As I wrote last week, we’re using the readings of Cycle A, last year’s in the 3 year cycle, during these 3-4-5 weeks of Lent. This is primarily because we have a catechumen, unbaptized, to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, along with a baptized who will be received as a Catholic; and these stories are an original catechesis for people coming into the church. Last week we saw a weary woman, frustrated in relationships and unsure how to connect with God, filled with energy and joy by a brief conversation with Jesus. She became a powerful evangelizer. Today it’s a man doing fine, though poor and blind, whose life is disrupted by an encounter with Jesus. Yet he too comes to faith. This Man Born Blind story tells us that God reaches and changes us, not just in the good, peaceful times, but in trauma and loss also.
Last week we gave Anointing of the Sick to a number of parishioners at the Sat. evening and 11:30 A.M. Masses. We’d announced this through Constant Contact e-mail and other ways, and reserved front pews for those who wanted it. The community at Mass was able to pray for their healing and strength. We will repeat this periodically. Meanwhile we make other anointing calls at homes, hospitals, and in church. Msgr. Blood makes frequent calls from the contacts he’s been building. Let us know who we could serve this way.
We had a joyful opening last Friday of a critical new part of our school: The STREAM Studio and Innovation Lab. This up-to-the-minute technology lets the students do hands-on projects on the other typical school subjects; it includes a film studio where the kids have already made really impressive videos. It also includes a 3-D Printer, which you may know of—just what it sounds like, it “prints” or shapes countless objects from plastic of other materials.
Many industrial objects, even jet plane parts, are now being made this way. Our kids will get a huge boost from all this for their high school, college, and career lives.
Related to this is the renewal time now of the St. Louis Review, our diocesan newspaper. We get questions through the week on many topics that are covered in this paper, and explana- tions of the liturgical seasons and feasts. The Archbishop has a weekly column, and parishes and schools get a lot of coverage. So I called one of the reporters I know there about our new Studio and Lab, and they came out and did a photo shoot and interviewed students and oth- ers. It should be in this week’s copy.
You can pay for your $35 subscription with the envelope in the Sunday packet mailed to you, or go to the parish website to pay online. You can also just write a check to St. Louis Review and put it in the collection, we’ll take care of it. Whether you pay or not, we are asked to pay the $35 subscription fee for each contributing parishioner, and we will do that unless you specifically tell us you don’t want it, by phone or e-mail. I’m happy to get it into as many homes as possible.
Finally, we received some good fresh financial news. For 2020, though the number of parish donors went down to 705, the average gift increased by $400, for a 27% increase. And this during a pandemic year. Thank you.