Works of Mercy

08-15-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

As you read these words I will be on vacation, probably in western Nebraska. Knowing I would be on vacation, I prepared this column before I left in order to share a few things with you.

A few weeks ago, I told you that our parish received a grant of some $7,500 from the Works of Mercy Collection that was taken in our diocese. That money was given to support our parish Soup Kitchen and Food for the Needy Program. Last week we received an additional $50,000 from the Works of Mercy Collection to help support our parish school.

The Works of Mercy Collection, you may recall, took the place of the former Campaign for Human Development in our diocese. The intention is to use the donations of people around the diocese to support areas of local need. Given the poverty level in parts of our town, Saint Philip and Saint James qualified to receive these grants to support our ministries here.

A big thank you is due to our bishop for establishing the Works of Mercy Collection, and for seeing the need in our parish. A big thank you is also due to all of you who support things like the Works of Mercy Collection. Your generosity has come back to bless our parish in very concrete ways, allowing us to serve many local families and children. Indeed, your charity is one of the hallmarks of this parish.

I should also add a thank you to all who supported this past year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal. In spite of the fact that some of you are still completing the pledges made to our parish campaign, we reached 85% ($66,000) of our goal ($78,000) at last count. Again, thank you for your generosity.

Remember that next Sun, Aug 22, is the first anniversary of Fr. Gilbert’s ordination to the sacred priesthood. He has ‘jumped right in’ to our parish, and been a blessing to us. I am so happy to have him and to see the lives he has touched by his priestly ministry.

Fr. Gilbert will offer the 11:00am Mass next Sunday, after which everyone is invited for coffee and cake in Mercy Hall. It will be a nice opportunity to celebrate with him, and to thank God for the gift of his priesthood.

As always, I ask you to kindly pray a Hail Mary for me today and every day. I appreciate your prayers, and assure you of my prayers for you, especially during the quiet time while I’m on the road or waiting for a train to come. I’ll see you at Mass next weekend.

Have a great week!
Fr. John