Dear Friends in Christ:
Well, it is here. Today is our annual parish bazaar! Believe it or not, it is already a huge success! That is because so many have already done such a wonderful job in preparing everything so that all of us can have a great day! Last year we had over 1300 volunteers! That was an incredible feat, especially given the fact that we had to postpone and move the date due to Hurricane Harvey and the floods. Our bazaar is the largest single event in our parish for it is the one time of the year that we all come together. Folks from all the masses and every group in the parish come together to have fun, eat, laugh, work and serve! It is a wonderful day.
Money is also a part of the bazaar. The bazaar is indeed a fundraiser, but that is not the primary purpose of the bazaar. The primary purpose of the bazaar is building and strengthening our parish community through a day of fun, food and fellowship! To show our thanksgiving to God for the opportunity to come together as a parish family, 100% of our net proceeds are directed for our charities. The monies raised do not go to pay salaries, the electric bill, the insurance bill or any other bill here at SJV. This is not in lieu of our other charitable works or giving, but in addition to what we are blessed to do out of love for God and our neighbor. We assist 30 other parishes, schools and organizations. Our bazaar proceeds help us to support our parish mission trips to Eagle Pass. Teams of parishioners travel to the Texas-Mexico border to repair homes of some of the poorest people in the U.S. Our proceeds help support our medical mission trip to El Salvador and to build houses with Habitat for Humanity right here in Houston. The bazaar proceeds help our efforts to feed, house, clothe and provide medical care for the poor and needy throughout the Houston area. We also use our funds to help expectant mothers in need to prepare for their unborn children and to care for them after they are born. We aid our sister parishes, St. Peter Claver and St. Francis of Assisi, and we aid Catholic education with grants to St. John Paul II Catholic School, St. John XXIII High School, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Incarnate Word Academy, St. Jerome and Queen of Peace Schools, the Inner City Schools and the University of St. Thomas. We support Magnificat House, Casa Juan Diego, Angela House, Wellsprings and Our Daily Bread in their efforts to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry and give comfort to the stranger in our midst.
Weekly, we receive numerous requests for assistance from wonderful and worthy causes and groups. We cannot do everything, but because of the hard work of all those who help at the bazaar and those who support the bazaar financially through their patronage and support of the raffle, we have been able over the years to increase the number of groups we help and the amount of financial support we give. This was especially true last year when so many were hurting from the floods. So please make every effort to come to the bazaar, rain or shine. Buy a book (or two or ten) of raffle tickets, have something to eat and drink, make some new friends, try your hand at one of the game booths, watch the kids go crazy on too much sugar, and share in the joy of being part of such a beautiful parish community.
See you at the bazaar!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately
P.S. Remember that October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Pray the rosary together as a family.