September 24, 2017

The Fall Festival is next weekend. It is held in conjunction with Greater Andover Days. We have a wonderful lunch served here on Saturday, Sept. 26th with soup and bierocks. There is the Upscale Garage Sale in the Social Space Thursday-Saturday as well as a bake sale in the Gathering Space. On Saturday, there will be “Junk in the Trunk” in our parking lot. The Knights are smoking and selling ribs and this year there will be a plant/seed exchange hosted by our gardeners. Stop by to enjoy the activities. Volunteers are always wanted.

Our Next Life Event is on Sunday Oct 8th or Wed. Oct. 11th. The focus is Learning About Your Neighbor’s Faith. We will look at Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Native American Spirituality. We will get below the externals to look at the heart of each faith. This event is part 2 following a session last April about the uniqueness of our Catholic Christian faith. Hopefully it will help us grow in love and understanding even amidst our differences. Sign up now in the Gathering Space or online. Please note that only the Sunday session will have children’s breakouts in order to facilitate large enough groups to provide a good experience for the children and youth. Wednesday evenings will primarily be for adults. LIFE Events are for the whole family and are a great way to continue to grow in faith.

Thank you to the choirs. It is great to have the choirs going again at the 9:00 and 11:00 Sunday Masses. I want to thank Nick Engels for organizing and directing these choirs. I also want to applaud the great job Brian Miller and the other musicians are doing at the 5:00 Saturday Mass. The beauty and inspiration you bring to our liturgies is a great gift to all of us. Contact Nick or Brian after Masses if you want to share your gifts as part of our music ministry.

Thank you to the Bereavement Ministry for the great mini-retreat last Saturday on “Our Last Best Gift.” The retreat was led by Fr. Tom Welk. He did a great job and the organization was amazing as well as the take home materials. A special thank you to Nancy Hughey who did so much to make this happen.

Thank you to all who helped with the parish picnic. It was great to see so many people take part in the picnic. It was a fun relaxing day for everyone, young and old alike. Thank you to Michele Carlini who organized the staff and all the volunteers. 

September 17, 2017

Come to our Parish Picnic on this Sunday afternoon, Sept. 17th. There is food and fun for young and old alike. The Picnic starts with food at 11:30 a.m. and ends with Bingo from 1:30-2:30. Many other activities in between.

Adult Small Group sign-ups continue this weekend. We have small groups planned around Bible study, book study, film study, special interests and hobbies as well as service. Check out the groups in the Gathering Space. Adult small groups connect us at different places on our spiritual journeys.

The Fall Festival is held in conjunction with Greater Andover Days. We have a wonderful lunch served here with soup and bierocks. There is the Upscale Garage Sale in the Social Space Thursday-Saturday as well as a bake sale in the Social Space. On Saturday, there will be “Junk in the Trunk” in our parking lot. The Knights are smoking and selling ribs and this year there will be a plant/seed exchange hosted by our gardeners. Stop by especially on Saturday to enjoy the activities. Volunteers are always wanted.

Liturgy Matters: The phrase in the Apostles Creed, “Christ descended into hell” brings with it many questions and makes it seems like Christ was sent to suffer more in hell. However, the intended meaning is very different. Christ’s suffering ended on the cross. The creed uses the word “hell” to signify the realm of the dead. Christ went to “hell” to save all those that lived and died before Christ came. It tells us God’s love and mercy reach even into hell and therefore there is no place and no people outside of God’s love.

Let me know if there are any other things in our Sunday Mass that create questions and I will try to answer them.

September 10, 2017

“Our Last Best Gift” is a mini-retreat Saturday morning, Sept. 16th. Fr. Tom Welk is the featured presenter and will talk about end of life medical decisions and how to talk to your family about these decisions. We also will have information about planning your funeral. Call the office to sign up. The retreat starts at 8:30 a.m. with refreshments and ends with lunch.

Come to our Parish Picnic on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 17th. There is food and fun for young and old alike. Keep your eyes open for more information in the next weeks.

Adult Small Groups sign-ups are this week and next. We have small groups planned around Bible study, book study, film study, special interests and hobbies as well as service. Check out the groups in the Gathering Space and in this bulletin. Adult small groups respect we are at different places on our spiritual journeys and allow us to connect with others. They give us the gift of community.

Kids Small Groups for children in grades K-5 are new this year. They will take place between the Sunday Masses twice a month. We plan to create small groups for kids that foster friendship and an atmosphere where kids can learn from one another in a structured environment led by an adult mentor. Call the office if you still want to register your child.

