Pastor's Blog - October 13, 2019
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
News and Notes:
The Sacrament of Confirmation... Next Sunday, Oct. 20, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at two OLA Masses, 11AM and 2PM, with Bishop Mark O’Connell presiding. Perhaps it is a good time to remember what the Sacrament of Confirmation is and is not: It is not a graduation ceremony from a Faith Formation program; it is not a rite of passage that magically marks a teenager’s arrival into adulthood; it is not a required hoop one must go through in order to get married in the Church at a later date (although Confirmation is strongly encouraged before marriage); it is not just a spiritual occasion for a photo-op and party.
Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism and Eucharist are the other two). Confirmation is the sacrament that seals and deepens our baptism; it is the sacrament that increases the gifts the Holy Spirit gives us (wisdom, understanding, counsel or right judgment, fortitude, knowledge reverence, wonder and awe in the presence of God); it is the sacrament that unites us more firmly to Christ and the Church; and it is the sacrament strengthens us to spread and defend the faith as true witnesses of Christ in the world, no matter when we receive it. Finally, Confirmation is the sacrament that empowers us to be active members of the Church, and fulfills one of the requirements for Catholics to serve as godparents in the years to come. Let’s pray for our Confirmation candidates as they receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strive to be credible witnesses for Christ and his Church for the rest of their lives.
Inspiring Hope... In the coming weeks you will be hearing about the Inspiring Hope Capital Campaign, which is a fundraising drive to address our critical capital needs and to ensure the future of our Catholic presence in Lynnfield and surrounding towns. We are seeking to raise $1.2 million at OLA and $900,000 at SMG for an endowment fund that will complement the donations offered by parishioners during good financial times, and provide for continuity of service in difficult times. As one parishioner put it, “an Endowment fund is like an IRA for our parish.” It is also a way of initiating the process of “planned giving” that encourages parishioners to include their respective parish in their will, and of promoting “perpetual endowments” that will sustain our Collaborative through thick and thin. In addition, a significant portion of the funds raised in each parish will be used for targeted maintenance projects that need attention soon or in the foreseeable future.
25% of the funds raised at OLA will go to support OLA School; while 25% of SMG funds will be split between our parochial school in Lynnfield and Catholic Charities. Finally, if a parish exceeds its stated goal, it will receive 100% of the funds raised over that amount. I have made my pledge to Inspiring Hope, which can be fulfilled over a five year span; and now I ask all parishioners to consider prayerfully pledging a significant sacrificial gift in the coming weeks to support the mission of their parish and beyond.
Blessings to all of you in the week ahead!