February 26, 2023
Last weekend was the official diocesan kick-off of the Bishop's Annual Catholic Appeal, which this year is entitled “This is the Day” (a line from Psalm 118: i.e., “This is the day the Lord has made!”). In fact, taken in its fullest sense, the Eternal Day that dawned on earth with the Incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ born for us in a manger – that Eternal Day continues to shine on us as the Church continues to bring Jesus Christ to the world. Please consider a gift to the ACA once again this year.
Perhaps somebody is wondering how the ACA differs from the Capital Campaign to which many of us just committed, and how it differs from the assessment that we give the Diocese each month. The assessment (sort of like a tax that we automatically budget and pay each month) covers operating costs of the Diocese. The Capital Campaign (a huge effort that happens only once every 20 years or so) covers future improvements and repairs for the Diocese. The ACA each year covers pastoral endeavors of the Diocese each year. And these pastoral endeavors so often overlap with and support our own parish life. Please remember that the mission of the Diocese and the mission of St. Wendelin are greatly intertwined. The Diocese is constantly supporting what we do locally; and we are constantly supporting the efforts of the Diocese as it supports and leads all the parishes in our mission.
From the diocesan flyer published in our bulletin this week, you can see how the ACA money will be put towards pastoral initiatives such as Catholic Charities work, Discipleship & Family Life ministry, Clergy and Seminarian education, formation and spiritual support, cathedral liturgies and Catholic education. The flyer highlights statistics, such as how many high school and college men attended vocations events this year, how many couples attended Joyfilled-Marriage workshops for marriage prep, how many youth ministers were served with ongoing training, how many special-needs children were served in sacramental prep and education, and how many people were served by Catholic Charities ministry to the poor and imprisoned.
I hope you noticed that our parish actually gave to the ACA this past year (even though we started a capital campaign back in July!) a couple thousand dollars more than we had the prior year…. And that prior year we had give many thousand dollars more than in previous years. Once again, our parish continues to shine in generosity on so many levels – time, talent and treasure! Thank you so much!
Many thanks for your prayers for a fruitful retreat last week. It was truly a blessed time. In addition to meditating on the Scriptures of the Mass each day, I read some from a book on spiritual warfare, and another book of a prominent French Catholic convert and poet from the first part of last century – Paul Claudel. The book is entitled Un Poète Regarde la Croix (“A Poet Meditates Upon the Cross”). It's a rich mediation on many aspects of the Gospel accounts of Jesus crucified, and their fulfillment of themes that run throughout the rest of Scripture, begin with Genesis. Good preparation for Lent!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,