Why Small Groups?  There are three reasons small groups fit our Christian faith. First, small groups help us connect with community. Jesus sent us forth 2 by 2. Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks about being in the midst of where 2 or 3 are gathered together. Small groups create a deep sense of community and mutual caring, which is at the heart of Christianity.

Secondly, small groups respect that reality that individuals and groups are at different places on their spiritual journey. They respect our different faith needs at different times of our lives. Sometimes it is just a group to gather and talk with as the members share a common hobby. Sometimes it is learning from the Bible. Sometimes it is delving into books and sharing our faith journeys. Some people learn best through videos.

Third, small groups trust the wisdom of the group. I have learned as much from sharing where I see God in life with others as I have from classes. This real life sharing person to person in small groups grows faith.

This fall I will be leading a small group to show my support for small groups and to learn more about groups and faith from others. We will use Roland Rolheiser’s book, “The Holy Longing: The Search for Christian Spirituality.” Check out this group and the many other groups in the Gathering Space or online. 

August 27, 2017

Planning for death sounds foreboding, but is essential. We want to help you with the emotional and relational part of that planning. We are offering a mini-retreat Saturday morning, Sept. 16th called, “Our Last Best Gift”. Fr. Tom Welk is the featured presenter and will talk about end of life medical decisions and how to talk to your family about these decisions. We also will have information about planning your funeral as a way give your family a final message and gift from you. Call the office to sign up. The retreat starts at 8:30 a.m. with refreshments and ends with lunch.

Come to our Parish Picnic on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 17th. There is food and fun for young and old alike. Keep your eyes open for more information in the next weeks.

Small Groups sign-ups will be coming after Labor Day. Small Groups are a way to learn, connect with community and grow in faith. We will have sign-ups the 2 weekends after Labor Day.

I want to thank all our ushers at St. Vincent’s. They are our frontline ministers of hospitality and welcome. They are the friendly face and handshake at the doors of the Church. They help people find a place and answer questions as people enter the Church. They also help with the collection and get people to bring up the gifts at Mass. Thank you for your important ministry of hospitality in our community.

An increase in electronic giving is one item I forgot to mention in the financial report last week. We received over $213,000 through automatic ACH transfers from checking accounts and over $216,000 through online giving at our website for a total of over $429,000 through electronic giving. This total is about 26% of our regular collection. These amounts are an increase of over 20% from the previous year. I expect this trend to continue because of the convenience as people become more comfortable with automatic electronic payments. If you want to switch to electronic giving you can give through our website by making a one-time gift or by setting up automatic giving. You also can talk to Michele in the parish office to set up automatic ACH bank transfers. 

August 20, 2017

Group Fundraising Policy Meeting is this Thursday at 7:00 in the Social Space. I want input from the group leaders to help develop a fundraising policy for groups in the parish. The policy has two goals: first to lessen the constant barrage of fundraising happening in the Gathering Space after Mass while secondly providing for groups and the ministry they do in the parish. I want to hear everyone’s point of view as we make this policy together.

Financial Report for 2017:  I first want to say thank you for your financial support that enables us to welcome, educate, care for and inspire the people that come to St. Vincent’s as well as reach out to those in need beyond St. Vincent’s. The financial report for the fiscal year July 2016-June 2017 is in today’s bulletin. Financially, this has been a good year and it puts us on a good foundation as we go forward.

We not only had a balanced budget, but we also paid off $139,200 of debt. We have paid off all of the Ville Loan and the debt from our 2009 stewardship when we were replacing the roof of the Worship Space. We only owed $80,903 on the North Heating and Air system as of June 30th.

Although Ordinary Income was down slightly, reduced expense were the reason for the budget balanced this year. We reduced our ordinary expenses by about $60,000 and our debt payments were $31,470 less because the Ville Loan was paid off last year.

In the coming year, we well have less debt payments since the remaining debt is $48,000 less than our debt principal payments this year. We will have some increase in salaries because of long overdue raises and because we plan to invest more in Middle School Youth Ministry and in our Music Ministry for the 11:00 Sunday Mass. We trust in your continued support so we can have vibrant ministries to serve the people of our parish and beyond.

If you would like any more detailed information about the financial report, we are glad to provide it with the exception of individual salaries. Please feel free to ask me or send your questions to Margaret in the Parish Office. Once again, thank you for your support.