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January 9/10 From the Pastor's Desk...

My Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. With this feast we liturgically bring to an end our celebration of the Advent/Christmas Season and next week we begin our journey through Ordinary Time. The Baptism of Our Lord is a good opportunity for us to reflect on our own Baptism. Through this Sacrament, our parents promised to hand on to us their faith in Jesus Christ, the Catholic church, and all the rich traditions that we have in our faith. As we have grown in our faith, we have come to know and appreciate the “communion of Saints,” all of those men and women who have gone before us over these past 2,000 years and who serve as examples of what it means to follow the Gospel of Christ. We have also been given our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and have come to see her not only as a good example of authentic faith but also to know and love her as our heavenly mother. The great gifts of our faith, especially the promise that one day we shall share in the resurrection of Jesus and eternal life, helps and sustains us throughout our journey through life here on earth. Finally, the realization of God’s sanctifying grace enables us to rise above the material and temporary things of this world so that we are capable of wonderful feats and actions. These are just a few of the gifts and benefits that have come to us through this wonderful Sacrament and, lest we forget, a special gift is the gift of one another - through Baptism we are born into God’s family, the Church, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ who love and sustain each other. That is why we call ourselves Holy Cross Parish Family. Take time this weekend to appreciate and thank God for the Sacrament of your Baptism.

Our parish family offers its prayers and support to parishioner Judy Aviles. Her husband and fellow parishioner, Alvaro (“Jeff”), went to his eternal reward shortly before Christmas. Many of Jeff’s family live in Southern California and, because of the holidays and our “frozen tundra” winter weather, made it impossible for them to get here until after the holidays. Jeff’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, December 30th, and Judy and her family appreciated the significant number of parishioners who came to provide music at Jeff’s Mass and the wonderful lunch afterwards. As a parish family, we offer Judy and her family our deepest sympathy and the knowledge that she and Jeff are being held in prayer.

Our parish family sympathy is also offered to Joe and Louise Chervenka - Joe’s brother, Dennis, died suddenly the day after Christmas. Know that Dennis and his family are being held in prayer by Holy Cross Parish family as we pray “Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.”

Please keep in prayer the family of parishioners Jim & Jeanne Junion following the passing of Jim’s mother, Magdaline, this past Tuesday, January 5. May her soul rest in peace.

I thank you for your patience and generosity as we continue to have a second collection at weekend Masses. Essentially, the Diocese sets a “goal” for every parish to meet for the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. In the past we have always exceeded our goal, but last year we did not, along with 106 other parishes in the Diocese. We were short of our goal by a bit more than $7,100. As a result, we have been billed for the shortfall and must come up with the money. Because that is not in our parish budget, we have to find a way to pay that bill, and I have been told by parish advisors that in cases like that it is our custom to have second collections. As of this date, we have approximately $5,000 of what is needed, so kindly bear with me as we continue the second collections. Shortly before Christmas, I received a letter from the Diocese that our Bishop’s Appeal Goal for the 2010 Appeal is $36,156 (an increase of approximately 10% over last year’s goal). The Bishop’s Appeal supports all of the outreach charities, programs, and work of the Bishop in our Diocese. I thank you for your past support and your continued future support.

Keep in mind that this coming Lent the Diocese will be sponsoring a program called “Catholics Come Home.” This program will support a number of commercials on local, cable, and dish TV inviting inactive Catholics to come home and take another look at their faith. On the parish level, we want to be most welcoming and inviting. That will involve all the members of our faith community. If you notice an unfamiliar face, please be welcoming and, if possible, say hello or engage in a welcoming conversation. Our Pastoral Council is working on establishing groups of people to work in this program. If you are willing to help out, please call the parish office and give us your name, address, phone number, and e-mail, and we will enlist your help for this exciting program. You can also be helpful if you have an inactive relative, friend, or neighbor and invite them to take a second look at Holy Cross Parish and the Catholic Church.

Oremus Pro Invicem,
Father Tom

Related link:
Sun, 01.10.10 Church Bulletin

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