This weekend we celebrate the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel passage (taken from John this week) is the account of the multiplication of the loaves and fish in which Jesus feeds 5000 men. After the fragments were collected, they filled twelve wicker baskets. As you know, there are different accounts of the multiplication of the loaves and fish in the various Gospels. What we may miss in John’s Gospel is the detail that the five barley loaves and fish came from a boy, an outsider so to speak. Women and children counted for nothing in the cultural world of Jesus. (The Gospel referred to 5000 men being fed). In John’s account, the one who is seemingly least significant or least valuable is the one who provides the material for the great miracle of Jesus. (In John’s Gospel, however, it is not referred to as a miracle, but as one of the signs which manifests the presence of God among his people). Back to the young boy – this is a Gospel of great reversal in which Jesus chooses the assistance of the weak and powerless to humble the mighty and powerful. Even in our own day, God chooses to work through the poor, the weak, and the insignificant to speak and make his presence known. Sometimes one of us is that person. Let us reflect upon a time when God may have worked through us in a powerful way when we least expected it. How are we signs of God’s generosity and love in our world? How do we feed those around us with words of compassion, affirmation, forgiveness, love, and understanding? When has God worked through us to make his presence known? When has he used the little we had and made it become more than we could have ever imagined?
I am unable to be with you at Eucharist this weekend because I am in Kalamazoo celebrating Jubilee weekend with our sisters. The class ahead of me celebrates their Golden Jubilee this year (50 years of Religious Life) which means next August I celebrate my Golden Jubilee. I am usually involved in the music ministry for the Mass. This year I was asked to play the flute for the Jubilee Mass and an organ Postlude, so, I have taken some time this past week to practice both instruments in my free time.
This Monday, July 27, we begin the first week of “picture taking” for the Parish Pictorial Directory. There will be three photographers present from LifeTouch Pictures taking photos this week. Appointments are scheduled every 10 or 20 minutes, so there should be virtually no waiting. If you have not yet signed up, remember, you may do so after Mass or online. Or you may even call Alex at the Parish Office and have her schedule you. In order to make the Directory a success, we need everyone to have a picture taken. Remember, you do not have to purchase pictures, just simply have them taken for our first Pictorial Directory. Please see the insert in today’s bulletin, in case you are thinking about purchasing pictures, so that you have an idea of some of the packages that are offered. If you bring food for the food pantry with you, your family will receive a voucher for $5.00 off your total price of pictures. Senior citizens receive 20% off of any packages. When you signed up for your appointment, if you submitted your email address, you will receive, or have received, a confirmation email with a link for a 10% off coupon which, if you wish to use, you must print and bring with you.
Remember, MYE FAITH takes place on Saturday, August 8. If you intend to participate and have not yet registered, please call Amy and she will make sure you are registered by the new deadline: July 31.
Some more on Finances: To summarize last week’s figures, please note that even though we were $30,962.40 below our estimated Sunday/Holy Day Income and $62,729.00 below our total targeted income (which includes Sundays and Holy Days), we were also $25,729.00 below projected expenses. When you subtract that figure from our total deficit, it gave us what appeared to be a $37,000.00 deficit. However, we withdrew $15,000.00 from savings and had an initial beginning balance of $24,934.00 in our checking account (from the three merged parishes). That left us with $12,934.00 for unexpected expenses. Today I will share with you what some of those unexpected expenses were. Also, I will present to you the major areas of other income that supplements the Sunday/Holy Day Collections. [Just one note: there was an incorrect figure for Catholic Schools last week which made the subtraction appear as a mistake. The Catholic Schools Assessment was $91,383.00 (not $91,000.00). The deficit $50,383.00 was correct. Here are some more figures which include both extra expenses and extra income. Please note this is a summary and I will explain further next week.
Saint John Paul II Parish Budget 2014-2015
EXTRA ONE-TIME EXPENSES
Saint John the Baptist Church Site
New Boiler Required by State Inspection
Borrowed from Savings $15,000.00
Repairs: Roof and ceiling $3,375.00
Insurance Reimbursement Pending
Saint John the Baptist Rectory Repairs
Preparations for Rent
Damages from Burst Pipes $3,657.00
Insurance Reimbursement Pending
Saint Matthew Church Site
Boiler Issues $3,000.00+
Saint Josaphat Convent $1,000.00
Hole in Roof/Leaks
Saint John Paul II Parish Center
Copy machine $15,000.00
Cost taken from beginning checkbook balance when three parishes merged
AREAS OF EXTRA INCOME
Rental Income $35, 284.00
Includes Farmland, three Church site halls,
Gym, Rectory rental, Tri-City Christian Church,
Carrollton Public Schools
Interest from Savings Accounts $3,012.00
Memorial Donations $11,366.00
Building Fund Envelopes $5,528.00
Utility Fund Envelopes $3,569.00
Other Revenue $12,564.00
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