Pastor's Blog - February 23, 2014

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

News and Notes:  Wednesday, March 5 is Ash Wednesday.  The liturgical schedule for that day is as follows: 

7AM at SMG Mass with blessing and distribution of ashes
9AM at OLA Mass with blessing and distribution of ashes
4PM at SMG Liturgy of the Word with distribution of blessed ashes
7PM at OLA Liturgy of the Word with distribution of blessed ashes

Also, beginning on Wednesday, March 12, Fr. Tony and I will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 6:30 to 8PM in the Reconciliation Rooms of both parishes.  Come and experience the forgiving, healing grace of the Lord Jesus during this upcoming season of conversion. 

Also, the formal launch of the 2014 Catholic Appeal will take place next weekend.  As you know, the Catholic Appeal is the annual Archdiocesan Offertory Collection that supports over 50 Central Ministries throughout our local Church.  For example, through programs supported by the Catholic Appeal, hundreds of volunteers are trained as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Pastoral Visitors to the sick, dying and homebound.  In addition, over 750 young people, some from OLA school, attended the March for Life in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to deepen their faith by taking a stand for life.  Last year, both parishes reached 85% of their respective 2013 Catholic Appeal goals:  St. Maria’s parishioners contributed $26,126 and Our Lady’s parishioners contributed $49,850.   As you may know each parish in the Archdiocese now is given an annual Fair Share Assessment amount that it must raise in the Catholic Appeal to support the Central Ministries of our local Church in eastern Massachusetts.  That figure is 8% of the parish’s base revenue (Offertory + Grand Annual +Rental Income).  If a parish falls short of its Fair Share Assessment, it must pay the remainder out of its own funds.  Last year, we made a request on behalf of both parishes for an abatement of what we owed in the Catholic Appeal.   Both requests were granted.  Our Lady’s wound up exceeding its Assessment by $9,822 while St. Maria’s fell $500 short.  The 2014 Catholic Appeal theme is “Forward in Hope,” an apt phrase for us as we continue to implement the Collaborative model of parish life.  I have already made my 2014 Pledge which I am splitting 50/50 between the two parishes.  I encourage you to make a generous pledge to your particular parish and show your support for the amazing work that is being done throughout by the Catholic Church in greater Boston to advance the gospel.  Blessings to all of you in the week ahead!