Dear Friends in Christ:
Well is this it! Today we kick off our Religious Education program for Youth as well as starting up our Adult Formation programs and so many other ministries and programs. There is literally something for everyone. In fact, we have so many programs that I cannot list them all here, but you can find them on our website. We also have opportunities to help the poor through Social Service Ministries, to serve in the Liturgy, to participate in social activities through Parish Life and to care spiritually for our parishioners through Pastoral Care. There are opportunities for Young Professionals, seniors, young marrieds, kids, teens, singles, mothers, men, women, empty nesters, college-age, and dads. You name it and we probably already have it. All that is missing is YOU! There are programs for spiritual enrichment, social activities, prayer groups, service activities, study groups, personal enrichment, travel and more. There is a place for you. What are you waiting for?
This weekend we also have our parish “Country Breakfast.” Come over to the Activity Center and grab a bite to eat, introduce yourself to other parishioners and make some new friends or say hello to old friends you have not seen in a while. I can’t believe it but in a month we have our Parish Bazaar. This is the biggest single event of the year and requires the work of hundreds of volunteers. I think over the last couple of years we have about 1400 parishioners volunteering with the bazaar. The primary purpose of the bazaar is for our parishioners to come together for a day of community and fun. We work together for a good cause, we laugh and eat and spend the day with one another. At the end of the day, everyone will have had some fun, a few walk away with some great prizes and 100% of the net proceeds will be used for our charities. We do not keep any of the money but we give away in the form of grants and aid to others.
We have added a few new persons to our staff over the last few months and a couple of our staff members have received promotions. New to our staff are Sean Strasma, who is our new Coordinator of Youth Ministry. Charisse Magsipok is the Sacramental Coordinator in Youth Formation. Frances Bloomfield is the new Administrative Assistant for Adult Formation, Mike Ging is our new Associate Organist, Andrea Walker is our new Assistant Director of Music for the Spanish Choirs and Jeff Willard is the new Director of Pastoral Care and Spiritual Life. Some changes for current staff members include Lee Clark now serving in Youth Formation, Ana Pradilla is now the Assistant Director in Communications/IT and Carolina Sayago is the new Director of Youth Formation. Welcome to our new staff members and congratulations to those who have received promotions. You can read more about these great folks in the bulletin and on our website. Better yet, go and meet these great folks and say hello to them personally!
Believe it or not, even with these new appointments we remain short staffed. I am so very grateful to all of our staff for their dedication and great effort. They and the many parishioner volunteers were wonderful in keeping everything going in the wake of the floods. Last year was a tough year and we had to immediately reduce our budget by 30% due to the decline in income due to the floods. This year we are keeping a close eye on spending and keeping the budget for programming at last year’s reduced levels. As so many of our parishioners were affected, this continues to have a huge impact on our finances. Slowly but surely, we hope to recover and be back where we were.
In the meantime, we give thanks to God for His abundant blessings and ask for the grace to keep moving forward by Living Faith, Changing Lives and Making a Difference!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately