Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. God’s presence is at the heart of our faith and our life as Christians, and today’s readings describe others’ responses to this presence. Openness to unexpected people or events and a willingness to believe are required for us to be changed by our experience. We might listen, wonder, serve, celebrate or share this with others. What really matters is believing that God will enter our lives — and that we will never be the same.

Next weekend we will celebrate the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Prayer has been a key component of faith for thousands of years. While prayer can be uniquely personal, next weekend’s readings provide some essential and expansive insights about it from both Judaism and early Christianity. Abraham and Jesus both extol the importance of persistence, and Jesus teaches us that prayer at its best is communal. We pray as one body of God’s people. Most profoundly, we dare to pray at all because God is loving and just.

Worship Committee:  Since I would like to reestablish the Worship Committee here at St. Monica, I am asking that ALL interested parishioners to come to the Rectory Meeting Room on THURSDAY, JULY 25, at 7:00 P.M. for an initial meeting. Depending on the response we get we will then have various committees for all aspects of Worship here. Please note the change of day and date, from what was previously announced. The Archbishop has called for a meeting of all the Archdiocesan Priests on Wednesday, July 24, beginning at 5:00 P.M. While we were told it would be over by 7:30, there is no guarantee that would be the case … because discussion of the topic covered could take longer. So I will have to move the meeting of the Worship Committee to the next night. Begin- ning in August, however, it will ORDINARILY be on the Third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 P.M. Thank you for the interest already shown by a number of people. Again, the meeting will be this coming Thursday, July 25, at 7:00 P.M.

Baptism Preparation Class is ordinarily on the Fourth Thursday of the month (except November!). Because of the rescheduled Worship Committee meeting I am moving it to the First Thursday of August, August 1st, at 7:00 P.M., in the Rectory Meeting Room. Again, a class is required before the baptism of the first child to a couple. Please call the Rectory if you would like to reserve a spot for the next class which will be on August 1st, not July 25th. When you call to schedule a baptism, for your second or subsequent children, a ceremony to be scheduled with the convenience of all nvolved, we will be sending you information for the godparents, including letters requesting the approval of the godparents’ proper pastor that he/she is a Catholic in Good Standing and may serve as a godparent. There will also be a couple of pamphlets for the godparents and a new pamphlet for the parents. As you know a godparent must be a practicing Catholic, 16 or over, confirmed, and wishing to serve as a godparent! Please remember that you must have one Catholic godparent who meets those requirements. Another “Christian Witness” may also serve at a Baptism. If you have questions, please call me or Father Schumacher. If you want your child’s Baptism at a Sunday Mass, please let the person taking the information at the Rectory know. I will then get back in touch with you. A reminder that there will be a Baptism during the 9:30 A.M. Mass on Sunday, August 18. Thank you.

The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) is coming to an end. Our parish is within “striking distance” of reaching our “challenge goal,” (we are at 89% of our goal) and new participants (we have 32 new donors this year). Thank you ALL for your generosity. Please contact the Parish Office if you have not been contacted by the ACA Office or our committee. Thank you.

Vacation Bible School, held this past week, was a grand success, from what I could tell. Thanks to all who participated, especially the committee and volunteers who put it together and carried it out! May God reward you and may the virtues our children examined grow in their hearts.

Building Update: There was a productive meeting with representatives of the parish, the Archdiocese, the General Contractor, and the Architect last Tuesday afternoon. Things are progressing, although not as quickly as we would like. There has been a problem with getting the “hole” dug for the new elevator … primarily because of all the rain we had. The soil that needed to be taken up is too wet. There has also been a slight delay regarding the “movable walls” that will be necessary to set up the two smaller rooms from the larger meeting room. That will not push us back too badly, but it seems that the date of August 15th, the First Day of School, is not going to be reached. The target of mid- October for the entire project is still achievable, assuming that the elevator arrives as promised by the manufacturer.

Noise and Daily Masses: In SEVERAL weeks, not this coming week (but perhaps the following week), we will be moving the 6:30 A.M. and 8:15 A.M. Masses to the GYM, as we did after the fire in December 2016. The noise level from the construction will be too much for a prayerful celebration of Mass, since the contractor wants to begin work at 6:00 A.M. I have an agreement with the contractor that if there is a funeral they will suspend work during the Funeral. However, for the other weekday Masses, for perhaps two weeks, Masses will be in the gym. We will give you notice both in the bulletin and announcements at Mass when this is going to happen. Repeat, it is NOT the week of July 22. Masses this coming week will be in Church as usual.

PLANNING AHEAD: On Sunday, August 11, at the 11:30 A.M. Mass, we will welcome all of the school families back to school.  Our youth choir will be participating at the Mass.  Our lectors will be chosen from the school families. At the end of the Mass there will be a “back pack and school supply” blessing. Following the Mass we will have the “back to school” open house and ice cream social. PLEASE note that this is for ALL the children of our parish, not just the full time day school. All are welcome. More details will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the BVM, August 15: This year is a Holyday of Obligation. We will have a VIGIL Mass on Wednesday, August 14, at 5:00 P.M., and the regular Holyday of Obligation Schedule, namely 6:30 A.M., 8:15 A.M., (first day of school so all of our students will be there), 12:10, and 7:00 P.M. (Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be suspended during the 5:00 P.M. Mass on Wednesday.)

Meanwhile, have a blessed remainder of the summer. The weather forecast isn’t the greatest, so I hope you are staying as cool as possible.

Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber