Today we celebrate the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are all created in the image and likeness of God and we are chosen by God to fulfill the purpose of the “One who accomplishes all things.” We are sent as missionaries and prophets to preach the good news by the witness of our lives. The path will not always be straight, nor will the message always be heard or welcome. But the Lord promises that as we go forth into the world, his grace is sufficient to do the work of discipleship: to preach and to heal those we encounter.
Next Sunday we celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Sunday readings next weekend call to mind Pope Francis’s strong advice that priests and leaders of the church must be shepherds who smell like sheep. The Scriptures remind us that the shepherd shall bring peace and justice to his people, shall reconcile differences, unite all peoples and teach, minister and serve the God’s people with compassion that mirrors God’s own.
This weekend I am in Detroit, witnessing the wedding of the daughter of a fraternity brother of mine from Michigan State. I had her brother’s wedding a year ago and they wanted me back! So, I left on Thursday morning and will be back late Monday night. A rather short trip, to be sure, but I’m happy to be part of their family, having had several other weddings in that family and also having celebrated the mother/grandmother’s funeral here in Saint Louis several years ago. Please pray that everything went well on Saturday and my trip back here is uneventful!
VBS: Thanks to SO many people who worked so hard for a great week. I was here for the first
three days and the work being done for enhancing the faith of our children was tremendous. I enjoyed speaking about the Marian Apparitions in Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadalupe. Having been to two of those three it brought back wonderful memories of my brief time at each of those European shrines. (I’ve also been fortunate to have visited the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Paris and to Knock, Ireland.)
Thanks, too, to those involved with “Performing for a Purpose.” It seems that the young people enjoyed that activity, “Saint Monica goes Broadway” too! I’m sorry I couldn’t see the play Friday.
Camp Invention, our “tech” school this summer, happens this week. Thanks to all those involved with helping our children improve their technological skills. By the way, we are in the process of obtaining several new “smart boards” and updated, interactive televisions, which will be in place by the time school starts.
The State of the Parish: Thank you for the comments made about the “state of the parish” report last weekend. We will do more today!
While the Archdiocese says we have 804 families (households) registered in the parish, our parish records indicate that we have somewhere around 1487 households, with 886 receiving envelopes (therefore “active families”) and 601 listed as “inactive” parishioners, and therefore not counted
by the Archdiocese, either. (I’ll follow up with John Schwob, from the Archdiocese, in the coming weeks to try to figure out the “real” number.) In the ENTIRE SERVANT KEEPER “WORLD” which includes ANY household who was ever registered (or a visitor who has donated a check) there are 3087 records (including 342 households who have moved and 140 parishioners who are deceased!). (During this coming year we will try to reconcile all of the various “types” of parishion- ers into some coherent form that I can understand! I’ve been here over two years now and some of it seems a mystery to me!)
Financially this past fiscal year, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, we had 708 envelope holders contribute to the parish (either on line or through the actual envelopes). The total amount given to the parish (through the offertory collection) was $1,384,128.25. (The “average” donation by our envelope hold- ers the past year was $1954.98.) There were 133 “visitors” who donated this year. Their contributions were a total of $12,040.42. In the office system here at Saint Monica a “visitor” is a non-parishioner who has donated a check or in some way gave us some identifying information.) So, the total offertory collection (NOT COUNTING ANY LOOSE COLLECTION, or any special collections) for the Fiscal year 2018 just completed was $1,396,168,67.
This is obviously not the full financial report for the parish, but I wanted you all to know what the income was for this past year.
We are still relying on all of our parishioners to be active, contributing parishioners, through steward- ship of talents, time, and treasure. Thanks to all who are doing so much.
Thank you, too, for the wonderful response to our RRR campaign last year and for the contributions you are making to us through the RRR campaign. As of the end of last week we were within “striking distance” of making our “challenge goal” for the Archdiocese’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Most of you are VERY, VERY generous. I want to thank you for all that you do. Please, please continue to prayerfully consider contributing 5% of your GROSS income … hopefully closer to 8%, as recom- mended by the Archdiocese.
May God bless us all and keep us safe during these remaining weeks of summer.
Fr Joe Weber