Pastoral Letter for October 19, 2014

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What belongs to God?  Jesus says “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  What would I say in my life belongs to God?

If we think about a list of “belongings,” we might consider a home, car, computer, phone, tablet, books, furniture, keepsakes, souvenirs, clothing, memories etc.  Whatever we possess, we might say belongs to us.  So in this manner, what do we “own” that belongs to God?

Might it be possible for us to recognize that everything belongs to God?  If I did not have my life, what would I be able to do or own?  If I did not have a talent by which to earn money, what would I be able to do or own?  If I did not have health and ability, what would I be able to do or own?  What do I possess that is not a gift from God?

Stewardship is the willingness to recognize that everything I have is a gift from God.  Stewardship is the willingness to share what I have from this belief; what God has given me belongs to him and is meant to assist to do the work of his mission.  The language of this understanding is espoused in our logo – “Receive with gratitude, give with joy.”  Grateful that we have been given so much and knowing that it belongs to God, with joy, we share that gift so that others might have it too.

What belongs to God?  How are we giving to God what belongs to Him?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

November 1 is the Feast of All Saints.  When a holy day of obligation falls on a Saturday or Monday, the Bishops may choose to lift the obligation.  The day remains a holy day; Catholics are released from the obligation to attend Mass.  Since November 1 falls on Saturday and the Bishops have lifted the obligation, one Mass is scheduled for the Feast of All Saints:  November 1, 8:30 a.m.  Please plan to attend and celebrate the heroes of our Church!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193.  Progress is $11,758 cash received.  Every member is needed to offer a contribution on the road to meeting our goal.  Having received your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it.  If we can meet our goal by April 1, our rebate will be increased; these monies help us to do extra maintenance projects within the parish.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to support this important work!

The pilgrims are on their journey!  We are connected by our prayer during Eucharist and the intentions that we remember as we pray.  See everyone upon our return!

On November 16 St. Anne Parish will celebrate its 65th Anniversary as a parish.  To celebrate this event, parish members are invited to stop after Masses during that weekend to enjoy refreshments and share stories about St. Anne Parish.  Plan to join in the festivities as we give thanks to God for 65 years of growing in faith!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for October 19, 2014

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Pastoral Letter for October 12, 2014

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“Come on down!”  This phrase is connected to a popular game show “The Price is Right.”  The contestants know that if they are chosen to come on down that a great prize is awaiting them.  If they arrive on stage, there will be an even bigger prize.  They make sure that they are wearing something that might attract the attention of those who choose the contestants.  They act according to what they think might win them an invitation to come on down.  Anyone who does not seek to meet these standards may expect to simply be an observer at the show; they certainly shouldn’t expect to win any prizes.

Might this be what the gospel this weekend is talking about?   An invitation is extended, but no one seems to have a sense that a great prize is awaiting them.  When a different group is approached, there is one who is not dressed in the right way to show the interest in a great prize awaiting them.  God calls us to “Come on down.”  We are invited to his Word and Table.  We should be overwhelmed at the offer.  We should be acting in a way that shows our excitement about the offer.   Our actions should help identify that we are living the way of Christ and seeking the Kingdom of heaven.  Are we ready to share this connection?  Would we prepare in such a way to know that this connection is possible?

Faith is not lived in observation.  Faith needs to have a response.  Faith needs the evidence of our actions in order to be ready for the big prize.  The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Are we ready?  The Kingdom of God is our invitation.  Have we accepted?  The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Are we clothed in Christ?  Does our Baptism define our lifestyle?  God wants us to be present; He waits for us to “Come on down!”

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193.  Progress is $9,258 cash received.  Every member is needed to offer a contribution on the road to meeting our goal.  Having received your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it.  If we can meet our goal by April 1, our rebate will be increased; these monies help us to do extra maintenance projects within the parish.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to support this important work!

During this weekend of October 10-11, slips are available to write an intention that you wish to be prayed during the pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes.  The intentions will be carried to the Masses and then placed in the Grotto of Lourdes.  Please stop by the available table to write your intentions.

On November 16 St. Anne Parish will celebrate its 65th Anniversary as a parish.  To celebrate this event, parish members are invited to stop after Masses during that weekend to enjoy refreshments and share stories about St. Anne Parish.  Plan to join in the festivities as we give thanks to God for 65 years of growing in faith!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for October 12, 2014

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Pastoral Letter for October 5, 2014

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Have no anxiety at all – Impossible!  These words are found in the second reading, but as human beings, we have to hear these words with skepticism.  But before we dismiss these words, what did Paul say that we need to do?  What is the opportunity to be at peace?

In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Paul places before us the need to pray or petition.  We simply need to let God know what we are facing and why it is difficult.  However, what is the attitude from which we are to pray and petition?  Paul says – “with thanksgiving.”  Therein lies a great challenge.  When I think of the moments that make me anxious, I am not filled with gratitude.  I rather think that I am ready to scream.  I am more apt to cry, whine, complain, or get angry with God.  Anxiousness is far from a moment of thanksgiving.

