I think Advent is a liturgical season that struggles to find a place in the ebb and flow of our daily lives. As Kathleen Norris writes (in the introduction to our parish Advent prayer and reflection booklet, the December issue of “Give Us This Day”):
“Advent is a cultural challenge, and not just because on the day after Halloween we are likely to hear ‘Silent Night’ followed by ‘Here Comes Santa Clause’ while shopping for groceries. Advent is all about waiting, and we are culturally conditioned not to wait….”
Wait? We have things to do! There is so much to do, to get done, to ensure it all gets done, and then fret about how much we have left to do. We do not have time to wait. And that can be a great loss in our spiritual lives.
Because there are always the “in-between” moments in every day. There is the pause between the sentences I try to write; there is the quiet lull at a traffic light. There is the moment when the house is quiet, the last dish is washed, and the whole of the home is wrapped in its own twilight. And we wait.
“During Advent, however, we are asked to consider waiting as something holy, as what God requires of us if we are to be ready for the coming of Jesus Christ into the world…We might take time to marvel at God’s remarkable patience with us, and with all humanity….we might also ask ourselves what it means to pray for Emmanuel, ‘God with us.’”
When one stops long enough, when one waits, the Spirit of God comes, not like the roar of a mighty wind, but as the still, small voice, whispering, bringing new possibilities.
“…[we might consider that we are called] to proclaim with the prophets, that another world is possible, that another time will come. We dare to embrace waiting in the hope that as God came once, God will come again, that we might live in the light of divine peace, justice, and love. And as we wait, we can prepare ourselves….so that when we sing ‘Silent Night’ on Christmas Eve, our hearts are filled with wonder at God’s enduring compassion for us.”
The in-between moments are there. Taking advantage of them is the challenge. Our gift to you this year is the “Give Us This Day” booklet. Kathleen Norris’ reflections are but a small part of the Advent treasures awaiting you and your loved ones. We pray your Advent waiting will be richly rewarded.
The Three Comings of Christ
One way of really enriching our Advent journey is to keep in mind the three comings of Jesus. Jesus was born into our past history. Jesus comes to us now in a variety of ways. Jesus promised that he will come again in glory, at the end of time. The Incarnation: Jesus has come.
This is not the coming we await. The first coming of Jesus has already happened. Our preparation to celebrate his birth is the occasion for our deeper reflection. On the first level, it is so important that we really let ourselves experience the power of the Incarnation: God is with us. That God became one of us means that “human” is one of the ways God can be. The deeper we contemplate this mystery, the more we enter into the grace of “God with us.” The more we let ourselves be touched by this mystery, the more we see the connection between Christmas and Easter: all of this is “for me” - for my salvation - to free me from the power of sin and death. My Life Now: Jesus comes to me.
When we open our hearts and our mouths and plead, “Come, O Lord,” we are most directly experiencing our desire for the Lord to come to us and touch us with the grace of salvation - that we might live it with greater freedom and peace. Jesus is present whenever we need him to be present: actually, whenever we turn to him - even with empty hands. Jesus is alive and active in us when we read God’s Word and let it into our hearts. Jesus promised to be present with us whenever two or three are gathered together in his name. And, we know Jesus comes to us whenever our sacrifices and our sufferings unite us with his own mission. Advent is a special time to experience our longing for the presence of Jesus with us now - in all the places we need him most. Our Future: Jesus comes again, in glory.
One of the most transforming graces of Advent is given to us as our longing deepens. The more grateful we become for how God saved us in Jesus, the more deeply we enter into the mystery of how Jesus is with us now. The closer we come to experiencing joy at how our Lord, Jesus Christ came into our world, faithful to God and faithful to our life journey in the flesh, the closer we come to experiencing the mystery of salvation in our everyday lives. And, as our longing is filled with the utter fullness of God’s gift to us, we begin to long with the ultimate freedom: we long to be with him in God. We live more at home in this world because our God made a home in this world. But the whole story draws us to a complete picture of who we are and where we belong. Then our prayer begins to change, in our hearts and on our lips. We still are singing, “Come, Lord, Jesus!” but our song is transformed into the free and complete song of the lover: “Come, and take me with you.” Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ will come again in his glory.
