Dear Friends in Christ:
This is going to be one of those “catch all” letters with a little bit of this and a little bit of that!
For some time to come, we will be dealing with the reconstruction of the CenterPoint Energy Memorial Substation. As you recall, the substation was flooded last year and must be rebuilt. This substation provides power to 40,000 customers in our area. When the parish purchased the adjoining land from HL&P in the 1990’s, there was a covenanted right of way. CenterPoint has discovered that their trunk lines have deteriorated and must be replaced. At first, it was thought the excavation would be minimal. It has since been determined that a major excavation is necessary. CenterPoint and the parish have worked very well together on this situation. SJV knows how important it is for all of our area neighbors to have electric power and CenterPoint has been very accommodating to the parish so as to cause the least amount of disruption as possible. We desire to be an example of good neighbors and civic responsibility. Both the parish administration and CenterPoint ask for your continued patience and understanding. Pray for the safety of the workers and thank the Lord for the gift of electric power. The reconstruction is likely to take the remainder of the year with the major disruption in the parking lot for the next month or so.
We know that many people have been affected by the floods and have been impacted financially. Please keep them in your prayers and continue to help our neighbors, parishioners and friends in every way you can. As a result of this I am making a special appeal to those who do not normally support DSF to do so this year. Currently, fewer than 10% of the 5,000 households have responded. The archdiocese was impacted tremendously by the floods and like SJV, many families are unable to support the works of our archdiocese this year. It is important for all of us who can, to step forward and do our part to support the works of the Church that no one parish can do on its own. Please remember it is not the size of the gift that is important, but the size of the giver’s heart! Thank you to those who have already responded to Cardinal DiNardo’s appeal. For more information on how to donate to DSF, please contact our parish offices. On the subject of mammon, did you know that if you forget your envelope or don’t have cash on you, that you can make your weekly offering with a text from your cell phone? It is extremely simple – even I (a confirmed Luddite) have done it! Just text 281.884.3212 and then put in the amount. That’s it. Oh Technology!
Now to other matters. For 37 years, we have been blessed to have Eucharistic Adoration in our parish. The Adoration Chapel is open for prayer before our Blessed Lord’s Eucharistic presence in the monstrance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since the flood, some of the late night time and early morning hours have had no one present in adoration. Ideally, we should have at least two adorers present every hour. This is a huge sacrifice, but what a grace! Can you give our Lord one hour in the middle of the night each week? Can you offer this time for your own sanctification and for the sanctification of your family, our parish and the world? All it takes is a willing and loving heart. Just come and be with the Lord. You can use this time to pray your rosary, a novena, mental prayer, read the Scriptures or however you wish. There is no set program. It is simply to be in the presence of Jesus and adore him! The needed hours are from midnight until 6:00 a.m. each day. That is 42 hours (x 2 = 84 adorers). For some hours, we already have people. For others, we have only one person, and some slots have no one. If we could simply add 2 people every day during these nighttime hours what a huge blessing this would be. To sign up for adoration, please just contact the parish office and we will make sure your name goes on the schedule. Of course, Eucharistic Adoration is open to everyone to come and pray. You do not have to sign up for an hour to come to the pray before Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Just come! On your way to or from work or school are perfect times. Jesus is always there for us and he beckons us to himself. I would like to extend a special invitation to our college students and young adults to come and make a visit to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Lots of answers and peace are found in Adoration!
As Catholics we proudly claim that we are Pro-Life and we are! Being Pro-Life means caring for all those whom God has blessed with life especially those whose lives are being challenged or threatened. To be Pro-Life is to care for those children in the wombs of their mothers from conception until birth. But being Pro-Life does not stop at birth. There are children who need loving families to care for them when their natural parents cannot. There are children who need someone to love them and care for them. This is especially true with older children and those who have specific challenges. Will you give them a family? Pray about it. Being a foster parent can be daunting, but God will give you every grace that you need and more besides. To discover what a blessing it is, speak to a family who has served as a foster family. They will share with you the blessings this has brought to their family. For information on becoming a foster family contact our parish Social Services Offices or the St. Joseph Ministry of the Texas Catholic Conference. Here is another Pro-Life issue. Over the years, I have been approached at different times by parishioners seeking help for an organ transplant. This is huge, no less so than being a foster family. How do you go about asking someone for a vital organ? We have one parishioner, a young man with a wife and young children, whose doctors have told him that if he does not receive a kidney transplant, he has less than two years to live. This young man has no family here in the United States. We, the parish family of St. John Vianney are his family! Please pray for him, his wife and their children. Pray as well for yourself and ask the Lord if He is asking you to make this kind of gift. For more information please see: https://www.chistlukeshealth.org/transplant-303 or http://www.houstonmethodist.org/transplant/ or http://www.memorialhermann.org/transplant/ and to help our parishioner, please contact me.
Have a Holy Lent! Don’t forget to come to daily mass, adoration and confession during Spring Break!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately