Father Tirso

For the benefit of those who may not have heard this update last weekend at the Masses, I wanted to share our current total for this year’s Summer Collection. We may still receive contributions even in the next coming weeks. But, to date, our total collected from this year’s Summer Collection is $35,181. Obviously this means that we met our goal of matching or exceeding the Summer Collection amount from last year. This also means that we have been gifted with our generous donor’s offer to match this year’s Summer Collection up to $35K. However, as I announced at the Masses last weekend, our donor chose not to match the $35K. The reason for this is because our donor decided to give a total of $50K. This, of course, now means not only did we collect enough to finish the stained glass window project but we also have some much needed funds to pay off as much of our bills as possible.

As I also mentioned last weekend at the Masses, this is very clearly good news. It is a reason to celebrate. It is a reason to give thanks. It is a reason to recognize the grace of God which is at work in our faith community. We not only are blessed with a generous donor but we have also been blessed with parishioners who have again stepped up to the plate and responded to a very big need. Again, this truly is a gift from God.

However, I also repeat what I said last weekend. I hate to be a “killjoy,” but we also need to understand that as much as we have been financially blessed by this gift, we are, as the saying goes, not out of the woods quite yet. The reality is that the parish remains in serious financial difficulty because our regular income has been nowhere near what we need to cover our ordinary expenses. Our Sunday collections every week fall drastically short toward covering our everyday expenses. This means that at the end of every fiscal year, we have left a good number of bills unpaid All of that debt turned into loans to the Archdiocese. Again, if parishioners only consider what the possible results might be if they have unpaid bills at home, the same applies to our parish community, but only on a different scale. I take this opportunity to ask every parishioner to continue to pitch in because we need to increase our Sunday collection every week if we are going to keep up with our expenses. We are already at a barebones operation. If more cuts in spending are made, it will create a serious limitation in the services that the parish will be able to provide.

Of course, I do not want to leave this article on a sad note. So, I also want to take this opportunity to announce once again that we are bringing to St. Margaret Mary the award winning comedy act, Late Nite Catechism. The show will be on Saturday, October 12, 2019 and will be a part of our annual celebration in honor of the feast day of our patroness. For those not familiar with the show, it is an interactive “one woman” comedy routine. The actress is dressed as a nun and the audience is her “classroom.” We will laugh but we will also learn (or remember) our Catholic Catechism. Information is obviously in this week’s bulletin, but I urge everyone to pitch in and make this event successful. When I first began the celebrations in honor of our feast day, I envisioned having events that were not necessarily fund raisers, but simply moments when we could gather the entire community for something fun entertaining and even spiritually up-lifting. However, given the fact that the parish is in dire need of funds, the planning committee this year is focusing on making this aspect of our patronal celebration as much of a fund raiser as possible.

Every parishioner can help in this endeavor. We need to pack the house. I ask everyone to encourage family and friends and neighbors to attend this event. The tickets are $45 per person which includes a light dinner. Drinks are a separate purchase. Tickets are now available and we will make them available for purchase I the rectory office as well as after each of the Masses every weekend from now until the weekend before the show. If you are unable to attend, the committee is gladly taking donations so that we can possibly provide discounted tickets for those who may not be able to afford the ticket price. The committee and I are working on other details so we will keep the parish posted with new information as it becomes available.

Connected with our celebrations in honor of our patroness, St. Margaret Mary, we will again have our annual novena which will begin on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Each weeknight of the novena there will be a Mass at 7 pm followed by the novena prayers in honor of St. Margaret Mary. This year, our novena will be an opportunity for all of us to learn more about the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I am currently working on inviting priests from various parts of the Archdiocese to be our guest speakers. Each of them will focus on one of the Deadly Sins and one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. So far, I have lined up Bishop Ron Hicks, Bishop Mark Batosic, Fr. Jeff Grob, Fr. Bob Cook, OFM Conv and Fr. Paul Schneider, OFM Conv. I am hoping that a couple more priests will accept the invitation to cover the remaining weeknights of our novena.

The grace of God continues to be a work in our faith community. Let us take all of these opportunities to give thanks to God for the gifts that He has been sending us, but let us also take these moments to come together and pray that the Spirit will guide us into the future, making clear what it is that we must do in order to keep making disciples of all nations.

Fr. Tirso S. Villaverde, Jr.

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