(Preface 1 of Advent)
Imagine four persons in a room. The first is a powerful dictator who rules a country. He commands armies, directs the lives of millions, and his wishes become law and are enforced. He possesses a brutal power. Next to him sits a gifted athlete at the pinnacle of his physical prowess. This is one whose speed, strength, and endurance have few equals. His is a graceful power for which he is much admired and envied. The third person is a rock star whose music and charisma electrify sold out arenas. Her words can become the anthem for a generation. Her power is a soulfulness of the muse. The fourth person in the room is a newborn, a baby, lying in its crib, unable to clearly ask for what it needs.
The irony is that the baby ultimately wields the greatest power. The infant can touch hearts in a way that a dictator, an athlete, or a rock star cannot. Its innocent, wordless presence, without physical strength, can transform a room and a heart in a way that worldly powers cannot. The powerlessness of a baby touches us at a deeper moral place. It is as though a baby has the power to do an exorcism. It can cast out the demons of self-absorption and selfishness in us.
And so it is with the true power of God. Even though at times we want God the dictator who will right wrongs and establish justice by showing some raw muscle power and banging some heads here and now, such is not the true power of God. The true power of God, in the person of His Son, Jesus, was born as a baby, lived a life apart from worldly power, and he died hanging helplessly on a cross with bystanders mocking his powerlessness. Yet both his birth and his death manifest the kind of power upon which we can ultimately build our lives. The powerlessness of Christ touches us at a deeper moral place. It has the power to cast out our worst demons.
Worldly power imposes. Divine power proposes. It is the proposal of the helpless child, arms raised upward, inviting you to embrace the innocence and love. Christ, as the Southern author Annie Dillard says, is always found in our lives just as he was originally found, a helpless baby in the straw who must be picked up and nurtured into maturity.
Such is the power of Christ the King.
May the power of Christ the King be with you and your family during the Thanksgiving Holiday.A Word from the Director of Parish Life and Communications - Ms. Pam Ferron
A couple of weeks ago, a group of parishioners, including myself, completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. It was a nine-week course that covered a variety of topics, including: cash flow planning, dumping debt, the role of insurance, and giving. I was talking to one of the friars who inquired about the class, asking if it had any scripture/faith-based lessons. I had to tell him that the entire class was trying to teach us God’s ways of handling money. And it was very eye opening, in many aspects. One of the first verses Dave quotes is from Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” And Dave asks, “Where is your heart? How you spend your money tells a story about what is important to you, and what matters in your life.”
The name of the last class is “The Great Misunderstanding.” And what is the great misunderstanding? It is the mistaken belief that the way to have more is to hold on tightly. What’s going on in our spirits when we hold on to our gifts? The clenched fist is the international sign of anger. It is also difficult to receive with a closed fist. We are made in God’s image and God is a giver. Giving is the key that unlocks our full potential – in our life and in our money. Giving moves you to become less selfish. Unselfish people have a tendency to prosper in relationships and wealth.
In the class, we also talked about reclaiming genuine stewardship. And I thought I fully understood and knew what that meant because it’s not like we haven’t talked about stewardship in our parish. But there was something that truly clicked for me. A steward is a manager, and not an owner. We are stewards over all of our assets: our gifts, our money, everything. The Lord has entrusted us to manage His assets. Every time we serve and help others, and every time we give our hard-earned money to a worthy cause, it changes our heart and we become more like Christ.
Jim Rossman, who heads up our Stewardship Committee, has been trying to convey this. One day in one of our many meetings, he said that we need to shift our attitudes from giving to a need to developing a need to give. Becoming a giver helps us to become who we were designed to be and helps us to move from being selfish to selfless.
Two parishioners who also took the class were Ryan and Nikki Sanders. They both felt that this class brought them closer together and helped them become much more comfortable with discussing both their financial goals and faith. The class ignited discussions about their future and their relationship with God, as well as their desire to become more financially giving. They've changed their spending priorities to allow for more charitable contributions because the lesson on how it's “God's money” really hit home for them. They felt the class was an amazing learning experience, and they now feel like they have a plan of action to manage their money and no longer let it manage them. They feel the lessons they learned will help them to continue growing a healthy marriage and a better relationship with God.
I hope that we have the opportunity to offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course in the Spring. And I hope you have the opportunity to take it. I pray that you can achieve Financial Peace by overcoming the “great misunderstanding.”Vacation
As you are reading this, I am on vacation. My plans include time on Florida’s east coast with some friends from high school days who live there. Actually, I have no plans beyond sleep late, sit on the beach under an umbrella (I am Irish afterall), and read. Perhaps a movie or two will be part of the plan. But then there is no plan.
