Pastor's Blog - November 8, 2015

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

News and Notes:  OLA parishioners are encouraged to attend a Town Hall style meeting in the Church Hall next Sunday, November 15 following the 11AM Mass.  The meeting will focus on our Pastoral Plan for the next three years and how we all can help make it happen.  Congratulations to OLA parishioners who have reached their Catholic Appeal goal once again this year!  As a result, from now until the end of this year, OLA Parish will receive back 60% of every new paid pledge, so please consider donating to the 2015 Catholic Appeal if you have not done so already.  SMG parishioners are now just $1,703 shy of their goal this year, with two more months to go.  Potential new SMG donors are invited to logon to our website and click the Catholic Appeal icon or fill out a pledge card and help us reach the finish line.

Thanks to our Collaborative Development Committee (Maryanne Rooney Hegan, Rich Mazzola, Bruce Siegel, Caterina Benitez and Mary Doorley) for putting together an important stewardship initiative in our two parishes to support the implementation of our Pastoral Plan.  Part of this initiative is to ask each family in SMG and OLA to make a generous financial commitment to fund the Offertory and Capital Improvement needs of their respective parish.  When you receive your pledge packet please think and pray about your response.  We want to be able to move confidently into the future with all our ministries so that we can draw others to Christ and to active involvement in the mission of the Church.  We also must be responsible “homeowners.”  That means it is up to us to be prudent stewards of our building and grounds, repairing or replacing whatever is malfunctioning, damaged or outdated; and making sure that our facilities and properties are properly maintained and safe.   Successful implementation of our Pastoral Plan will obviously require adequate funding.  With fewer and fewer priests available for service in our parishes, we need to hire qualified lay men and women to assume leadership roles in our parishes here, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston and around the country.  We must compensate them with a living wage and the benefits that are their due.  In some ways, we need to take a cue from some of our Protestant Evangelical friends, and bolster our Youth Ministry and Music Ministry along with other ministries and programs.  The fact is that Catholic parishes that have made a significant financial investment in these and other areas of parish life are flourishing.  In addition, there are maintenance projects such as roof work in both parishes that cannot wait much longer.  A wise pastor told me years ago:  “faith is free but religion costs money.”  I ask you to think about the generosity of the two widows in today’s Scripture readings before you respond to this Development initiative. I hope and pray that the Catholic Community in Lynnfield will manifest a similar generosity, trusting that in turn, the Lord will shower us with his abundant blessings…some of which I hope will come your way in the week ahead!