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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
As you entered the church today, you saw a familiar scene. Actually it’s been three years since we used the TV monitors to show the video for Sharing God’s Blessings. And the delivery method is not all that’s changed. Sharing God’s Blessings used to be called the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Maybe one day it will be renamed, “The Cardinal’s Annual Appeal.” It used to be done on Super Bowl Weekend and I could joke about the TV’s as being an attraction for those who wanted to pray for their favorite team at the Sunday night, 6:30 Mass. But this year, it has been delayed to re-do the video to account for the presence of our new Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin. And finally, we’re doing the Appeal here at OLMC a week early because I will be skiing in Vermont the weekend (2/25-26) when it’s being done in the rest of the Archdiocese. Nothing is ever simple, without complications.

You may remember that the Appeal was rolled into the We are Living Stones campaign last year. The first dollars pledged and collected in that Capital Campaign paid off our annual goal for the Appeal, which has always been around $125,000. Once again I want to thank all who pledged to the Living Stones campaign and you can see the fruit of your support both in the presence of our new Ministry to the Sick, Homebound and Elderly, as well as the new, energy-efficient windows in the rectory. But we always said that after the hiatus of one year, the Sharing God’s Blessings appeal would return, because this appeal funds the operating work of the Archdiocese.

Let me refresh our history in the last year the campaign was conducted here, 2015. In that year, $261,346. was received on a pledge total of $268,144. The parish goal that year was $126,315. And the number of donors to the campaign was 625. This year, the parish goal is $133,218. As in the past, the parish gets a rebate on everything over the goal. The rebate on the 2015 campaign was $93,889. Though it was two years ago, I want to say THANK YOU to all who supported the 2015 campaign, an incredible demonstration of generosity for local needs around the Archdiocese. I have always told you that you are the most generous people I know, and you have demonstrated it time and time again.

While I have not seen the video yet, because the Office in Newark has to get a special copy up to me and I have not received it yet (the copies for the rest of the Archdiocese are still in mass production), I will let the video speak to the case statement. If I were to ask, “Does anyone remember from the last campaign in 2015, the message I have been trying to get across in all these years that I have preached on the former “AAA,?” would you be able to answer? Besides the worthiness of the cause, which is to help our brothers and sisters in need in the Archdiocese, I have always asked that the appeal be supported by our entire parish family – that everyone join in no matter the size of the pledge. In my mind, that number should be about 1,000 households, based on the number of people who come to church regularly. In the 2002 campaign, that number was 792, the highest ever. Then it fell precipitously in the following year (and I think I know the reason why) but has slowly been growing. In the 2012 campaign it had risen back to 745, but fell again in the 14 and 15 campaigns. And I am pretty sure I know the reasons for that decline as well. But with Cardinal Tobin with us now, it’s a new ballgame.

So my message about the campaign is the same as it has been over all these years. Though it is not as heart-wrenching as other causes, it does support and assist those in need, from the poor, hungry, homeless and jobless, served by Catholic Charities, to those with disabilities, to seminarians and elderly priests, to parishes that are barely surviving, but still provide a place of worship, education and community, often for the poorest of the poor. Sharing God’s Blessings is a lifeline for all these people. The second message is also the same. If you had been a contributor, please contribute again. If you are paying off a pledge to We Are Living Stones (as I am), please make the sacrifice to make a pledge to Sharing God’s Blessings (as I will). If you have not been a contributor, or had been but stopped, for whatever reason, please consider a pledge this year, even just to show Cardinal Tobin that we are with him as he begins his ministry here in the Archdiocese of Newark. During the last campaign (2015), there were many negative articles in the local press which, I believe, was a contributing factor in the decline in the numbers of contributors. I want to assure you that funds from the campaign go only to those causes in the case statement. If this is a concern, you may want to mark your pledge envelope as restricted, to Catholic Charities, for instance. Please remember, there are real people in need who are depending on us.

Before you leave church today, please make a pledge and drop it in the collection basket or in the boxes at the doors of the church. Please don’t put it off, make it today, for the sake of those who need your help.
Happy President’s Day ,
Fr. Ron

PS. And speaking of need, I remind everyone that we tithe on our regular parish collection and we look to you to suggest worthy causes and charities. If you know of one, please fill out a form (found at all the bookracks) and either drop it in the boxes at the doors of the church, or at the rectory. We could use a few new suggestions.

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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