August 28, 2016

Summer Raffle… I am very grateful for the generous response of the parishioners to this year’s Summer Raffle. As I am writing this on Monday afternoon, there are 55 tickets still to be sold. Not all of the ticket stubs have been turned in, but I am hopeful that we will be able to sell all 1000 tickets. Fund-raising supplies important income for Saint Victor’s, so I am grateful that if we receive the money for all 1000 tickets, our profit will be $10,000.00! The monies raised from the Summer Raffle will be set aside for the future purchase of a new boiler that will heat the basement of the rectory and the basement of the church. The new boiler will replace two existing boilers that are over 50 years old. Removing the old boilers will involve asbestos removal which will add to the cost of this project.

School will be starting… Most schools will be opening before the end of August. Education issues have been the focus of much attention with the new administration in Harrisburg and many school districts have been challenged to adjust their budgets because of state funding policies. Let us hope that the children and young people of the parish will grow in knowledge, wisdom and virtue in the new school year. Let us pray that their teachers will be individuals who recognize the precious lives they have entrusted to their care!

I would also encourage parents to learn as much as they can about the education their children are receiving in whatever school they attend. The goal of education is to enable students to become persons of integrity, honesty, generosity and kindness. All that students learn should enable them to become the kind of persons that God has created them to be: individuals who are respectful toward life, generous towards others (especially those in need) and mindful of the image of God that is present in every heart.

Let us remember too those from the parish going to college. The expenses of a college education continue to rise, and I know that many families make great sacrifices to finance college education for their children.

I have heard that many churches are offering blessings for student backpacks. I looked for information about “blessing for backpacks” on the internet, and it seems that the idea of blessing the packs that children carry to school might be a way to focus the congregation on praying for the safety of students and success for them in the upcoming year. Here at Saint Victor’s I decided it might be more appropriate to bless those individuals going to school for the first time of returning for another year. At the masses this weekend we will offer a blessing for students, teachers, administrators, support people and everyone involved in the education of young people at every level. We will also offer a small metal cross for those individuals to attach to their backpack or satchels to remind them of the Lord’s protection and blessing during the coming school year.