Today throughout the Diocese of Joliet, we begin our annual Catholic Ministries Appeal for 2020. The theme, “Be Kind and Merciful” speaks so well to the work of the Church throughout the Diocese of Joliet. So many lives are touched through the 28 ministries and programs offered by the Diocesan Church. We are all aware of the work of Catholic Charities and their providing for the needs of the poor with food, shelter and counseling. Your gift to the CMAA also touches our parish. Did you know that your gift to the CMAA has funded the education of our transitional deacon Senovio and the rest of the 37 seminarians studying to become priests? We will rejoice with Deacon Senovio when he is ordained a priest this coming May! Your gift also provides for the formation of the three men from our parish, Tony Leazzo, Doug McIlvaine, and Bugsy Sindac, who are preparing to be ordained permanent deacons. Tony will be ordained in August of this year. Doug and Bugsy have a couple more years to go! And, there are two additional men from our parish in the application process. The Appeal also helps fund Young Adult and Youth Ministry programs that serve approximately 25,500 of our youth and young adults throughout the Diocese. The Diocesan Religious Education Office provides oversight, guidance, support, training and services for Mary Jo Tripani, our Director of Religious Education, Candy Rice, our Middle School Youth Minister, and Dave Miserendino, our Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Ultimately, the families, children, youth, and teens of our parish are the recipients of what the Diocese provides for our staff. The diocese makes available employee insurance, property insurance, electricity and natural gas at a lower cost than an individual parish could afford.
In the time I have been pastor of OLM we have exceeded our parish goal. Like last year, we will receive a 70% rebate of the funds collected over our goal. This year our goal is $146,700. Next weekend is pledge Sunday. I once again ask you to join me in making a gift to the 2020 Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal and help us surpass our goal again! If you received your pledge commitment card in the mail, please complete it and bring it to Mass next Sunday. We will also have pledge cards in the pews. No gift is too small!! Together we are all part of the Church of Joliet – every gift counts! And, I assure you, NONE of the money collected by the Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal is used in the settling of law suits for the past sins of our priests and bishops. Your gift is used entirely to provide kindness and mercy to the 585,080 Catholics in the Diocese of Joliet.
Have a blessed week!