St. Joseph Ellinwood, KS and Immaculate Conceptoin Claflin, KS

Welcome to the Online Newsletter!

Everything old is made new again… 

This phrase echoes in my mind each time I reflect on the idea of an online newsletter. When I first learned that the Spirit of St. Joseph & Immaculate Conception was no longer going to arrive in my mailbox, I was sad. I felt a sense of loss: loss of connection to family and friends, loss of information about a parish and a faith that I am always striving to learn more about, and loss of the tangible connection to the people described within its pages.

I tend to hold-on to things. The crib that each of my children slept in is still put together in my youngest’s bedroom; I have boxes of school papers from the last four years that my children have attended St. Joseph Catholic School; and anytime a family member wants to get rid of furniture, blankets, or clothes, I open my closet doors and stuff more in. I crave the connection to those that came before, to the memories I relish. The tangible items that were connected to others continue to move my heart and spirit.

More recently, however, I have begun to realize that we will run out of room to live if I keep holding on to the old toys, beds, schoolwork, clothes, and shoes. My husband has pointed out more than once that the box of school papers is a genuine fire hazard! So, I have begun to clean through and pare down. It isn’t easy as I strive only to keep that which holds genuine meaning and connection to my family and friends. I am beginning to believe that the same is true with the newsletter. Though the tangible connection through paper will no longer exist, my hope and my belief is that the connection and the knowledge that is most important will continue to flourish and reach parishioners near and far.

Everything old is made new again… 

In my first writing assignment as a journalist, I felt I should find the origin of this quote, and thus began my research. I didn’t go to the library and scour reference books. I didn’t open the historical literary texts in my bookshelf. I didn’t use any of the “old” methods I had learned in school. Instead, I turned to Google. I instantly searched multiple resources and pages of quotes, author’s websites, Biblical reference sites, and song lyrics. I found that Peter Allen wrote and performed a song of this title in 1974; his song was incorporated into the film All that Jazz in 1979, and then reinvigorated and performed by Hugh Jackman in the musical, A Boy from Oz, in 2003.  I also found that haiku writer and novelist Harley King is credited with using a version of it that goes like this: “All things old become new again. In my youth the athletes had crew cuts and the hippies had long hair. Now the athletes have long hair and the hippies are bald.”

And how could I forget the numerous references to “new again” found in the Holy Scriptures? References abound from Isaiah to Revelations, but one most often quoted is 2 Corinthians 5:17 – So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And while I don’t think the online newsletter is a new coming in the Biblical sense, I do find comfort in embracing the change. What if this new format allowed our Parish Cluster to connect with parishioners, friends, and non-believers all over the world through quick Google searches? What if, it allowed our little parishes to continue to grow and maintain their strong connection to and support of those who may not be on any mailing list?

Everything old is made new again… 

I am looking forward to this new journey, this new opportunity to learn about and connect with our parish members and greater community. I am looking forward to links on Facebook, email notifications, and Google searches. And, as a bonus… If you have signed up for Flocknote, imagine the ease of reading the newest articles and installments as a result of a text-message reminder, sent directly to your phone!

I hope to see many of you continuing in this journey as well. If you have an idea for an article you would like to see published, or if you would like to contribute an article yourself, please let us know. In the meantime – read and share. Spread our good news with your friends and family. Everything old is made new again, and this time it is the Spirit of St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception.