Pastor's Weekly Update: Sunday, September 26
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today is the kickoff for the Annual Bishop’s Appeal! Thank you to everyone who has already submitted your pledge, and for those who have not, thank you for prayerfully considering the way that the Lord is calling you to sacrificial generosity in support of the local Church. The Annual Bishop’s Appeal is critical for the financial health not only of our Diocese but also of our parish. After receiving the final results from last year’s Appeal, we met and exceeded our goal for the first time in many years. If everyone works together, we will have no problem doing so again. Our most important target is to have 100% participation! All of us have a part to play in supporting our Church.
Theologically, the “local Church” refers not to our parish, but to our Diocese. It is being in communion with the local Church in the sense of the Diocese that we are Catholic. We profess every Sunday that we are one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. It is precisely through our connection with a successor of the Apostles, that we are Catholics.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal benefits our parish in many practical ways. Fr. Logan and other priests from our Diocese are attending extensive leadership training workshops this year at no cost to our parish or them. The Office and Hispanic Ministry and Special Projects has hosted several Diocesan retreats and events right here at St. John’s, making their programming more accessible to our parishioners (including a bilingual retreat for 15-year-old girls and their moms), and is also helping form our implementation team for our strategic plan. The Catholic Schools Office (now including one of our parishioners!) is providing extensive support for our school, including valuable training for our new principal. They also support the Catholic identity and mission of our school through training and workshops for our teachers.
The biggest expense of all supported by the Annual Bishop’s Appeal is the over $1 million for seminarian tuition. Our parish has been incredibly blest the past few years to receive newly ordained priests who have received excellent priestly formation in our seminaries through your support of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. Their joy, energy, and love for Christ have been a powerful force for renewal in our parish.
If everyone works together, we will meet and exceed our goal once again. Thank you for your generosity!
Recent read: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural amnesia, expressive individualism, and the road to sexual revolution by Carl Trueman. This book began with the author’s attempt to explain how it become a normal thing for a man to say, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.” He ended up writing a fascinating explanation of how the roots of the transgender phenomenon and the broader problems of identity go far beyond the 1960s’ sexual revolution and touch every aspect of our lives.
St. John the Evangelist, pray for us!
Yours in Christ,
Father Royce Gregerson