This weekend is the launch of the 2018 CATHOLIC APPEAL and will have an ‘in pew’ pledge drive. I have already received my pledge card and have mailed it with an installment payment into the ‘Appeal Office’. Regardless I am being asked to fill out one of these cards and then hand it in after the pulpit presentation. It is important for everyone to fill out a card, as it helps us reach a goal for ‘in pew cards’ which translate into reaching our highest rebate level. It’s an inconvenience to some, but it pays off for the parish. The Appeal funds so many central agency services which the parish draws from the Pastoral Center. This past year we have had several people receive annulments; what use to cost a few thousand dollars, now is free to those who pursue the process. I hope those who do utilize this service remember that the ‘Appeal’ funds this service. Did you know that the ‘Appeal’ also funds a warehouse where we store various church ecclesial appointments from former parish churches? It is from this warehouse that we are picking up two large marble water fonts (the font one blesses one self when entering or leaving the church) essentially for free. The fonts come from Our lady of Mt Carmel in Boston and have been fully restored, they were being restored for another sacred space, but were not used because they did not work within the architecture of the church. They would cost a few thousand dollars to restore and double that to purchase. We are getting them for free because of your support of this important collection. The Archdiocese has moved from an attitude of just keeping those who are present at church to remain coming, to also include outreach “Evangelization” to spread the Gospel and increase attendance at churches through the Archdiocese. Your financial support permits the Church to grow and increase its presence and relevance in society. Last year we had paid pledges of over $53,538.00, which represented $27,073.00 over our assessed obligation. We received a 65% rebate of $17,598.05! Because you filled out the cards we reached the ‘in pew’ goal and received 65% rather than a 60% rebate, which comes to an extra $1354.25! I want to thank everyone who donated last year and encourage you to do the same this weekend. We have been able to do so much extra work, a new roof on the church and chapel, new (expensive) lights in the sanctuary, heat in the bathroom, and new flooring to the bathroom and hallway. I pray that God rewards each of you. May God’s abundant blessing be upon our Church family and her mission. Please pledge today!

I hope everyone likes the new colors in the hallway and bathroom, chosen by an interior decorator. The burgundy wall was not the right color for a narrow space. The marble font will be in place, and we’ll replace the oak holder with a white desk. The work should make the space appear bigger and cleaner.

Over the past year or so I have lost the friendship from two friends, a priest and a parish family from a previous assignment. The alienation happened when I tried to address some hurtful behavior on their part, that for a long time I chose to ignore in the hopes that things would change. I lost their friendships and they have nothing more to do with me, despite my attempts and desire to resolve. In retrospect my way to address the problems were not well thought out and could have been more pastoral. Wish I could have a redo. I feel bad despite many attempts to resolve the friendship their hearts remain closed. I have asked for their forgiveness and found none, and it bothers me that they can’t free themselves from this hurt and alienation. On Monday and Tuesday our Lenten Mission features Dr. Stephen Fahrig, who will take time to speak to our hearts about the impediments we face in forgiving others. I hope you will join us. We will also LIVESTREAM the Mission on our Website.