Pastor's Column for December 17, 2017

Today is the 81st birthday of Pope Francis. We didn’t get him a cake but the next time we have donuts we’ll eat them in his honor. May God bless the work he does as Chief Shepherd of the Church.

Our school and PSR students will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday. Confessions will be heard for any one else this Friday, December 22nd from 6-7pm and Saturday, December 23rd from 2:45 until 3:30pm (our normal time for confessions). It’s always a good opportunity to prepare for Christmas by allowing God to cleanse us from our sins and to welcome us back into His grace.

We were recently informed by the Diocese that we need to change our procedure regarding the collection for assessments. Each parish in the Diocese is required to give a certain percentage of it’s collection income back to the Diocese in order to pay for the services that the Diocese provides to each parish. Some may think that the Diocese pays US. That would be nice but it’s quite the other way around. It is “right and just” for us to pay for the many services that the Diocese provides for us so we return about 16% of the contributions we receive from you through the weekly collection. We have had an envelope included in the packet you receive which is marked “Assessments” & this money was used to pay back that percentage that we owe to the Diocese. However we were informed that we may not use a separate envelope for this purpose. Therefore we will no longer be including this Assessment envelope in the future (starting some time in 2018). In order to work around this, we would ask you instead to contribute to the envelope marked “Capital Improvements.” Either way, the money donated is still going into the same “pot” but it helps us to clean up our accounting procedures. Besides, due to the large capital expenditures that we are making this year with the repair of our HVAC systems in the church & school buildings, and to our church roof in the near future, we could certainly be helped by your generosity to these particular financial needs. As always, I am so grateful for your faithful and generous contributions and I work diligently with the Business Manager & Finance Council to make sure we save and spend money responsibly toward the repairs and upkeep of our parish buildings and property.

Thanks again to all those who take advantage of the opportunity to use our online contribution program known as “WeShare.” It is an easy and convenient way to make your weekly (or monthly) contributions, including to our special collections, flower fund, St. Vincent de Paul, etc. Just click on the WeShare icon on our website or ask for help in our rectory office. It saves us the money from sending envelopes to you each month & helps you to automate your charitable giving.