New Year Holy Family
Dec 30, 2017
My dear people of All Saints,
What a calendar year it has been! I thank God for all the blessings of 2017! It has been a year of many joys- Baptisms, Confirmations, Communions, Confessions, various feasts and episcopal visits, and the great Fatima Centenary. It has also been a year with many sorrows- Fr. Paul moving to ‘North Jersey’ (his words LOL), the closing of St. John Bosco Church, as well as the many funerals and deaths in our parish family and in our extended families. Some of those wounds will take faith and much time to heal as profound as they have been. We face that challenge as well as the hope of the new year as a family united in Christ in His Body, the Church.
As All Saints, we remember that our basic Christian vocation is to holiness and on the feast of the Holy Family we see the importance of family in nurturing our trust and love of God. It has often been said that, “The family that prays together, stays together.” It is my intention as the father of our parish family to offer more opportunities for us to pray together so that we may stay together rooted in our beautiful religion given to us by God Himself. We will be instituting morning Mass Monday through Friday beginning with Lent and we will be increasing the opportunities for faith formation for both young and old alike in the coming year.
I always find it inspiring that Holy Mother Church asks us to begin the secular year by honoring the Virgin Mary, under the title of ‘Mother of God’ (This year, it is not a holy day of obligation). We will be honoring Her by reforming our Legion of Mary (this time meeting at night to make it more convenient for you) to spread the spiritual works of Mercy in our parish to complement the corporal works of mercy already heroically performed by our St. Vincent de Paul Society. I’d like to suggest, as a New Year’s resolution, if you have not already done so, to pray the Rosary, or at least some portion of it, as part of your daily routine either alone or as a family. I guarantee your lives will change and our parish will be greatly blessed. Our Lady never lets us down.
Finally, I want to thank so many of you who have responded so generously to our stewardship program of increased giving. If you have not already done so, and you are able, I ask that you please consider increasing your parish offering (to God) by 20%-30% (for example from $10 to $13). That will enable us to make our budget and insure the financial stability of our parish family. For my part, after consulting with our finance committee, I have decided to do away with the debt reduction second collections effective immediately. It is our belief that, if we are all giving what we can, there is no need to burden you with the second collection. We just ask that you give what you can in our regular weekly offertory. That is good stewardship. Of course, if you want to give more with the envelopes you already have for debt reduction you will be able to do so. Please, just put them, along with your usual weekly offering, in the first collection. The second collections required by the diocese or the American Bishop’s will remain for now (I am always open to suggestions).
As we say goodbye to 2017 and ring in 2018, know that you are loved and appreciated and remain in my daily prayers. May our next orbit around the sun be a time of grace and blessings for All Saints.
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Fr. Peter Idler