I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
” I always like Gladwell’s perspective. He takes the advice of Emily Bronté and looks at life a bit askew to gain a new perspective. If you want to see Gladwell’s take on the well-known story of David and Goliath, I have something posted on my blog (Friar Musings) that you might find enlightening: http://wp.me/p1QY97-xo
It is an on-going challenge in all of our lives: perspective. We are so used to the rhythms and patterns of our lives, that we can be lulled into seeing things the way we always have seen them. Sometimes new perspective is as simple as sitting in a different seat at the dinner table. Sometimes it is more complicated. Here is one thing about our parish that is true, but I wonder if we have the proper perspective: our parishioners live in more than 50 different zip codes. I continue to hear the refrain, “So many of our parishioners live well outside of downtown, that we are really a weekend parish. People just won’t come downtown at night to participate in parish ministries and events. So we need to offer more things on the weekend.” But people do come downtown for parish ministries and events. Just take a look at our on-line parish calendar
and there is generally more than one meeting, ministry, or class most nights. But then again, it does involve only a very small percentage of our parishioners. Hmmm… maybe some different perspective is needed.
A book I plan to read while away is “Growing an Engaged Church: How to Stop “Doing Church” and Start Being the Church Again.” I read the inside flap of the book’s cover. It was interesting: “What if the members of your congregation were 13 times more likely to have invited someone to particpate in your church in the last month?” Now there is a question that needs some perspective. Is what we are
as a church inspiring enough to reach your heart, mind, and imagination so that you just naturally invite others to come share in what we are as church? We will see if there is a new perspective to be had.
By the way, this weekend is my mom’s 90th birthday and so the family is gathering at her house to celebrate. She still lives on her own, cleans house, cooks for herself, and still displays much of her native Utah pioneer spirit. And in the midst of playing gin rummy or Bridge, if she offers to make it “more interesting,” I would advise passing on the opportunity. Happy Birthday, Mom.Walking Tall
As today’s gospel points out, Zacchaeus was “short in stature.
” The phrase is Greek, hēlikia mikro
literally means “small in age.” Most others places in Scripture, age is the primary meaning. The context of the account, especially the action of climbing the tree in order to see, has led to the reference to height. But even beyond his marginal social status as chief tax collector and his less-than-esteemed status, Zacchaeus may in fact be young. In ancient near east culture, the representatives of the communities were the older men, who acted as judges, wisdom figures, and leaders in the community. As the crowds gathered to greet Jesus, Zacchaeus’ age may have caused him to be ushered to the back of the crowd and thus unable to see.
Either way, we have all had moments when we are on the margins of a conversation, ushered outside the “inner circle,” made to feel small. We have all had moments when we were the ones who gave the “push” and led someone to not feel so good about themselves. Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, points out that today’s gospel is about being reminded about “where we come from” in order to remember to “walk tall.” He tells this story:
A man has a neighbor who frequently drops round to drink coffee and chat. The neighbor is a good man from a wonderful family and has been blessed with lots of love and good example in his life. But, like the rest of us, he has his weaknesses; in his case, gossip and occasional pettiness. One day he made a very scathing remark. Instead of accusing him of being judgmental or shaming him with the inappropriateness of his remark, the man called him instead to his own essential goodness: “That comment surprises me,” he said, “coming from you. I’ve always considered you and your family big-hearted people, with class, never petty. I’ve always envied your family for its goodness and understanding. That remark simply doesn’t sound like you!”
The other man’s reaction was instant, positive. Immediately he apologized: “You’re right,” he said, “I don’t know why I sometimes say stupid things like that!” He was called to “walk tall.”
Rolheiser goes on to explain that, in essence, we all have two souls, two hearts, and two minds. Inside of each of us there’s a soul, heart, and mind that’s petty, that’s been hurt, that wants vengeance, that wants to protect itself, that’s frightened of what’s different, that’s prone to gossip, that perennially feels cheated. Seen in a certain light, all of us are as small in stature as the pre-converted Zacchaeus. But there’s also a tall, big-hearted person inside each of us, someone who wants to warmly embrace the whole world, beyond personal hurt, selfishness, race, creed, and politics.
