Dear Friends in Christ,
A few items for your consideration:
Next Sunday I will celebrate the 25th anniversary of my priestly ordination, and all are invited to share in that celebration by joining us for the Solemn Mass at 11 am, Sung Vespers at 5 pm, and a reception following Vespers in Gallivan Hall. I am most grateful to the Lord for this quarter century of service, especially for these 17 years here at St Mary’s.
Today is the beginning of our new fiscal year, and I am delighted to report that we finished the old fiscal year exactly on budget. To meet our higher costs in the coming year we have increased our budget by 2%, and so I need to ask every household in the parish to increase your offertory giving by 2%. This means, for example, that if your average gift until now has been $80 then your new gift should be $81.60. If everyone makes even this little change in regular offertory giving, then we will easily meet our new goal of $34,500 per week in offertory income. Thank you for your generosity.
During July we do not have any weekday Masses at noon, and the Wednesday afternoon Holy Hour with Confessions is canceled until 8 August. Also, to allow for maintenance and painting in the church, the church building will be closed all day from Monday 16 July to Friday 20 July and again from Monday 23 July to Friday 27 July. Because of construction going on throughout our campus, we are not able to move the early morning Mass to another place, so please forgive the inconvenience of not having Mass here during those ten days, and to insure the safety of all, it will not be possible even to visit the church during those ten days.
This Tuesday is the feast of the Apostle Thomas, known popularly as Doubting Thomas because of his initial refusal to believe in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus until he could see Christ, touch his body, and probe the wounds in his hands and side. But the doubts of Saint Thomas lasted only a week, and when the Risen Lord stood before Thomas he commanded “Be not unbelieving, but believe.” Confronted with the truth of the Resurrection, Thomas cried out to Jesus, “My Lord, and my God!” and so he is not Doubting Thomas but Faithful Thomas who traveled to the East and preached the Gospel in India where he gave his life in witness to the truth of the Resurrection. Upon receiving Thomas’s profession of faith, the Lord Jesus declared to him “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” We live in an age of unbelief – a time of cynicism, skepticism, and relativism – which poses a challenge to our witness to the saving truth that Jesus Christ is Lord, but if we live in fidelity to the truth of the Gospel and are willing to tell others that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of the Living God and the only Savior of the entire human race, then the God of mercies will do the rest. Saint Thomas, patron of those who doubt, pray for us!