My dear friends,
I always smile when I walk into the church before Mass and our parishioners open our bulletin for the first time. It is the same in almost every parish I have been at: the first thing we read is how much we collected in offertory the week before and then we go to the pastor’s column to read what I have to say that week. I thank you for taking the time to read these lines each week. I enjoy sharing the news of the parish, sharing our faith, and sharing what is stirring in my heart that particular week with all of you.
Going back to that number that we read at the bottom of page 2. I am so grateful to the stewardship commitment that each of you make every week. Despite our church not being at full capacity, our offertory numbers have been bigger than our numbers before the pandemic. Online giving is a huge factor behind this increase, and I thank all of you that signed up for online giving during lockdown and continue to give online. This is most important in these summer months as we go off on vacation because while we go on vacation, the parish’s bills do not, and we rely on your offerings.
Last week, a parishioner asked me about the number directly to the right of our offertory number. Since February, we’ve been updating all of you on the progress of our ABCD campaign. The parishioner asked me why the number has been stuck just around 78% of our goal for the last two months. The reality is that COVID and its economic impacts have put a strain on some of our parish families. Last year, we had 490 donors to ABCD, and so far, this year we only have 353. We need to bump that number up a bit to fulfill our obligation as a parish to our archdiocesan charities.
If you have not made your pledge to this year’s ABCD campaign, I implore you to please make your charitable gift today by either calling our office and making your pledge over the phone with our Advancement Director, Jorge Perez, (305-446-9950, ext. 318) or go to isupportABCD.org to make your pledge online. Please remember to put that you are a parishioner of Little Flower-Coral Gables. There are so many charities of the Archdiocese who are hurting because of the pandemic, and they rely on our donations to the ABCD. Please help us reach our goal this summer so that we can help the poorest among us. God bless all of you for your generosity.
In other parish news, this past week we graduated a wonderful group of 8th graders from our school who are going to make our parish proud in high school. The rest of our students and teachers began a much-deserved summer break after a very trying year dealing with Zoom, hybrid classrooms, COVID restrictions, and many other unforeseen challenges. I commend Sister Rosalie and our Carmelite Sisters for the job they did in navigating our school through the rough waters of this past year. I also ask you to please pray for our Sisters who will be leaving later this week to California to their Mother House for retreat and renewal. As a parish, we are so thankful for the gift of the Carmelite Sisters among us. Next year will be receiving four new additional Sisters, and we bid farewell to Sister Emma Luz who has taught religion to our middle school students with such great dedication, and we pray for her in her next mission. We pray for all our parish children who begin summer break. May they be kept safe, and we pray for all our families entering this period of rest: may you be renewed in the Holy Spirit.
God bless you all,