Pastor’s Desk

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April 26, 2015

Pastor’s Desk
This weekend we begin a series of celebrations of First Communions and Confirmation. The children in our English-speaking Religious Education Program are receiving their First Holy Communion at the Saturday 5:00 p.m. mass and the Sunday 9:00 a.m. mass. I want to con-gratulate them and their parents who are seeing to their ongoing formation in faith. Our prayer is that this is the beginning of a life-long practice of Eucharist as a weekly part of their Catholic spiritual life.
This week Bishop Vasa will preside over the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for the young people in both the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities of our parish this coming Thursday and Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the 5:00 p.m. mass. And on Saturday morning we will begin the first of three First Communion celebrations in our Hispanic community.
We had another great turnout Tuesday night for the book study of Pope Francis’s “The Joy of the Gospel.” It is clear that there is a hunger for learning what Pope Francis sees as the mission of the Church. The evening also includes time for discussion in smaller groups and it is clear that there is a hunger for that kind of experience of community and faith sharing as well. There are still four more sessions planned, and you are welcome to join in. We can always get you a copy of the book and a study guide. I am so glad that we have offered this and hope that is a step toward shaping our parish more and more into an “evangelizing community.”
This week I will be working on sending out letters to ask your support for the Annual Diocesan Ministry Appeal. The Appeal supports ministries that our diocese provides to parishes, such as retreats for youth, training and formation for parish catechists, scholarships for stu-dents in Catholic schools, the services of our Marriage Tribunal for those seeking marriage annulments, and the training of seminarians to be priests in our diocese. In addition to other services the diocese provides to our parishes, the Appeal also makes possible ministries that the parishes do not provide, for example, prison and detention ministry. We have a parish target of $53,000 to help make these ministries possible and are responsible to guarantee 80% of the target, $42,400. As I mentioned last weekend, as of the end of March, we have 94 pa-rishioners who have pledged $18,500 – well below our target. Last year we had a total of 220 parishioners who pledged $44,000. I know that if all of us do even a little something we can do our share. I intend to make my pledge this week. If you still have the appeal material from the diocese, please take a moment this week and join me in making a pledge or a one-time gift. If you don’t have what the diocese sent out, my letter will provide you a way to support the appeal.
By this weekend, Fr. Ramon will have returned. I’ll have an update for you on his condition at this weekend’s masses.
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.