with so many truly good men has been a real joy for me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to them as well as to our wonderful parish staff."

"That I am not leaving Our Lady of Good Counsel and the great people here has made what might have been a difficult transition for me that much easier! A very sincere 'Thank you' to all of you!"

Mr. Albert Reichelt
Al Reichelt will be retiring effective July 1, 2017 after 23 and one-half years as the Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, serving Frs. Frank Danella, John O'Neill, Bill Metzger, and myself. Al wants to pursue his love of theology, spirituality, and social justice and to convince his wife to retire as well! He is truly appreciative of the tremendous gifts that he has received from the Oblates, especially their charisms of hospitality and the Spirituality of St Francis de Sales, which has been the greatest gift that he could have ever hoped for. He will especially miss the wonderful faith-filled parishioners of OLGC and working in collaboration with all the great staff of OLGC, who are so committed to OLGC and its Mission and new Mission Planning program. Thank you all for a great ride!

Replacement

The good news is that Fr. Lew will continue on in a limited basis, but there will not be an additional Oblate to come to OLGC.

I am happy to announce that Mr. Tom White will join the staff to succeed Al Reichelt. Tom will be joining us part-time in May to prepare to fill Al's role as Administrative Assistant and Business Manager.

Tom is known to us recently as the project manager of our Pastoral Strategic Planning effort, but Tom has been here as a parishioner since 1991 when he and his family -- Kathy, Tom Jr. and Elizabeth -- moved to Vienna. Tom formally joined the Church through the RCIA program at Easter 1996. Tom has experiences here as a member of the PTO, CYO Coach, Lector, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and member of the Men's Club. He has been a member of the Cursillo community since 2003 and is still active in a group reunion.

Tom comes to us with over 30 years of experience in engineering, project and general management. He spent the last 14 years as an advisor to leaders of most of the federal government agencies. He has certified skills in project management and process engineering.

On July 1st, Tom will take on the role of Pastoral Associate with responsibility of the administrative, financial, facilities, technology and communications functions for the Community. Of course, he will play an important role assisting each of the Mission Directors in implementing their Strategic Plans. Please join me in welcoming Tom to his new role at OLGC.

Transitions II - Restructuring

When I became pastor in September, I realized that there were certain structures in place that were not familiar to me and my parish experience. In evaluating them, I am now making two changes. These are not meant as a critique of anything that has gone before, but simply as a move forward that suits my leadership style.

Beginning July 1st, there will no longer be a Director of Liturgical Music (DoLM) or a Director of Ministry to the Sick and Homebound (DoMSandH). Those two paid positions will be eliminated and the duties and responsibilities will be transferred to the Director of Liturgy. I would like to thank Patrice Roe (DoLM) and Madeleine Hugel (DoMSandH) for their service and dedication to the community, and we wish God's blessings upon them.

From now on, I do ask any parishioners with musical talent or those interested in visiting, ministering, and bringing communion to the sick and homebound to please contact Gerard Hall, our Director of Liturgy, directly.

Transitions III - Resigning

As principal of OLGC School, Austin Poole is also a member of the parish pastoral team. Austin has announced his resignation at the end of this school year (effective June 30th). I want to thank Austin for his 19 years of service to the OLGC community, especially to the students, parents, faculty, and staff of the school. Please join me in wishing God's blessing upon him and his family, especially during this time of transition. I share with you the letter that Austin sent to the school families:

Dear Parents,
It is with a great deal of sadness that I inform you that I will be resigning from my position on June 30, 2017. The last 19 years have flown by and have been very special to me. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to all of the priests and outstanding educators that I have been privileged to work with during my tenure.

OLGC is a great place to be and will always hold a special place in my heart. Please be assured that you and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

Thank you for your support and commitment to OLGC Parish and School.

Austin Poole
Principal
Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Replacement

I am very happy to announce that Mrs. Adrianne Jewett, Assistant Principal of OLGC School, has accepted the position of Principal for the school year of 2017-2018. I would like to express my gratitude to Adrianne for accepting this position. Over the past 13 years Adrianne has held several positions at OLGC School, not only as the Assistant Principal, but also as the Middle School Coordinator and Middle School Science teacher. She is also the parent of a current third grader, Thomas. Please join me in welcoming Adrianne to her new leadership position.

Adrianne has my full confidence and support as well as the support of the Office of Catholic Schools. Due to the timing of this change, Adrianne is seen as the best candidate to lead this year because she knows the students, families and the inner workings of the school. In addition, Adrianne is also familiar with the upcoming DFE accreditation process. All this has been viewed as strengths in Adrianne's and the school's favor. For any new principal position, the Diocese requires a search to be undertaken. That search will happen toward the end of calendar year 2017. It is my hope that Adrianne will choose to be one of the candidates for the principal position.

School Enrollment

For several years, the enrollment of our school has been decreasing. At this point in time our total enrollment for 2017-18 school year is 20 students fewer than last year. This is a serious concern. Currently, that decrease is especially seen in the lower grades. Conversely, the population of children seven years and under who live in our parish zip codes has increased in this same time period by over five percent. The school leaders will work with the Diocesan Office of Enrollment Management to explore all avenues to increase the school enrollment. That Diocesan office suggests that the goal for each class is between 22 and 25 students. That would mean that the upper end of that goal would be full enrollment at 450 students from grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

Preschool

A second initiative in support of enrollment will be to start a preschool program at OLGC. We hope to begin this in the 2018-2019 academic year. Many schools in the Diocese have found that preschool is a natural feeder for families to enter kindergarten the subsequent year. We will work with the Diocese and Fairfax County to take the steps necessary to start this initiative here.

Parish Pastoral Plan

As you know, we are now in the process of eliciting community responses and suggestions to the proposed plans for the next five years in the areas of Liturgy and Worship, Faith Formation, Community Fellowship, Community Outreach and the OLGC Elementary School. The community meetings on the goals for the next five years for the Outreach Mission will take place on May 15th at 9am and May 16 at 7pm, and the School Mission meetings will take place on May 22nd at 9am and May 23rd at 7pm. I ask that you please come to one of those meetings and hear many of the strategic initiatives that are being proposed. These proposals are direct responses to the areas of improvement identified during planning meetings. You will be asked to fill out the mission surveys that will follow so that we are able to include as much feedback from the community as possible.

Thank you for your support. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact me to help us all move forward.

May God continue to bless our OLGC community!

Live Jesus!

Fr. Matt
frhillyard@olgcva.org