Grace and peace to all. Incredible, but we are about to end the first month of 2024; this should encourage us to continue growing in holiness and fuller contact with God.
Like every year, at the beginning of the year, we have a week dedicated to Catholic schools. This year, it will be from January 28 to February 3, a special week to pray and promote our parish school. This year, the number of children decreased compared to last year. Unfortunately, the reasons are always diverse, but we aim to attract more children. I invite you to help me pray for the faculty and staff of the school; they do a lot and give a lot so that our children have a quality education. I am pleased with the work they do. God bless them for such a precious ministry. This weekend, we will have a table in the lobby and promote our school after the masses; if you need information, do not hesitate to come and ask for information. Also, as in previous years, I invite those who can sponsor a child from our school to be encouraged to help us. Many parents want to send their children to school but need more resources. This year, we implemented a program called “One More Child” that seeks donors who wish to help a new child in our parish who wants to be educated with us. It would be a nice apostolate because they would be helping to form a Christian and citizen of the future. I invite you to pray for this intention. I want to especially thank those parishioners who have supported us with scholarships for the children at our school; they are indeed a blessing. May God reward you, and I thank you on behalf of the children.
This week, we will send the 2023 contribution letters. You will probably receive them via email; if you are not in our database, you will obtain them in your mail. As a parish pastor, I am very grateful for your support and love for the parish; thanks also to those who donate online through Pushpay, and those who have not done so yet, I encourage you to do so. Your donations help the parish continue the work of evangelization.
I also invite all men to the retreat that the Knights of Columbus is organizing next February 3; it is not necessary to be a member of this group to participate in this retreat. This year, the retreat will be at the Shrine of John Paul II in Washington, DC; it will be a day of faith and meditation before the beginning of Lent. If you would like to participate, please call the parish office or contact one of our members as soon as possible; I will pray that more of us will participate this year.
Finally, I invite you to participate – like every year – in the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal (BLA). This year, the goal that the diocese has assigned to us is $181,000. A few weeks before starting the season of Lent, I encourage you to pray and consider our commitment this year. Let us remember that this help that we give to the diocese serves to continue with the works of charity and mercy of the diocese. At the same time, it helps to move all the pastoral programs at the diocesan level. Many of you have probably already received or will receive the envelope to make the commitment this week. On behalf of our bishop, thank you for taking the time and giving of the little you have for this campaign of faith.
I have you in my prayers