Dear Friends in Christ:
A lot is happening around the parish. We still have the FEMA offices and the power sub-station on campus. Our Social Service Ministries continue to be extremely busy assisting families dealing with the aftermath of the floods. Most all of the regular activities of the parish: classes, dinners, Masses, meetings, weddings, funerals, baptisms, prayer groups, social activities, are up and running. Some have had to be curtailed a bit, or postponed, due to the impact of the floods and our budget issues, but we still have a lot going on. The BIG thing on the calendar is the Parish Bazaar on November 5. This is the largest activity of the year for the parish outside of the Sunday and Holy Day Masses. This year we had to reschedule due to the hurricane. We decided to proceed not simply because we had invested so much energy on the preparations but because we need to come together for something fun!
The main purpose of the parish bazaar is to build up our community. It allows our parishioners and friends and neighbors to come together in fellowship, have fun, enjoy some food and entertainment and do good for others. 100% of our net proceeds go to our charities. None of the money is used to sustain our operations. We give it away. This year we will designate some of the funds to be used for our flood relief work. As you may know one of our sister parishes, St. Francis of Assisi, was totally wiped out by the flood. We hope to give them a gift from the bazaar. I hope that you will come and enjoy the bazaar with us. I also want to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of those who have stepped up to be sponsors and to those who have volunteered to help work at the bazaar. It is a huge undertaking and could not be done without the support of so many. If you are asked to help, please do so. If you haven’t yet been asked but would like to help please contact our Parish Life Office.
Last week, I mentioned in the bulletin that are some personnel changes in our Youth Formation department. I am pleased to announce that Carolina Sayago, our Coordinator of Elementary Formation, has agreed to serve as Interim Director of Youth Formation and I have appointed Fr. Clark to serve as Interim Coordinator of Youth Ministry. While they both have other duties, I am confident that they will do an excellent job in serving the families of our youth in these additional roles. They will continue to be assisted by our most capable Youth Formation staff, catechists, and volunteers. We will soon be forming a search committee for a new Director and additional committees to review and evaluate our program. At this moment what is needed most is greater parent participation. The “real” ministry to our children and youth is not done by staff but by our parishioners, especially our parents. The staff is there to direct, guide, and support, the ministry of parents, catechists, and other volunteers, in forming and transmitting our Catholic faith to our children and youth. Amazingly, despite all the parishioners we have (14,000), we still fall short on folks willing to help. This is true not just with Youth Formation but across the board in all ministries. While we are greatly blessed with so many generous people willing to give of their time and talents, many more are needed.
As the old proverb goes: Many hands make for light work! Don’t wait to be asked, volunteer! I promise you will receive more than you give.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately