Pastor’s Letter 2019
February 25, 2019
Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
The Sacred Scriptures give us many images of journeys. From the Israelites traveling in the desert 40 years to the Promised Land, to Mary and Joseph making their way to Bethlehem, the three Kings following the star, to Jesus making a triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and then the way to His Cross, the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus, to the missionary journeys of Peter and Paul and the first believers bringing the good news to the whole world. Salvation History is filled with the People of God on the move, of missionaries going across the globe or neighbors going across the street to share comfort and joy. And always – ALWAYS – Jesus accompanies us on the journey.
On this Wednesday, March 6, we begin our yearly journey to Easter. With ashes on our forehead, we will set out on our pilgrimage to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through His Cross and Resurrection, He has redeemed the world. Our Lenten prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the tools we use as we follow The Road to Redemption. The enclosed brochure details the many opportunities our parish family will have to encounter grace and mercy this Lent.
In addition to traditional devotions like the Stations of the Cross and parish customs like the Wednesday Evening Mass and Soup Suppers, there are some new Lenten initiatives planned including a Busy Person’s Lenten Retreat (March 22/23), Grieving with Great Hope Bereavement Workshop (April 4/5), and our very own Lenten Fish Fry (every Friday of Lent). The Road to Redemption will be paved with prayer, grace, learning, reflection, stillness, growing, and community as we continue on the paths to hope and healing.
Lent provides for us an opportunity to exercise our faith through almsgiving, with one special opportunity to share with our neighbors through this year’s Diocesan Annual Campaign (formerly Bishop’s Annual Lenten Appeal).
The theme of the 2019 Diocesan campaign is Faith Forward. This theme blends well with our parish Lenten focus, The Road to Redemption because a journey with and to Jesus is always about moving forward in faith. Just as Jesus cared for those along his road to the cross, so must we. As his disciples, we have the responsibility to reach out, help, and share our resources with the poor, the young, the elderly, the struggling, the suffering and all those in need.
Each year, the Diocese assigns every parish its financial share to accomplish the ministries of service, compassion and care. This figure is determined by looking at the parish’s size and income. Our expected share for 2019 is $199,800. The diocese assures us that your gift will not be used for the Survivor’s Compensation Fund nor for legal fees.
I will be speaking at Mass this weekend (March 2/3) and walking us through the Diocesan Annual Campaign pledge process. We will conduct our In-Pew Pledge Program on the weekends of March 9/10 and March 16/17. Response envelopes will be distributed and collected during Mass. I ask respectfully that you prayerfully consider making a commitment at that time.Your contribution may be spread out through payments during the year.
May you experience the grace and blessing of Jesus’ mercy in a special way this Lent as we pray, believe, and live as His disciples.
Yours in Christ,
Very Reverend Neil S. Sullivan, VF