May 20, 2018

Pentecost recalls the gift of the Holy Spirit to the first Apostles and the birth of the Church. The Holy Spirit works in the Church through individuals; through each of us. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to inspires us, guide us and fill us with love and joy.

 

However, most of us won’t discover the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire, but instead through delicate nudges that make us pay attention and create a desire towards love, goodness and God. The Holy Spirit nudges us to pay attention to suffering, beauty, and goodness. We pay attention and we’re drawn to act whether that is to lend a helping hand, or a listening ear, or to celebrate beauty, or to imitate goodness. We’re nudged to pay attention. We’re nudged to follow our best and deepest desires. We are nudged to seek God. God leaves us free, but the Holy Spirit is constantly nudging us in the right direction.

 

The question is whether we pay attention and whether we follow our best desires? If we do follow, we become more in tune with the Spirit and it becomes easier to notice the nudgings and follow. If we fail to pay attention and follow, then we become numb and it becomes harder to hear the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Today, we’re reminded of God’s greatest gift, the gift of God’s self in the Holy Spirit. May we pay attention to the Holy Spirit nudging our hearts, our attention and our desires toward goodness, love and truth.

 

Last week to sign up for Vacation Bible School. The deadline for sign-ups in May 25th.  We have introduced a deadline for registrations this year so we can have the needed supplies for all the children, and so our volunteer teachers can be ready to welcome each child as they come. VBS is June 18-22. Now is the time to sign up your kids to attend. Now also is the time to volunteer, either as a youth volunteer of adult volunteer. Share in this great week of learning and fun.

May 13, 2018

Pentecost is next Sunday so wear red next weekend to get into the Spirit of the feast. Pentecost is the third most important feast of the Church year behind Easter and Christmas. The importance of the Holy Spirit cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, over the centuries the Catholic Church has not always celebrated the importance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was as important as Jesus Christ in sustaining the early Church. The Holy Spirit is God working in us making us grow in love and holiness as a Church and as individuals. We have all seen the Holy Spirit work in people around us. We are attracted by the goodness and joy of people filled with the Spirit. We respond and are drawn to the Church and seek to find that same Spirit. So come one and all to celebrate the great feast of Pentecost.

 

Vacation Bible School is coming June 18-22. Now is the time to sign up your kids to attend. Now also is the time to volunteer, either as a youth volunteer of adult volunteer. Share in this great week of learning and fun.

 

We have a Medical Equipment Loaning ministry for basic items like walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs and boosters for stools. If you have equipment to donate, we are glad to receive it and if you have a need, please call the office. We loan the medical equipment to anyone who has a need, regardless of whether or not they are a parishioner.

 

Family Handicapped Restroom:  Plans are now being made for the restroom. It will be next to the current restrooms off the Gathering Space where the water fountains are currently located. This location is central enough for it to also serve for Ville events and is close to current sewer and water lines. If you want to see the plans, I am happy to show them to you. However, it will be some weeks before any work begins because of the need to get approval from the diocese and the Andover building department. While the planning takes time, it is worthwhile because we want to do it right.

May 6, 2018

Shelby Wasinger will be our new Youth Minister at St. Vincent’s beginning in June. Shelby is a graduate from WSU and has been a long time member of our parish since she grew up here. Shelby also has been involved as a volunteer with both the Middle and High School youth groups over the past several years. She will be able to bring that experience with the youth groups along with her energy to head up our ministry to the youth in Middle School and High School.

 

Youth Ministry however is not the job of one person in our parish. It is a ministry of the whole parish and I hope Shelby will have many volunteers at her side to help with different aspects of our ministry to the youth. My hope is for us to have a great Youth Ministry supported and enriched by many people in the parish and not simply a great Youth Minister. So please welcome and support Shelby, not only with words, but also with your hands and feet. Putting love into action is what Jesus tells us in our Gospel this week.

 

Chris Dean will take over as technology coordinator for Carl Maniaci when he retires in August. Chris currently is the accompanist for many of our choirs and directs the Bell Choir. So he will be bringing us his musical gifts which fit in with his responsibilities maintaining all the sound and video equipment, training and scheduling sound ministers as well as keeping our computer network going. Fortunately, Chris also spent a number of years at Best Buy as part of the geek squad. The final part of the technology position is supporting our publications and electronic advertising on the street sign, in the Gathering space and even on our website. Once again, please welcome and support Chris as he becomes part of our parish staff.

 

Our weekly report of giving in the bulletin is changing. We now are separating out the tithe we receive from weekly envelopes from the giving we receive electronically through our website. We hope this reporting change will help people see why the collection numbers go up and down from week to week since we receive electronic giving just twice a month rather than weekly.

 

April 22, 2018

Fr. Mark Beran and Deacon Don Blackbird from St. Augustine Indian Mission our sister parish, will be here next weekend, April 28-29. Please be gracious in welcoming. Hopefully Deacon Don Blackbird can share some of his insight into the mission as he also is principal of the school.

 

Vacation Bible School will be on June 18-22. It’s a great opportunity for the younger children 4 years old to 5th grade to learn about Jesus and to have fun at the same time. It also is a great opportunity for older kids and adults to volunteer. It is just 5 days long from 9 to 12 noon each day. Now is the time to register so we can plan and make this a great experience for the kids. The absolute last day for registration is May 25th.

 

I want to share this prayer for my parish:  

Almighty God,

My parish is composed of people like me;

I help make it what it is.

It will be friendly, if I am.

Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.

It will do great work, if I work.

It will be prayerful, if I pray.

It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.

It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.

It will be a parish of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith,

and a parish with a noble spirit,

if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.

Therefore, with Your help, O God,

I shall dedicate myself

to the task of being all things that I want my parish to be.

Congratulations to the last group of First Communicants this weekend. May we all be reminded of how the Eucharist is a special way Christ enters our bodies and our hearts. 

 

I will be on vacation this week and trust our great staff will keep things going in my absence.

April 15, 2018

Good Wine ministry for our senior parishioners is this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. I will be talking about Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation on “The Call to Holiness in Today’s World.” Two initial thoughts. First I am sure Pope Francis advice will be practical. Secondly, it is only 40 pages long, which is rather amazing for a Pope to keep this type of a teaching document that short.

 

We received our first FaithDirect online giving payment for the first part of the month. The total was about $18,000.00. It takes about a week for us to receive the funds because of processing time. This amount is significantly more than we received before at the first of the month because it includes both the ACH direct transfers and credit card gifts. Because we receive the transfers twice a month rather than weekly, expect to see a big variation in the amount of the collection from week to week. This week’s total does not include this transfer since it came in too late. However, it will be included in next week’s collection so we can expect a big increase compared to this week. We also have noticed a big decrease in credit card fees as more people are using ACH transfers online, which do not have any fees. Call the office or go online if you are interested in automating your giving. Finally, thank you for your generosity no matter how you are giving.

 

Congratulations to all our First Communicants this weekend. May we all be reminded of how the Eucharist is a special way Christ enters our bodies and our hearts. May we be transformed to become more like Christ in our lives.