Pastor's Blog - September 28, 2014

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

News and Notes:  Many folks have inquired about the health of Fr. Arthur Flynn, our senior priest who has celebrated Mass at OLA for a number of years.  He fell at his home over a month ago, and then spent time in the hospital and in a rehabilitation facility before returning home.  He is still recuperating.  There is currently no timetable for his return to ministry in our midst.  Let’s continue to pray for a successful recovery.  If you want to write him a note or send him a card, please direct your best wishes for Fr. Arthur to Janine Sano, our Collaborative Administrative Assistant, and we will forward them to him.  Thanks to Beverly Merritt for her service this past year on our Pastoral Council as a representative from St. Maria Goretti Parish. Beverly has stepped down from that position.  In her place, I have appointed Patty Glennon, a parishioner from SMG, to the Pastoral Council.  I know that some questions and complaints have arisen about second collections in both parishes.  In a recent audit of our parishes by Archdiocesan personnel (the audit covered fiscal year 2012-2013, before the Collaborative formed), we were advised that the current policy of our local Church is that two distinct collections be taken up when they are scheduled (not one single “catch all” collection, or one collection with a free-will offering bucket placed at the entrances of the Church for another, or an unpublished fixed budgeted amount drawn from the parish offertory).  I understand that over the years at SMG, a pledge in the Offertory Awareness Program (OAP) was commonly thought to cover all second collections.  I signed up for the OAP last year, and found that the most recent explanatory letter on the OAP sent to new contributors by my predecessor contained no mention of this.  In addition, we have struggled to pay our own bills at SMG this past fiscal year and simply cannot afford to pay our expenses and make a decent donation to the charities represented by the second collections.  I do not particularly like taking up two collections at Mass, but we are Catholics and have a responsibility to support the mission of the Church beyond our parish.  The bishops make the second collection schedule and policy, not the local pastor.  I encourage you to be as generous as possible (and as you see fit) to all the collections we take up in our parishes.  Blessings to all of you in the week ahead.