Pastor's Column

     Joseph Panik was a parishioner here at St. Leo's who attended the 4pm Mass on Saturdays. He passed away suddenly last week & his Funeral Mass was celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Joe was a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish (now closed), which is where our stained glass windows are from (the ones in the shadow boxes). Since Joe was on the fund-raising committee at Blessed Sacrament when they bought those windows, he joked that he had to pay for the windows twice...first when he was at Blessed Sacrament & then when we had them installed here at St. Leo's! May he now join the saints honored on those windows.
    Donald Khoma was buried from our parish this past Monday. He was the youngest of 8 children and there is only one surviving brother left. He took great care of his wife during her long illness and was himself beset by illness which had him in and out of nursing homes for several years. But he treated those who cared for him like they were family. We pray for him by name this weekend as well. 
    We also extend our sympathy to the family of Ivan Sevel who died on Thanksgiving Day. I gave him the Last Rites just a couple days before and was able to pray for him with his wife Sharon and two of their sons who live in town. Ivan's Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, December 19th. Ivan was a retired police officer. May he too rest in peace. 
    Last Sunday at the beginning of the 10am Mass, we celebrated the Rite of Acceptance for Pedro, Dylan, Neiland, Rebecca & Erin, who are in RCIA and preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. We formally welcomed them into the catechumenate and pledge to walk with them on the journey of faith, especially in the coming months. 
    This Tuesday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of our country and so a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be at 7am, 8:30am (school) and 7pm. 
    Now that all the bills have been paid from our festival in October, I can tell you that the parish made a profit of $17,500 from all the hard work of our parishioners during those two evenings of fun. Many thanks again to all who took part either as a worker or as a participant. We look forward to doing it again next year!
    This weekend is the annual collection for the retired Religious Fund. We take a moment to remember how many good Sisters and Brothers taught us and helped us in many ways over the years & we express our appreciation by helping them financially in their retirement years.