Dear Friends in Christ:
A blessed and Happy Mothers’ Day to all of our moms! Mothers’ Day, which is not a liturgical observance, fits in so well with our Catholic faith. Of course, it occurs in the month of May which is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and it highlights the great vocation of motherhood and the beauty and dignity of life which is a gift from God. While it is absolutely wonderful for us to celebrate and honor our mothers on this day we should all strive to make every day “Mother’s Day” by the love, respect, and honor, we give our mothers. The greatest gift any of us can give our moms is not flowers, sweets or jewelry, but to be good, holy, virtuous and upright human beings; to make them proud of us by the way we live our lives. Thank you moms, for all that you have given to us, your children! May we all be together in thanking God for His gifts in Heaven!
This weekend two of our parishioners were ordained to the transitional diaconate in anticipation of their ordination to the priesthood next year. Deacon Ricardo Arriola and Deacon Justin Cormie will be with us next weekend and will preach at the 9:30 and 11:00 Mass. Please pray for them as they continue their journey to the priesthood. Also keep in your prayers all of those from our parish in the seminary and religious formation: Paolo Puccini, C.S.P., Francisco Enriquez, David Ramirez, and Sister Alexia Zaldivar, SCTJM, and Sister Charisse Magispok, O.C.D. (If you are thinking about a religious vocation please come and speak to me, Fr. Clark or Fr. Chuck, we would love to help you discover if God may be calling you to this special life!).
This is the time of year we are finalizing our budget and calendars for the coming fiscal year 2018-19. God has been good to us but it has not been easy. Our collections this past year were at the level they were in 2011-12! Unfortunately, our expenses were not. The floods which affected so many of our parishioners and neighbors have also affected the parish. We have had to lay off staff and cut our budget by close to 30% this past year. Because of these measures it looks like we will not have a deficit but we will not be spending like we did before Harvey. That means some of our open staff positions will remain open and some of our programs will continue to be cut back. We cannot ask those who have lost everything to give more to the parish. We still have parishioners who are out of work from the downturn in the oil industry. These parishioners too are suffering. If you are blessed and were not negatively impacted I would ask you to look at your level of financial stewardship. Does it reflect your dedication and commitment to the Lord? Does it reflect the thanksgiving for the blessings that you have received from the Lord? When was the last time you updated your level of financial support of the parish? If you are blessed and can share your blessings I ask that you please pray about it and do so.
People frequently express how beautiful our liturgies are here at SJV. That is something for which we can all be grateful. However, it takes hundreds of people every Sunday to serve at the liturgies. Your help and assistance is needed. We need women and men and youth willing to serve in our liturgical ministries. We need folks willing to give of themselves in our worship of almighty God. Our greatest needs are for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EM) and Ushers/Greeters. You can also serve as a lector, sacristan, choir member or altar server. Recently, I sent an e-mail to 800 of our Youth Formation (CCE) families asking them to consider serving as an EM and invited them to the training sessions. Sadly, out of 800 invitations, only one couple responded. Maybe it was a bad time or maybe I did not word the e-mail effectively but, it was disappointing and I know that it does not reflect the spirit or character of our parish. So I will keep trying.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately