Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend we celebrate the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The instructions Jesus gives to his disciples in today’s Gospel might not serve us so well today.  It would be rather irresponsible to divest ourselves of all our possessions (although some of the saints have done it).  As Jesus speaks to us in today’s Gospel, he is inviting us to examine what it is that hinders any of us from faithfully fulfilling the mission in which he invites us to partake.  Each of us is a disciple who is “sent forth” because of our very Baptism when we became members of the Church.  We are “sent forth” from each Eucharist we celebrate to glorify the Lord with our lives.  For most of us, our distractions may not necessarily come from possessions, but from our interior emotions and attitudes.  We don’t like rejection, so we don’t like to preach an unpopular Gospel, or confront evil in our midst.  Sometimes we are afraid of what people will think of us if we stand up for the truth (when it isn’t popular), to stand up for Jesus when we are among Christians who aren’t acting like Jesus.  We shy away from doing the work of evangelization because we fear rejection or failure.  That is why Jesus sent his disciples out two by two, to be a support to one another in difficult times, to complement one another’s gifts, and to affirm one another.  As we reflect on this week’s Gospel, let us ask ourselves: 1) Even though I might meet resistance now and then, how do I keep moving forward in carrying out the mission of Jesus and preaching the Good News of the Gospel?  2) What has Jesus taught me about compassion, love, mercy, forgiveness, and doing God’s will in the face of adversity?

This month, Natalie will be preparing the parish “End of the Year Report” for the diocese, summarizing our first year as Saint John Paul II Parish.  It is a combination of both financial data and other data related to the sacramental life of the Church.  This week, I thought I would share with you some of the data regarding sacraments, Catholic Schools, and Faith Formation, along with some other data that you might find interesting.  Next week, I will share some financial data with you. 

Registered households                                  410
Envelope Holders                                          403

 SUNDAY ATTENDANCE/AVERAGE               380     
LITURGICAL MINISTERS                                 146
 (Weekdays and Sundays)                            

Students attending Catholic School                  14
Students in Faith Formation Program (PK-5)  15
Youth Ministry Participants (6-12)                     10

Adult Faith Formation                                        30
Catechists (Youth, Sunday, RCIA)                     14

Lay Ministers                                                  8


Baptisms (Infants)                                             2
Baptism/Confirmation/Eucharist (RCIA)          2
First Communions                                             2
[Confirmation – regional w/Bishop                  3]
Marriages (Matrimony)                                   2

Ministry to the Homebound, Hospitals,
and Nursing Homes                                                8

DEATHS/FUNERALS                                        30/29

As you know, the parish has begun the process for putting Saint John the Baptist Church up for sale.  Thus far, the Pastoral Council and Finance Council members have discussed the proposal.  I sent a letter in their name to the Bishop requesting permission to begin the process of putting up the church for sale.  The bishop sent a letter affirming our desire to enter into the process of putting the building up for sale.  CBRE was contacted for an assessment of the market value on all the property and buildings of the Saint John the Baptist and Saint Matthew sites, and the assessment was returned.     An “intention to sell” that was sent to us from the Bishop’s Office was posted for 4 weeks (Bulletins May 24 – June 15).  The Pastoral Council and the Finance Council had a joint meeting on June 9 and all were in agreement to put Saint John the Baptist Church up for sale, given that the “intention to sell” would run one last week, and at that point, no one received any input from parishioners disagreeing with the sale.  To date, one parishioner has expressed concern over selling Saint John the Baptist Church and thinks it should not be sold.  All that has been done thus far is per diocesan directive.  The next step is to present the Bishop with the four bulletin announcements regarding the intention to sell Saint John the Baptist Church along with the signed minutes of the last Pastoral Council and Finance meeting, signed by all members, stating they agree with the sale of the church building.  Then, we wait for a decree from the bishop stating that the church gets changed from consecrated to profane status (legal terms).  After that, the diocese places a “For Sale” sign up at the church site and those interested in the building contact us and negotiate with us.  Please note that with the eventual sale of the church building, the money received remains with the parish.  I will keep you posted of further developments.      

CSA pledges continue to come in; I think we are close to 70% of parish participation.  Please see the latest update in today’s bulletin.  Thank you for your generosity to all who have made a contribution thus far this year.  To those who have not yet made a pledge, I encourage you to make one soon.

Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