Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week of October 20

Dear Friends,

As you are aware, our parish’s Annual Appeal has begun. We have spent the last 8 weeks trying to update our database, however, we are discovering that there are still parishioners for whom we do not have addresses for. If you haven’t received the appeal letter or any of the other mailings that occurred over the last three months, please contact the Parish Office so we may be sure to have accurate records. This appeal is different from the Catholic Charities Appeal conducted in the spring. That Appeal funds the many diocesan ministries and apostolates. This Appeal is strictly for the parish of St. John the Evangelist. To be honest, this is a part of the job of Pastor that I dread. However, the reality is that to continue the many works of the parish and to address some of the projects that need to be done to buildings and property, funding is necessary. I want to be clear though that as important as the funds are, the prayers are even more important. Please be sure to keep me in your prayers and to pray for our parish. Be assured of my prayers for each of you and your families.

On Monday Patty Parsons, our new secretary, begins her employment here. We will be moving offices on Monday, so please be patient with us this week as we get things settled. I am very grateful for Patty’s arrival, partly because I think she will be a great addition to our parish, but also because I’ve fallen behind in some of my own work during the time that I’ve covered the office. Thank you for your patience during this entire transition!

My help is from the Lord who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2) These words from the Psalmist this weekend remind us of the power of faith and serve to inspire us to persevere in growing in faith. It is important that we understand what the words convey and not to “over-interpret” them. The psalmist is not saying that the Lord will help us drive the kids to school, soccer, religious ed, etc. or will deposit an extra $500 into our bank account, or even miraculously cure all of our ills. So how the heck does the Lord help us? When we take time for the Lord and to nurture the seeds of faith planted in our hearts, we become more aware of his love and presence in our lives. We recognize him at work in our family, community and world. Our hearts and minds remain connected to the “big” picture that reminds us that there is something more than the stresses and trials we experience in life. This faith feeds our hope that helps us to remain calm and focused even in the chaos that sometimes marks our lives. This spiritual calmness helps us to recognize the resources before us to help us in our times of needs, to realize solutions that we may not have come to in a frenzied state. Prayer is not a way to kill time, but the answer to many of our very real concerns and problems.

A couple of weeks ago we started some bible studies at UMass Dartmouth. I am very happy to report that the response has been very good. Actually, I am very pleased with all that is happening in Campus Ministry throughout the diocese. While it has created a lot of work for the staff and I, it has certainly strengthened our hope and faith in our college students. Plans are underway to offer a bible study here at St. John’s. There will be different times offered to accommodate all of our parishioners. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more details!

This Tuesday evening is the Women’s Guild Potluck Supper. As a result the Catholicism series won’t be shown this Tuesday. We will resume on Tuesday October 29.

Have a great week!

Fr. David

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