We are always both, grand and petty. The world isn’t divided up between big-hearted and small-minded people. Rather our days are divided up between those moments when we are big-hearted, generous, warm, hospitable, unafraid, wanting to embrace everyone, and those moments when we are petty, selfish, over-aware of the unfairness of life, frightened, and seeking only to protect ourselves and our own safety and interests. We are both tall and short at the same time and either of these can manifest itself from minute to minute. But we are not alone – we have family.
“I’ve always considered you and your family big-hearted people.” Maybe that is a good working definition of what it means to be a part of the family of Christ, what we need to be reminded of and to remind others. Because of what Christ has already done for us, we need do nothing but to call ourselves and others to “walk tall.” The gospel of Christ challenges us. It does not shame us with our pettiness; it invites us to remember our family roots and to “walk tall.” The Insanity of Pride
I have always gotten a chuckle out of the cartoon shown here (courtesy of www.agnusday.com
). While the gospel reading for today easily makes the Pharisee to be the bad guy, as the cartoon shows, even our reaction to the Pharisee can strangely mimic his behavior.
I suspect what lays beneath our potential reaction is the sin of pride in that we believe we are good people at heart who do good things – and as long as we are good in both those areas, we are good to go vis-à-vis heaven. I am sure the Pharisee thought the same thing about himself.
And he looks over at the tax collector. There is someone who extorts unjust and burdensome taxes on his own people for the Roman treasury and his own pockets. Hard to argue that the tax collector is a person of good heart who is doing good things. “The Pharisee…spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --or even like this tax collector.
” (Luke 18:11)
The tax collector harbors no illusions. He indeed extorts his own people for his personal gain and recognizes that his heart and his actions are worthy of judgment. The tax collector’s prayer is quite different: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner
So he asked for mercy. This is the sane thing to do. The Pharisee, under the illusion that his works made him righteous, in his pride, he didn’t think he needed grace, so didn’t ask. That’s insane.
Humility is not only sane, it is liberating. It enables us to stop thinking about what we’ve done and what we deserve and focus instead on what He’s done and how much He deserves. Humility may begin with beating one’s breast and looking at the ground. The term “humility” does come from the word “humus” or earth. But Christian humility looks exuberantly up to heaven. Not with the pride of the Pharisee, but with the joyful thanksgiving of those who are thrilled to know that they are loved. Divinely loved.A Life in Prayer
It's hard to sustain a regular life of prayer. Why? Why is it so difficult to pray regularly? Some reasons are obvious: over-busyness, tiredness, and too many demands on our time, constant distraction, spiritual laziness, worship services that bore us, and methods of prayer that leave us flat and inattentive.
But there is another reason too, suggested by monks and mystics. The problem we have in sustaining prayer, they say, is often grounded in the false notion that prayer needs to be interesting, exciting, intense, and full of energy all the time, but that is impossible. Nothing is meant to be exciting all the time, including prayer and church services, and nobody has the energy to always be alert, attentive, intense, and actively engaged all the time.
Sometimes we don't pray regularly precisely because we simply cannot find within ourselves the energy, time, intensity, and appetite for active participation that we think prayer is demanding of us. But prayer respects the natural rhythms of our energy. Praying is like eating. You don't always want a banquet – sometimes we just want a quick sandwich by ourselves.
Eating has a natural rhythm: banquets and quick snacks, rich meals and simple sandwiches, high times with linen serviettes and low times with paper napkins; meals which take a whole evening, and meals which you eat on the run. And the two depend upon each other: You can only have high season if you mostly have ordinary time.
Healthy eating habits respect our natural rhythms: our time, energy, tiredness, the season, the hour, our boredom, our taste. Prayer should be the same, but too often we are left with the impression that all prayer should be this wonderful moment sensing the presence of God. And when it is not, we wonder about our faith, our prayer, or if God is listening. Monks have secrets worth knowing. They know that it is the rhythm, routine, and established ritual of prayer that is key. For monks, the key to sustaining a daily life of prayer is not so much variety, novelty, and the call for higher energy, but rather a reliance on the expected, the familiar, the repetitious, the ritual, the clearly defined. They know that what's needed is a clearly delineated prayer form which gives you a clear time expectation and does not demand of us an energy that we cannot muster on a given day.
