Written by Lisa Solava
I was recently asked to speak at my parish, St. Jude Catholic Church in New Lenox, Illinois, so I can share with you what the Augustinians have meant to me. Although I have a good story, I thought I would ask you to consider what the Augustinians have meant to you.
How long have you known the Augustinians? How many of you attended St. Rita or Providence Catholic High School where the teachings of St. Augustine integrate the core Augustinian values of truth, unity and love?
Has there been an Augustinian priest who has been influential in your life? Some of you may remember Fr. Dick Allen, Fr. Ray Ryan, or Fr. John Murphy, who served us many years ago. We were blessed to have Fr. Brecht join us to assist in the financial planning of our worship space. Under Fr. Slattery’s leadership we built St. Jude’s present church. I remember the day when Fr. Slattery invited all of us to sign the concrete floor and leave our mark upon the foundation of this building.
Some of you may remember Fr. Schweifler who – after receiving a heart transplant on Easter Sunday of 2005 and after a long illness – journeyed back to this altar and served us until God called him home. How many of you have been touched by the healing words of Fr. Bates when you experienced obstacles in your life? Or the kind hand on your shoulder from Fr. Sullivan when you told him you were expecting your first child? Perhaps Fr. Lewandowski celebrated Mass when your one and only daughter got married. There was probably an Augustinian priest at your side on the day of your loved one’s funeral Mass. And how about Fr. Sanchez? Guided by the Holy Spirit, he found his way to the Augustinians and then found his way into all of our hearts here at St. Jude.
I’m really excited about where the Augustinians are today and the vision for the future. I’m especially excited about the increase in vocations. I’ve met many of the men in formation and see their energy and passion – the same energy and passion we see in our newest Augustinian priest, Fr. Sanchez.
When I was asked to speak to my entire parish about this, I’ll admit that I was hesitant. Although I speak publicly in my work, it is usually for no more than a group of 30. It’s intimidating to speak from this ambo to all of you. However, I am overcoming my nerves because I want to share with you why I support the Augustinians. By giving to the Augustinians, I know I’m supporting the priests that serve here past and present. I am also providing a path for the young men discerning their journey to us in the future. I hope you will feel the need for more vocations and the need to take care of the priests that have taught us and served us so well.
My husband and I have made a financial commitment to the Augustinians. We want to see the Augustinians continue on so that future generations have the opportunity to really be influenced by them. It's a worthy effort for me to stand here today to ask for your help. The Augustinians need our support. Please join me to ensure that they're here for years to come.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Pray for us.
So what have the Augustinians meant to you?
One way Lisa gives back to the Augustinians is by enrolling in the One Mind, One Heart Society. The society recognizes donors that pledge to contribute $3 a day to support the Augustinians through their Annual Fund. Members of the society also receive invitations to special pilgrimages and retreats and are recognized by receiving the beautiful lapel pin shown at right. Are the Augustinians worth $3 a day to you?
Lisa Ann Solava, PHR has been an active, devoted parishioner of the Augustinians’ St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, Illinois, and was awarded the Augustinian Fidelitas Award for her contributions toward helping the Order. The Augustinian General Curia in Rome later named her an Affiliate of the Order. Lisa is also volunteering her time toward helping the Continuing Our Journey of Faith campaign and serving on the Augustinian Advancement Advisory Council. Lisa is the Director of Operations and Interim Director of Human Relations at Tandem HR. She has over 25 years of experience supporting C-suite executives in growing and furthering their businesses. She is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and a member of: theSociety of Human Resources Management (SHRM), the Illinois State Council SRHM, the Society of Human Resource Professionals of Greater Chicago Chapter (SHRP), the Grundy Will HR Association Chapter, and World at Work (Total Rewards Association). She graduated fromRobert Morris College and has completed several years of additional coursework in Psychology, Human Resources, Organization Development, Cognitive Methods for Training, Communications, and Religious studies.