My Dear Friends,
The pandemic has taken a toll on so many aspects of our lives. As a Church, we had to endure a lockdown and then the slow gradual buildup of our Masses when we reopened. Our ministries are sadly still shuttered, but our Homeless Ministry has not stopped in helping to feed the poor. Why? The Church can never stop from her mission of sanctifying her faithful (which we are doing through the celebration of the sacraments) and by taking care of the less fortunate. So many people have been negatively affected by the pandemic, and as a Church, we must help our brothers and sisters in need recalling our Lord’s words in Matthew 25: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” In moments of crisis, this verse resounds all the more.
This weekend, we have our annual appeal for the Archbishop’s Charities and Development (ABCD). Since the beginning of the pandemic, faced with no collection and rising COVID-related costs, I have been reluctant to make an appeal for the parish because I knew that so many parishioners had lost their jobs. God did provide because many parishioners stepped up and organized, without my knowledge, a clandestine drive through social media to get their fellow parishioners to sign up for online giving. As a result, online giving jumped 120%, and as you have no doubt seen in our bulletin the last few weeks since Christmas, overall giving on Sundays has risen sharply as well. I have come to see that that the generosity of the parishioners of the Church of the Little Flower knows no bounds.
Now we are called upon to help our brothers and sisters beyond our parish in our Archdiocese who have been affected by the pandemic. Every aspect of the Church’s ministries has been affected, so you could say this is one of the most crucial ABCD campaigns we have ever had. Our seminarians who are our future priests need our help. Respect Life offices need our help as they struggle to help single mothers. Food banks need replenishing, and our poorest schools are hurting as they educate students of families who cannot afford tuition. “Yet, despite all obstacles, the Church remains a beacon of hope – a light to the world,” our Archbishop writes in his ABCD letter. You are that hope because you are the Church. Please be generous today as we seek to continue the bold mission of our Church during these trying times. However big or small, may the Lord reward you for your generosity.
God bless you all,