There are times, of course, for high celebration, for variety and newness, for spontaneity, and for long celebrations. There are also times for prayer that respect our energy-level, work pressures, and time constraints. What clear, simple, and brief rituals provide is precisely prayer that depends upon something beyond our own energy. The rituals carry us, our tiredness, our lack of energy, our inattentiveness, and our indifference. They keep us praying even when we are too tired to muster up our own energy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer compared the tedium and sameness of prayer to marriage. When he was preaching to a young couple on their wedding day, he would tell them: “Today you are young and very much in love, and you think that your love will sustain your marriage. It won't. But your marriage can sustain your love!”
In the same way, the rhythm, routine, and established ritual of prayer can sustain our love for God and our neighbor – even if we don’t have the energy for itPope Francis and Evangelization
I suspect that Pope Francis is a news person’s dream come true. In the first six months of his papacy, our pope has continually made front page news from formal pronouncements, off-the-cuff comments in response to people he has encountered, his remarks in responses to reporter’s questions, prepared texts at events, and the many words spoken at events when he goes “off script.”
And it is not just that he is charming, humble, affable, approachable, and self-revealing – he seems genuinely human. His words match simple deeds such as carrying his own luggage, taking the bus, and his new used-car “pope-mobile” alternative.
He has given pause to hardened reporters such as Frank Bruni of the New York Times. Mr. Bruni’s articles have been hard on the Catholic Church – at times rightly so. And over the years it seems that you could watch an ever hardening and an increasing distance from the Church he once called home. Many pro-Catholic bloggers long ago dismissed him as a disgruntled, unhappy ex-Catholic “who if he only understood…” Maybe.
Frank Bruni has never met Pope Francis, but he has been touched by the Pope’s words. He wrote in his September 21st column (“The Pope’s Radical Whisper” http://nyti.ms/1b0Sb5t
“But it wasn’t the particulars of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking message in an interview published last week that stopped me in my tracks, gave fresh hope to many embittered Catholics and caused hardened commentators to perk up.
“It was the sweetness in his timbre, the meekness of his posture. It was the revelation that a man can wear the loftiest of miters without having his head swell to fit it, and can hold an office to which the term ‘infallible’ is often attached without forgetting his failings. In the interview, Francis called himself naïve, worried that he’d been rash in the past and made clear that the flock harbored as much wisdom as the shepherds. Instead of commanding people to follow him, he invited them to join him. And did so gently, in what felt like a whisper.
“What a surprising portrait of modesty in a church that had lost touch with it. And what a refreshing example of humility in a world with too little of it.”
People wonder how to evangelize, to tell people the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis is an incredible example and model of modern evangelization. What about the rest of us?
A Word from Fr. SeanAnimated by the Spirit of Francis to care for all of creation…..
When I consider my earliest experiences of the Franciscans, I return to my early childhood years while growing up in a small, picturesque hamlet outside of Albany, New York. There I came to know and experience a very unique and colorful group of friars who lived and worked at Siena College. Although my family was part of a very good and vibrant parish community, the friars seemed to have something that was very special and different. They were animated with a spirit that was very genuine, personal, and real. Everyone was made to feel welcome, important, and special in the eyes of God. It was very obvious that the gospel was not only in their heads, but very much in their hearts and the good things they were about.
Years later, while discerning God’s calling, I returned to the Franciscans with great intrigue and admiration. I quickly discovered that the spirit I initially experienced was alive and well and manifested in a variety of the friars and their ministries. The evangelizing presence of the gospel was neither limited, nor confined to the walls of a parish church but was present and very real in ministries like the breadline in NYC, the group homes for the mentally ill, and the hospice for people with AIDS. It was obvious how the rules of St. Francis continued to guide, influence, and animate the life of the friars…. “To go out into the world entering people’s everyday lives as heralds of God’s reign and agents of peace.”
Influenced by the tradition of St. Francis, this past year Sacred Heart has embarked upon a number of new ministries that fall under Franciscan Care.
These ministries allow us to be the presence of Christ in the lives of others and the source of God's love, compassion, mercy, and reconciliation. We stand in solidarity with people who are hurting, feeling alienated and hopeless, and extend the healing hands of Christ to all. We currently reach out to people who are grieving, divorced and separated, homeless, the incarcerated and their families, and those who are plagued with the addiction to alcohol. We hope to remain open and flexible to the many needs that come to our doors and provide the personal and spiritual guidance they seek.
