February 25, 2018
Pope Francis’ Message for Lent… In his homily for Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis offered three words “in order for us to rekindle the heart of the believer: pause, see and return.” The Holy Father asks us during Lent to pause from the busyness of our life to spend time with our family and with God; see the faces of those in need and see the Face of the Crucified Christ; return “without fear to experience the healing and reconciling forgiveness of God.” The Pope’s suggestion is a good and appropriate one for all of us to consider. Do what you can to come closer to the presence of God during this Lenten season!
2018 Parish Share Program… The 2018 Parish Share Program began on February 11, the Sunday before the beginning of Lent . You will receive a letter from me and a brochure about this year’s appeal. The theme for this year’s campaign is We are the Church Alive!. By learning Jesus, loving Jesus and living Jesus we become his disciples, and we help to make other disciples for Jesus. The Parish Share program helps each of 190 diocesan parishes in many different ways.
Our Parish Share assessment for 2018 is $85,878.00, up from $71,000.00 in 2017. The “greater amount” this year for Parish Share is both good news and bad news. It is good that our assessment is more, since that means that our parish income for 2016-2017 (the amount that is used to calculate our Parish Share) was up from the year before. It is also bad news since we need to raise a larger amount to meet our parish goal.
Monies from the annual Parish Share program fund many diocesan programs and ministries. Our parish seminarians have their formation funded by Parish Share and monies pay for hospital chaplains, programs for the protection of God’s children, catechist training, marriage annulment costs, housing for retired preists and a variety of works that the Diocese offers. The generosity of the people of Saint Victor’s has enabled us to operate the parish and meet our Parish Share. We’d like to continue to accomplish both of these tasks!
First Penance… Last weekend our parish’s second and third-graders received the Sacrament of Penance for the first time. For many years children at Saint Victor’s waited until third grade for Confession, so in combining the grades this year, from now on the youngsters will receive First Penance and First Holy Communion in the second grade. Please keep those children and their families in your prayers. Both grades will receive First Communion on May 5.
Seminarian News… Bishop David Zubik has assigned our parish seminarian Tom Kadlick for theological studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, beginning in August 2018. Tom has participated in priestly formation at Saint Paul Seminary since January 2017. Father Tom Speracino, Rector of Saint Paul’s, wrote to me: “The seminary faculty has been pleased with Tom’s progress in the completion of the formation program [at Saint Paul’s].” Please remember to pray for Tom and Brendan Dawson, our other parish seminarian. We are waiting to hear when Brendan will be ordained a Deacon, probably some time in June!