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Father's Weekly Bulletin Message
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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 30, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

To possess a treasure, one must possess the field; and to possess the field, one must forsake his entire former way of life — sell all that he has. So Jesus tells us. The average person is not looking to forsake his life; the average person is trying to secure his life against the uncertainties and vagaries of this world. We may want God, hunger for God, but we do not necessarily want to start all over, with all the insecurity that is attendant to such a radical move. Yet much of our lives are based on the values of this world: prosperity, security, and comfort. For these we are willing to forsake our desire for more, for God, for we have made a place for ourselves here, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to have to start over. We tell ourselves that the value of the treasure is probably inflated; best to just stay with what is known, and hope God comes along.  

What is the life of God worth to you? The treasure is only available to those who can afford to purchase the field — it isn’t free. We don’t attain the life of God (the Kingdom of Heaven) by default, by accident, but with deliberate sacrifice, departure from the path of the known and the familiar, confident that there is supreme value in what God in Jesus Christ offers us. The heart that listens in love knows the way to the kingdom, for that is where God speaks to us about what God wants us to possess. And so the heart must let go of its fears, and embrace the new life; it must reach out in love, and go where it is asked to go, to do what it is asked to do.  

Fear breeds rigidity, resistance, and suspicion of what isn’t familiar; the Spirit calls us to new life. 

Via con Dios! (Go with God!)
Fr. Kevin

Parish History

The Cornerstone for St. Columba Church was laid June 12, 1881 on land donated by real estate developer Peter Fassbinder. The location, halfway between Animas City and Durango, meant that the church escaped fires that consumed other early churches along 3rd Avenue. Not only the building, but the people of this faith community have flourished in spite of a history of struggle and imperfection. Even St. Columba had problems before he achieved sainthood. He made his epic journey to Scotland in 563 AD, and began establishing monasteries after being accused of starting a war. Sheriff Robert Dwyer was present when the church’s cornerstone was laid, as there were no barroom brawls to break up that day. Sister Mary Baptiste Meyers, who led the Sisters of Mercy to Durango in 1882, was beheaded in a 1901 train wreck while traveling to Denver to visit a sister who was gravely ill. Father William Kipp traveled all over the mountains of southern Colorado in the 1920s bringing the sacraments to miners, and others who lived in remote locations. The Sisters of Mercy bravely cared for patients during the smallpox and flu epidemics of the early 20th century.

Wars came and went, and the mines of the San Juan Mountains produced minerals needed for weapons and industry. National economic problems had their effect, like the demonetization of silver, the crash of 1893 and the depression 35 years later. The mines that drove the economy of the region thrived, and eventually died. But in the end, families that started the parish in the early years are still represented at Mass each Sunday. Newcomers from all over the country have joined the parish, coming to retire, to work in natural gas production, construction or the tourist industry. They come for the quality of life, abundant outdoor recreation, and for the excellent, yet affordable St. Columba School. Together they have kept alive a common faith, in spite of their differences and hardships, so that the faith community of St. Columba Church might flourish.
St. Columba Church
St. Columba Church

Parish Staff

Fr. Kevin Novack
Pastor

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Steve Johnson
Deacon

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Judy Sturdevant
Liturgy & RCIA

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Sally Fochtman
Youth Ministry

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Pete Fochtman
Youth Ministry

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Cathy Cray
Parish Secretary

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Kelly Gessel
Business Manager

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Kevin Chick
Principal

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Dan MacVeigh
Maintenance

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Fabian Mendez
Custodian

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Interested in Volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering in any of our wonderful ministries, we'd love to have you! To learn more about opportunities to serve at St. Columba and in the community, and to find the perfect fit, please click  below or join us at the next Leadership Forum on the last Thursday of each month at 6:30pmParish members are encouraged to attend the upcoming gathering of the five commissions to participate in decision-making and leadership. 

Ministries & Leadership Forum
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