A new ministry on the horizon of Sacred Heart is Franciscan Care for Creation
. It stems from Francis’ ability to see and experience God in all things. In the Canticle of Creation
prayer, Francis poetically expresses his love for God by addressing all of creation in familial terms. He calls all creatures, no matter how small or insignificant, by the name brother or sister because he knew they all shared the same source of life as himself. This view influenced how all of creation was to be treated with reverence, respect, and awe. With all of the recent news stories about global warming, climate change, greenhouse gas, and the increase in destructive and devastating storms, the words of Pope John Paul II reminds and challenges us to see the current ecological crisis as a spiritual crisis as well. The care for creation is not only a moral obligation, but an act of faith that Catholics and especially Franciscans cannot ignore.
It is my hope that all of the ministries of Franciscan Care will be animated by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit of St. Francis – to show love and care for all of God’s creation.
Our monthly meetings will include prayer, videos, readings, and discussion about how we can become better stewards of the earth’s resources and contribute to the care of creation and the common good.
Our first meeting is Tuesday, October 8th at 7:00 pm in the San Damiano Center. See more information below. Hope to see you there!26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Feast of St. Francis
This Friday marks the patronal feast day of Franciscans across the globe. It is a time when Franciscan communities come together to remember the passing of Francis from this world (the Transitus
) to the next, to celebrate his life and legacy in Masses and gatherings on the feast day proper, and to hold events that are notably Franciscan. We hope you can join us at one of the upcoming events below. Come celebrate with us! Thursday, October 3rd
: Join the friars at the Franciscan Center for a celebration of the Transitus
– a Franciscan devotion to ritually remember the passing of St. Francis from this life into God. The service will be held in the Center chapel, beginning at 7:00 pm, followed by a reception with refreshments. The evening will be led by Fr. Dan Horan, OFM, author of the book (and blog) Dating God
. Friday, October 4th:
The feast proper will be celebrated with solemn Masses at 7:00 am and 12:10 pm. Come and share our joy with Eucharist and stories of the life of this great saint. Sunday, October 6th
: Blessing of the Animals at Sacred Heart Campus (3515 N. Florida Ave.) at 2:00 pm. Bring your cat, dog, cockatoo, gerbil, turtle, or kangaroo. Let us share God’s blessing of all creation. Tuesday October 8th:
Join us in the San Damiano Center at 7:00 pm for the first in a series of gatherings centered around St. Francis and the Care of Creation. There is more information on this event later in the bulletin.
…and then join us for the Parish Gala, October 12th!!25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 22Forward in Faith
Two weeks ago I sent a “state of the parish” letter to all registered households (If you did not receive one, please call the parish office and we will mail one to you!
). In that letter I mentioned that this Fall the Bishop and Diocese will begin a capital campaign, Forward in Faith,
focused on securing the future of our growing diocese in these areas: tuition assistance for families desiring a Catholic education for their children, support for our growing number of seminarians and their seminary, and support for retired priests.
As a Franciscan, capital campaigns such as this are not my “cup of tea,” but it is part of the role of being pastor. And part of that role is to point out all of the good things going on that need our support. For example, as a Diocese we do not have enough funds to form all of the seminarians we have in the pipeline already – and there are more coming! That is a great problem to have. It will take many hands to pitch in to address the opportunity – ours and other parishes in the diocese.
As we move through this campaign, our needs for weekly offertory continue. These are the on-going and normal duties and responsibilities of the parish. In February 2014, we will begin again our efforts for the Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) to fund the essential needs of the diocese for its yearly operations budget. The Forward in Faith
Campaign is asking for your support for emerging diocesan needs above and beyond its yearly operations.
As we pursue our own parish efforts and projects, you will hear or read from time to time about the Forward in Faith
campaign, its goals, and its progress. As is usual in such campaigns, I will be meeting with people in large and small settings. We will also plan an open house one evening in the San Damiano Center for anyone who would like to have more details.
This campaign will not be a “tax,” but rather a best effort. Bishop Lynch is trusting that the people of this diocese and Sacred Heart parish will join him in securing the future growth and mission of our diocese. It is always a tough thing to begin a campaign still in the shadow of a recession, but such are the needs. And so, we will put forth our best effort. God willing, whatever we accomplish, we will accomplish as one community of faith.