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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

First, I want to thank all the students from the Academy of Our Lady who participated in last weekend’s liturgies. The readers, the greeters, the gift bearers and the speakers all did a wonderful job and are a testament to the success of the Academy as a CATHOLIC and a SCHOOL. It is a Catholic School worth supporting and worth considering for your children. Although Catholic Schools Week may officially be over there’s always opportunity to visit the school to see if it’s right for your children.

As you can see from the front cover of this bulletin, today is the beginning of the Annual Appeal, for the Archdiocese of Newark. I’m so glad it’s not on Super Bowl Sunday any more, when minds are geared to football and parties and, these days, betting (all legal now, of course). And remember the days of the TV screens we had to rent, and all the wires running through the church. At least we now have the permanent monitors, and better sound, to show the Cardinal’s video. We’ll still do that and then I will speak for a few minutes. (What more could I add after all these years?

The Annual Appeal 2023 campaign has already begun. I believe every household should have received the materials directly from the Cardinal in the mail. I want to point out a couple of things about the campaign. The campaign funds what the Church is supposed to be about. First and foremost the Church must be about Proclaiming the Gospel, announcing to the world it is loved by Jesus Christ. While this is the responsibility of every baptized Catholic, there is a special place for those called to the priestly ministry and so Forming Future Priests must be a part of the Church’s work, as well as Supporting Retired Clergy, those who have labored long and hard in the vineyard (myself, I hope). Passing on the Faith to future generations is also an essential work of the Church and living Jesus’ love, in concrete ways drives the Church’s mission in Caring for the Poor and the Vulnerable. This last mission of the Church is so important that it receives the largest portion of the funds raised though the Appeal.

I could go on with all the works funded through the Annual Appeal but I’ll leave it at that for now. I truly believe the case statement, all that I have shared and all that’s represented in the brochure speak to the strength of the Appeal and the fact that it represents the Church’s outreach to those in need right here, among us, in our own backyard, brothers and sisters right around the corner from us. And for those who wonder whether the funds are actually going to these works, I refer to my column in last week’s bulletin. The Archdiocese recently sold property in Jersey City (for 9 million dollars) which had been leased (a dollar a year) to Catholic Charities for 3 different homeless shelters. It kept none of that amount but turned all of it over to Catholic Charities for the building of a new homeless shelter with those same three components. For more details, go to my column in last week’s bulletin. I cite this as evidence that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark can be trusted to use the funds from this Appeal only for what has been proposed.

What is my goal? Obviously to raise more funds, both for these causes and for ourselves, through the generous rebate policy instituted by Cardinal Tobin. But you know what my principle goal has always been, year in and year out—to consistently increase the number of parish “households” involved in this support. To see the number of donors from Mount Carmel increase. As I mentioned in my column, reporting on the results of the 2022 campaign, that number increased by 62, from 419 in 2021 to 481 in 2022. Maybe we could double the number of the increase, from 62 to 124, or even higher, to reach 600 households from our parish who take up this cause. Please join those who pledge, including myself, and let’s make this an extraordinary year of commitment to caring for others and Proclaiming the Gospel, Jesus Christ lives, through His faithful witnesses.

If you did not receive the materials in the mail, brochures and pledge envelopes are available in the pews and may be placed in the boxes at the doors of the church or mailed directly to the Archdiocese. Moving into the digital age, there’s a QR code that will take you just about anywhere and let you do just about anything. More to come in the days ahead.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron


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