Yet, if I believe that God will answer my prayer, am I not more apt to be grateful for what I believe God will do?  The blessing of God is to calm my anxiousness, give me strength to carry the burden and provide me with answers that will become known to me.  The attitude needed in anxiousness is the willingness to believe that God will help me.  I would then pray with confidence.  God who hears my prayer will bring me peace.  In the words of Paul, “then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

With thanksgiving – is this how we pray?  If not, perhaps we might need an attitude adjustment.  What do we believe is possible with God?  Like Paul says, are we able to “Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you”?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Pray for our Faith Formation students, Catholic School students and those desiring to join the Catholic Church.  Your support will assist them on the journey of faith this year!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193.  Initial progress is at $6,633.  Every member is needed to offer a contribution on the road to meeting our goal.  Having received your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it.  If we can meet our goal by April 1, our rebate will be increased; these monies help us to do extra maintenance projects within the parish.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to support this important work!

During the weekend of October 10-11, slips will be available to write an intention that you wish to be prayed during the pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes.  The intentions will be carried to the Masses and then placed in the Grotto of Lourdes.  Please stop by the available table to write your intentions.

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for October 5, 2014

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Pastoral Letter for September 28, 2014

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Jesus asks, “What is your opinion?”  Is he simply asking what those who are listening might think?  Or is he asking what do you think is right?

In the first reading, a similar question is being posed.  What is fair?  Is the standard set by human beings or is the standard set by God?  Whose way is fair?

Additionally we are invited to consider is word and action separate or do they need to be integrated?  In the gospel, each person says the opposite of what they intend to do.  While a “right” answer is given, the “right” action is defined by what is done.  Words are only as good as what is accomplished.

Consider then someone who says they believe in God.  What would we expect to see if we are to believe them?  Do they need to attend church?  Does this need to be regularly?  Do they need to pray?  How often?  Do they need to do good works?  How many?  Faith is not simply a statement of a belief; it requires action.  Faith is about doing what is right.  When someone in scripture is applauded as righteous, the meaning is “to walk in the ways of God.”  By what they believe, they are led to do what is pleasing to God.

In this understanding, we are asked to know the opinion of what is right, to choose to accept the standard set by God, and then to act in a way that expresses this belief.  How close to heaven are we by how we believe and act?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

A wish of God’s peace is extended to the family and friends of Anthony “Tony” Marvin, Jr.  His funeral was on Thursday, September 18.  May our prayers support and encourage those who mourn.  May he rest in peace!

Faith Formation is started – good to see everyone on Wednesday!  May the year be filled with learning and opportunity to grow in faith!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193.  Having received your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it.  If we can meet our goal by April 1, our rebate will be increased; these monies help us to do extra maintenance projects within the parish.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to support this important work!

The pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes is approaching; the pilgrims leave on October 13.  Watch for an opportunity to have your intentions prayed during this pilgrimage.

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for September 28, 2014

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Pastoral Letter for September 21, 2014

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An old adage asks – “Is the cup half empty or half full?”  The question pushes us to consider the attitude with which we approach life and faith.  Is our attitude positive or negative regarding the events/circumstances with which we are involved?  This adage might be used for a summary of the readings for this weekend.  What is our attitude about our faith?

In the gospel, the landowner invites people to be involved in the work of his vineyard.  Throughout the day, more people are invited to be a part of the vineyard.  When the day ends, he pays everyone the same wage because they were involved in the work of the vineyard.  Those who worked longer begin to have a negative attitude; they worked longer so they expect to receive more pay.  Perhaps initially they were happy that they had a job; however in being paid less, they now think their work has been valued less.  As that attitude forms within them, they are less appreciative of the landowner.  They start to see the landowner as stingy versus generous.

Does this happen with our faith?  If God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers, do we think that God is less generous to us than others?  If God doesn’t provide for us in the same manner as we see others receive, do we think that God is less generous to us?  How often does a comparison with a co-worker or another volunteer lead us to think that we are doing more but paid or rewarded the same as the one who does less?  Has God gifted us or is God being stingy?  What is our attitude?

During the past couple of years, Stewardship Committee has asked us to reflect on a theme – “Receive with Gratitude, Give with Joy.”  The purpose of this theme is to spark what the landowner asks – Are we generous with what we have?  No matter how little we might think we have, can we be generous with what we have?  No one is unable to contribute.  Everyone can contribute to the extent that they are able.  Everyone can make a difference.  God has created us with an abundance; if our attitude is that we are lacking, what is possible?

So what might be true if the cup is half full?!?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Thank you to all who have volunteered for our Faith Formation Program as catechists and aides.  With good response, we are filling the necessary positions.  We are still in need of those who are working with adults.  Would anyone be willing to help with Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults?

Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193.  Last weekend the DVD was shared so that we might understand the good work that is being accomplished with the monies given for this Appeal.  I hope everyone found something for which to contribute.  Please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it – your help will be much appreciated!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for September 21, 2014

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