Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, as we celebrate the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we welcome Father Thomas Carroll.  Father is present for our annual Mission Appeal and he will also preside at this weekend’s Masses.  I know that you will give him a warm welcome and that you will open your hearts to supporting the mission of the Piarist Fathers as you hear the story he shares with us.

Today’s Gospel passage from Mark is about two cures performed by Jesus. The first is the cure of the daughter of Jairus. He was one of the synagogue officials and his daughter was at the point of death.  The second is the cure of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.  Both Jairus and the woman had faith in Jesus: who he was and what he could do for them.  It was faith that gave them the courage to approach Jesus with open hearts and ask for healing.  This week, let us reflect upon our own faith and our need to be healed, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  In trust and confidence, let us approach Jesus who has the power to heal.

This Tuesday, June 30, you are invited to join Bishop Cistone and individuals throughout the diocese for the celebration of the Mass for Freedom at 6:30 PM at Holy Family Church in Saginaw.  This Mass is celebrated in conjunction with the Fortnight for Freedom which was instituted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2012.  It is a period of two weeks beginning June 21 and culminating on July 4.  It is a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, Saint John the Baptist, Saints Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.  [Because of this special diocesan liturgy, no Mass or Evening Prayer will take place at the Saint John the Baptist Church site this Tuesday, as we hope you are able to join us at Holy Family Church that evening].         

I noted in my article last week that we are in the process of creating a Parish Pictorial Directory.  By now you may have received a flyer in the mail from me with a letter on the reverse side.  The first week that pictures are scheduled to be taken is Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1.  If you are in town this summer, I encourage you to schedule an appointment for that week. This is the first weekend we are having a sign-up after Masses so that you can conveniently schedule a time.  You may sign up online by going to the parish website, www.stjohnpauliicc.org and click on the banner on top of the page and follow the directions.  In order for this Directory to be a success, we need you and your family to have your picture taken.  You do not need to purchase pictures to be part of the Directory.  Those who do have their pictures taken will receive a complimentary Directory as well as an 8x10 photo (the one you choose for the Directory).  If you need assistance in signing up for a photo sitting, please call Alex at the Parish Office (755-0828) and she will be happy to help you. 

Those who have been asking for a list of phone numbers of the liturgical ministers may now pick up a copy in the sacristy.  There are several copies available.  Especially during the summer months, it may be difficult to find a sub, so the parish office has provided a list of phone numbers for your convenience.  This is a first draft which needs to be edited (especially in the case of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to designate those who serve in this ministry on weekdays, on weekends, and to the sick and homebound).      

We officially began our Parish Nurse Program last weekend.  Gail Mehalski shared some information with us last weekend and gave people the opportunity to complete a survey, if they desired.  There are extra copies of the survey in the church entrances if you wish to fill one out.  As part of the Parish Nurse Program, blood pressure readings will be taken after Masses the third weekend of each month.  Flu shots will be available in the Fall and there may be a blood drive this coming year.  Either Gail or I will keep you posted in the bulletin with the results of the survey.

We only received 3 more CSA pledges last week which brings our pledge total to $39, 645.00.  That means we still have to come up with $26, 014.00 to meet our assessment.  If we do not meet it, we either have to take it out of operating expenses (which really won’t work for us ) or take out a loan from the diocese (which means not only paying the above amount, but interest as well).  I am a bit concerned because we still owe nearly $20,000.00 from CSA 2014-2015.  If you can help out in any way I would greatly appreciate it. None of our parishes were in debt when we merged.  All bills, loans, CSA (2013-2014) deficits, and Catholic Schools’ payments were paid in full.   Special thanks to those of you who have contributed to CSA this year and to those of you who are very conscientious and faithful regarding your stewardship to the parish.

Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