This weekend we celebrate the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. In this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus speaks about the end times and he tells his followers to learn a lesson from the fig tree. The fig tree goes through an annual cycle of growing leaves, bearing fruit, and losing leaves. It is predictable. But the end time is unpredictable; it is secret, known only by God. Jesus tells the disciples and us that there will be signs, and that we should be able to recognize them when they come about. When these things happen we will know that it is time to enter the gates and be with Christ for all eternity. The questions we might ask ourselves this week are: how do we practice being watchful, and how do we prepare ourselves for Christ’s return in glory?
This Sunday, we celebrate the Rite of Acceptance at the 9:30 AM Mass. In the RCIA process, this is the official entrance into the Catechumenate. This year we have eight children (all girls) who will be entering the Catechumenate, thanks to their parents, guardians, and grandparents who have presented them for faith formation classes, who have been working with them at home, who have been bringing them to church, and who have requested baptism for them. Please read the additional information regarding the Rite of Acceptance Amy has provided in the Faith Formation section of the bulletin.
Last week, both Pastoral Council and Education Commission took part in the Selection process for their executive committees. I am happy to announce the following:
Chairperson: Rita Kontur
Vice-Chairperson: Ed Popielarz
Secretary: Greg Klenk
Faith Formation Commission
Chairperson: Amy Siemienkiewicz
Vice-Chairperson: Tammy Dupuis
Secretary: Chris Bustamante
Many wonderful discussions have been taking place at the Pastoral Council, Finance Council, and Commission meetings these past two months. In our joint goal planning, we looked at four areas: Community, Faith Formation/Evangelization, Outreach, and Worship. Everyone agreed that providing opportunities for creating community, for helping us to get to know one another better was a priority this year. Thus, each group has been writing a couple of objectives to go with the goal on community, as well as an objective or two in their own specific area. Of the goals that surfaced, one objective will be implemented next weekend: “name tag” Sunday. With our Thanksgiving dinner following Mass, we will all have name tags, and hopefully take the opportunity to meet and “eat with” some new people. Another objective will be implemented this Monday evening (November 16): gym night from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Please see details in today’s bulletin. As soon as minutes are ready from all, the goals and objectives will be listed in the bulletin.
Special thanks to all who helped out in any way to make the Fall Craft Show and Bazaar a success. Please see the financial report in today’s bulletin.
Next Saturday, after 4:00 PM Mass, we will celebrate our annual parish Thanksgiving Dinner in the gym at the Education Center. If you did not sign up this weekend and plan on coming to the dinner, please call the Parish Office (755-0828) by Tuesday at Noon. [Set-up will take place on Friday]. Remember, the parish is providing the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls. You are asked to bring a dish to pass (a vegetable, a salad, or a dessert).
The Finance Council has decided that we are in a position to take on two projects this year. One is the lighting in the gym at the Education Center. Please note the article regarding that project in today’s bulletin. The second project is the placing of monitor speakers in the sanctuary of the Church. We have received many comments by altar servers and priests noting that it is very difficult to hear in the sanctuary because the speakers in church are directional and only face the body of the Church. Last October, we had Simoni Systems visit the church, and give us an estimate of the cost to remedy the situation by installing monitor speakers. At that time I shared their proposal and cost with Father Pat O’Connor (in the Office of Liturgy) and he gave me his input regarding the project, along with a question he had. This past year, the Finance Council was trying to make a list of priorities of many projects that needed to be done along with the ways in which we might finance them, given the many unexpected expenses we incurred. One of the projects was providing an adequate sink in the sacristy for the washing of vessels. That project was completed and the monitor speakers were put on hold until this year. This October, I once again contacted Simoni Systems (because last year’s estimate was only good for thirty days). They sent a new estimate which was a bit lower than the first one. At the October meeting of the Rosary Altar Society, I presented this need to the members. A motion was made and seconded to donate $1,000.00 from the Rosary Altar Society toward the cost of this project. The motion received overwhelming support. Due to the generosity of the organization, this project should be soon underway.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will take place next Sunday. Envelopes for this collection should have been in your November packet. “The programs funded by CCHD change lives for the 46.2 million people living in poverty here in the United States. Your donation will empower local communities and strengthen families who are on the margins. People with disabilities will find affordable and supportive housing, men and women reentering society after incarceration will have the opportunity to learn new skills, and community agriculture projects will receive grants to become sustainable. Please help us continue this good work by supporting the collection for CCHD” (Taken from the USCCB website).
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