I want to thank all of you for making this an incredible Advent and Christmas Season. It was my second one with you. I have been blessed to see so many people take to heart a few of the messages which Fr. Serrano and I have been preaching, especially the giving of your time, talent, and treasure. I think that our Food for Thought program is going very well. It is helping us to close our budget gap and it is also helping us to keep the Academy open.
We still have a lot of things that we can improve and I believe it is going to happen sooner rather than later. The music has been outstanding (not to mention that I cannot sing or play). The volunteers in our parish came out in droves for the volunteer dinner and it was enjoyed by all. The Food Bank and the servers and the sacristans and many others are making our parish a welcome place, a place where someone can receive aid, a place where God is seen in the love we give to each other. Please do not stop any of it. And if we can improve things – please say something to us.
I know that I have made some changes and I think that they have helped our parish to be more of a community than it has been in the past. I also appreciate the work the deacons have done and the staff has done in making things work.
We are now moving into Ordinary Time (Green) and then on Wednesday 13 Feb we will begin the Lenten Season. I am going to encourage that those who are doing their tithing via envelopes take the time in prayer to discern whether or not to move to e-tithing. It does a few things for our parish. It helps each individual to be regular with their tithing and fits right in with budgeting. It cuts down on a significant cost of printing and mailing envelopes and it helps each individual to regularly e-tithe to the parish whether or not they are able to make it on a particular Sunday. This would also help our “Snowbirds” to continue supporting us when we are sweltering in the summer heat while they are sitting back sipping a cool lemonade thinking about us here in the heat! This would go a great way toward helping us to close the budget gap and expand the number students that can attend our Academy.
I also encourage everyone to look around in their own neighborhoods and see if there are parents that might consider having their children enroll in our school. An education with Catholic moral values is exactly what our world needs. God is not allowed in our public schools and the violence in our society is growing. Do we want our future leaders to be children who grow up with values taught by Linda and her staff or by someone who follows secularist and atheistic values which are relative to their beliefs? It is time to decide.
Close out this week of Ordinary Time praying for vocations, discerning your usage of envelopes/cash versus e-tithing, considering ways to expand your own gifts from the Holy Spirit by sharing your time, talent, and treasure and celebrate the sacraments with me as often as you can, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. Peace.