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The Bishop’s Annual Stewardship Appeal

I am writing this corner on Thursday afternoon February 21st, rushing to accommodate the 5 o’clock deadline. The quandary is, there is so much going on that is relevant to all of us, both locally here in the parish, in our nation and the world. Locally, I am committed to chaperoning and hearing confessions at our Diocesan Youth Camp beginning Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. This means I will not be here with you this weekend. Fr. Adam Izbicki from St. Catherine’s will cover Saturday Vigil Mass and Fr. Jose Pazheveetil, Chaplain at St. Vincent’s, will cover the Sunday Masses.

Also, locally I am asking you to prayerfully assess your upcoming contribution next weekend, to the Bishop’s Annual Stewardship Appeal (BASA). As I mentioned a week ago, our parish emphasis, and this year the diocesan emphasis, has been on the percent of participation. We have always focused on everybody giving something, no matter the amount, to reflect that we truly are a caring parish family. And a diocesan guideline for some years now has been, when using a 10% tithe as your guide, to keep your Parish support primary with 5%, 3% to the BASA, and 2% to your personal charities. Please bear in mind that is a guide not a mandate.

I wanted to make sure that for all who attended the wonderful movie, “Garabandal”, I have a wonderful 30 page booklet that describes the sequence of events that took place that you will find both interesting and uplifting. Please let me know or check with the office, if you would like a copy. The blessings and merits that accrue to becoming a committed Eucharistic Adorer, were highlighted last weekend by a wonderful “ministry minute” given by parishioner Amy Karney. Regarding Adoration, I’ve come to know most all of our parishioners quite well and I can attest to these facts: Almost everyone has a deep-seated concern for theirs or another’s well-being, and/or heartbreak in their lives. Those who have committed to giving our Lord one sacred hour of our time each week to be with our Lord in adoration, have come to experience the peace and resilience Christ so ardently desires for us all. Like so many things spiritual, if you do not give it a chance, with an open loving mind, the benefit will elude you.

One more local concern is one that is proving to be quite broad-based. We have a multitude of ministries established in the parish, but the majority of them are suffering from apathy. The numbers in many ministries have dwindled. This is so ironic when the parish has grown so; more than doubled. Another irony is that so many of the ministries have men and women (mostly women) who are active in 2, 3, and more ministries, proving the old 80-20 ratio to be true with 20% doing the work that the other 80% benefit from. Sadly, our ratio is now closer to 90%/10%. Please consider picking up a ministry Booklet in the Narthex and consider where you could contribute. There is much more local news to come with our Memorial Recognition Wall, our new Learning Center construction project and more.

Nationally and Internationally, we have been praying for over a month now for a successful outcome of the Vatican Bishops Conference which began today, February 21st. Please keep apprised of what takes place by accessing Catholic websites and pray without ceasing. Division and confusion abound here in the United States, with scandal after scandal dealing with aberrant homosexual behavior being defended, covered up, or ignored. Every Catholic commentator has urged all of the laity to hold we clerics, especially our Bishops, accountable for bringing healing and restoring confidence in the moral fiber of the clergy at every level. No compromise; no more silence, no more obfuscation and duplicity accepted.

Yours in prayerful anticipation of healing,