January 4, 2015
I returned to the parish on Saturday after flying home Christmas afternoon to be with my sisters and brothers for Christmas dinner. It was my mom’s wish that we be together whether she could be there or not. We had a wonderful time together and celebrated the life of both our mother and our father. Last Saturday we had a beautiful funeral for mom, and we were moved by the large turnout of people. At that age it’s amazing to know that beside our family she had many friends, a life beyond our life. We all feel very grateful and have no regrets. Our par- ents completed their work and have left a great legacy. Now our task is to move on with our lives and honor them by how we live. I want to thank all of you for your prayers, cards, masses, and messages of condolence. These are the times when being a faith community is so vital. My family and I are very grateful to all of you.
This week we resume the book study, “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.” Beginning this Tuesday, Jan. 6, we will meet as usual in the parish hall from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. This week we will be focusing on Chap. 10, which focuses on human friendships.
Our Christmas collection so far is $59,200, certainly the highest we have ever had. We had received $58,000 last year and conservatively budgeted $55,000 for this year. I am grateful to all of you for your generosity. As you know we are working with a deficit budget and this is of immense help as we do our best to pare the deficit down over the next six months.
Because I was away last weekend I did not have the chance to express my thanks to everyone who helped us with the celebration of our Christmas masses. As always I want to thank those who decorated the church with elegance and beauty, our music ministers whose music added so much to the beauty and joy of our masses, our lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar servers, and the “behind the scenes” people such as the members of our “altar linen ministry” whose work is unseen but very important. Also I want to express a special word of thanks to all of you who volunteered to help as ushers and greeters, in addition to our regulars. It was our hope to provide a warm welcome to people coming to our masses, and we had a wonderful group who did precisely that. I am also grateful to those who produced the beautiful bro- chure that was handed out to everyone who came. It was a beautiful and fitting expression of the kind of community we are and the focus we have on growing spiritually in our faith. There were many positive comments about our little gift and it was a positive contribution to the spirit of welcome we intended.
Thanks to you all. I wish all of you a Blessed and Happy New Year.
God Bless, Fr. Gary
About our Parish and our Website
Our parish mission statement identifies St. Vincent’s as a Eucharist centered people who, as the Body of Christ, live our faith in word and deed by sharing our time, talent, and treasure to support one another and serve those in need.
This website is intended not only to provide you with the information you need about our parish but also to help us build up our life as a community and so help us in our mission. It provides a way for us to connect with each other; and we invite you to use it to share stories, to learn about what’s happening and what’s coming up, and to provide information you think we all need to hear. This site will evolve as our parish evolves; it belongs to all of us. I hope you find it helpful.
“All are Welcome in this Place.”
As one of Father Gary’s favorite hymns, this song speaks to the atmosphere, design, and heart of St. Vincent’s parish: there is a place here for everyone. In fact, you are not only welcomed, but needed! As we explore and expand our ideas of just what a Church community is, we recognize first that pivotal life events occur in church: weddings, baptisms, First Communion, Confirmation; but, we also find that we need community in order to be a Spirit filled Church where we praise God, share our faith, and help one another by way of fellowship, and the numerous ministries available to all parishioners. Through our stewardship, the gift of our time and talent, there is a wonderful opportunity to give and receive, to make friends, to help friends, to see how our talents are a gift from God made for sharing. We are bonded to a group of people with whom we already have at least one thing in common, and that is our faith. It is our hope that you will use this community website to build bridges and connect with one another, and see that each of us, too, is a gift from God meant to be shared.