Our Lady of the Visitation and Saint Leo the Great parish in Fairmount are “Covenant” partners. This is a relationship similar to “twinning” in which time, talent, and treasure are mutually shared and a relationship of mutual caring and respect is developed. It is a way to evangelize to each other, stepping out of our comfort zones in experiencing our similarities as members of one Body of Christ, as well as our differences as unique creatures of God.
Saint Leo the Great parish is only a few miles away, but has a diverse congregation that includes German Catholics, Guatemalans from Central America and Burundians from Africa. St. Leo’s Pastor is Father Jim Schutte, a great friend of our Father Mark.
On January 8th of 2012, the Covenant contract was signed by Father Mark Burger and Father Jim Schutte at a feast of the Epiphany prayer service at St. Leo’s. An international pot luck dinner followed to celebrate.
We have developed this relationship over time through our involvement in St. Leo’s toy drive, as well as a benefit concert in September of 2011 when Our Lady of the Visitation’s Bill Tonnis performed along with the Burundian choir and Guatemalan band. The 125th anniversary mass was held on November 6th that year with our own Deacon, Mike Erb, participating in the liturgy of the mass.