Pastor’s Desk – Month of March 2021
A Message from Father Peter
– March 28th 2021 – The Holy Week
May this year’s Holy Week and Easter be very special for all of our people. Many of course have been using our live streaming camera as their means of attending Mass. I am convinced that it was an excellent decision to procure this device. But now we have these serene and joyful days upon us. All signs are pointing to our making Easter the time to return to actual physical attendance at Mass.
Naturally you may continue to view over the internet. But more and more we all hope you are sincerely thinking and praying about being here for Mass. To find out more about our Holy Week and Easter schedule watch our video below to learn more.
– March 21st 2021 – The (short) Lenten Pilgrimagearch
Each evening, many of our Coffee House young adults pray the rosary via Zoom. It is really edifying and a real bit of fun for them as well. Tell your young adult (20-40 years old) about it! Some are doing a personal Lenten retreat (assisted by Zoom and myself). A short pilgrimage to upstate New York (North American Martyrs) and Stockbridge, Massachusetts (Divine Mercy) is also planned.
Get your copy of the little book many of our Coffee House young adults are using for Lent. This is my personal invitation to our young adult church-going “regulars”; read this short, simple book and in the process, you’ll make a great 10-day Lenten retreat! The title is Lift Up Your Heart by John Burns. It is based on the great classic Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis De Sales. Ten chapters, one a day, for a truly “doable” ten-day retreat. It covers the “Four Last Things” – Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell in an insightful and appealing way. It provides much material to help you pray more deeply and begin to re-order your life.
Start by calling the rectory and ask for a free copy- (available for all adults) and for details on the Pilgrimage.
– March 14th, 2021 – The Catholic Ministry Appeal
Two weeks ago, Peter Dowd and I presented to the parish our annual invitation to join the Catholic Ministries Appeal. As with so many things, the appeal is late due to COVID-19. Yet the real need for the Appeal is as certain as ever. Pat Brennan asked for a year off due to family matters; we remember Pat’s droll humor and encouragement.
Please do not allow the pandemic to distract you from joining the Appeal this year. The Appeal is vital to the continuance of the work of Catholic Charities: programs for the handicapped and elderly people, special needs and senior housing. Our seminary, vocation, and religious education programs are also supported. Parish Outreach (an arm of Catholic Charities) deals with family and personal needs beyond food and clothing.
St. Francis parish has always met its annual goal (a little lower this year) and so we have always qualified for the rebate. Last year the Appeal returned $18,000 to us – a very real help to us. Please remember that any pledges made to the Appeal are protected from Bankruptcy settlements.
About 175 parishioners pledged last year. Let us try to increase that number. We can do it! If you have never pledged, please make a small pledge – let’s say double your normal Sunday offering. This gets you “on the list” and you become “part of the solution”. Next year the Diocese will reach out to you and hopefully you will open your heart again and make a somewhat bigger pledge! No money is due right now – just the commitment to pledge. You have this whole year to fulfill your pledge.
– March 7th, 2021 – Youth Ministry, Catholic Ministry Appeal and More
I) Winter is almost over (or so we hope!) It has been a cold and snowy one. We are paying off over $10,000.00 in snow removal costs. Thank you again for your faithful support!
II) We “Kicked off” the Catholic Ministries Appeal this weekend. Peter Dowd and I were the speakers this year. Special thanks to Pat Brennan who coordinated our effort the last few years. Pat promises to be available again to assist us in the near future.
III) We are launching our revived teen ministry in a zoom format. Please keep this important effort in your prayers! Tony Chiarelli and Ivonne Popora will be offering the young people guidance and direction. Young adults from the coffee house will be supporting their work. Tony has an abundance of ideas for activities. Ivonne will focus on events and projects to assist needy people.
IV) Many of our parish ministries have been suspended for many months now due to the pandemic. We held an important meeting of ministry heads to share information and plan to come back as soon as conditions allow.