Sharing our Faith
This weekend we welcome Fr. Joe Perez for our Annual Mission Appeal. Fr. Joe is a priest of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston but has served most of his priesthood serving in the missions of Guatemala. We welcome Fr. Joe “home” and most especially to St. John Vianney. This is also the time of year when we say goodbye to all our young people heading off to college. We wish them well and assure them of our prayers. Even though many will be away to attend college, we still want to keep in contact. I invite our college students and their families to share with our Young Adult Ministry their contact information. We also have the contact information for many of the Catholic Campus Ministries at colleges and universities throughout Texas and beyond.
Last week, we were blessed with a most successful parish picnic. I am told that we had more than 1800 folks come and enjoy the day. Special thanks go to all of our many wonderful parishioner volunteers who made the day such a great success and to our Parish Life Department for bringing everything together. This is one more sign of how blessed we are. If you have not seen it in the bulletin and on our website – The SJV Bazaar is back! It was a huge disappointment last year that the Bazaar had to be cancelled, but it was the appropriate thing to do. Our Bazaar is the largest single event of our parish. Of course, there are many things more important – Mass, Youth Formation, Adoration, the Sacraments, Adult Formation etc., but the Bazaar is still important. The purpose of the Bazaar is twofold. It is the chance for all of our parish community to come together to share time with each other in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. We laugh, eat, work, and come together with each other. That is the most important aspect of the day. The second is that we think of others and want them to benefit from the gifts that we enjoy. The monies of the Bazaar are given away to help support our parish charities. None of the net proceeds stays in the parish. We use the funds to help poor parishes, schools, medical clinics, and missions. We provide housing, food, clothing, and financial assistance to those in need. We also use the funds that come from our weekly stewardship, but we designate the Bazaar proceeds exclusively to our charitable works. So, in supporting the Bazaar we not only have a good time, but we also do something good for others!
Our students will be starting school in the next few days. It is most important that EVERY SCHOOL-AGE CHILD from K-12 receive a Catholic education and formation in the faith. This is vital. Study after study shows that this is not something parents can skip or merely outsource to others. The religious formation of a child requires the family and the parish to be actively involved in helping the child to grow to maturity of faith. I invite every family in our parish to take every effort to share your Catholic faith with your child and also assist in the sharing of the faith with others in our community. Faith is contagious! If the faith is actively lived in the home as well as church, the benefits are out of this world! In the days and weeks ahead, we are also kicking off many initiatives for Adult Faith Formation. We have study groups, prayer groups, scripture studies, faith-sharing groups and more. There are groups in the evenings and during the day, at the parish and at home, groups for women and men and mixed, singles and marrieds, young and old. How wonderful it would be for every adult in the parish to be in at least one small faith group. There is a place for you! Lastly, I would once again encourage you to reach out and invite those who have not yet returned to Mass to come to Mass with you. We should also not forget those who were not coming to Mass even before the pandemic. Our Catholic Faith is a beautiful gift that brings fulfillment, joy, peace and meaning to our lives. Our faith and relationship with God gives us the grace and the strength for whatever this world has to throw at us! Being Catholic is a wonderful and beautiful gift. Share it with someone!
In pace Christi,