June 18, 2018 Monday Eleventh Week Ordinary Time Year 2 Homily

June 18, 2018 Monday Eleventh Week Ordinary Time  Year 2 Homily

First Kings 21:1-16

Psalm 5

Matthew 5:38-42

Ahab (means: Brother of the Father) was not easily satisfied.

He had a sense of entitlement.

Ahab wanted the vineyard of Naboth (meaning: A Jezreelite [persons from Jezreel where Ahab had a vineyard]). (Jezreel: God sows/plants).

Naboth refused his request since this was his ancestral vineyard.

Jezebel (means: Where is the Prince? [Baal ritual worship question]) the wife of Ahab arranged for Naboth to be killed so Ahab could have his way.

Both Ahab and Jezebel have become persons whose names connote exploitation, abuse and manipulation of power.

 

Jesús in the Gospel introduces a different code of conduct for his disciples.

Jesús instructions are a reversal of the normal form of social obligations.

Jesús implies that things, objects, clothes, service should not come between people.

Jesús invites openness and trust in the Father’s protection and care.

We ask for this protection and care today and every day.

Today, let us remember the parents and children separated from each other at our Southern  border.

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16 and 17 June 2018 Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time B Homily

16 and 17 June 2018 Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time B Homily

(Father’s Day)

 

Ezekiel 17:22-24

Psalm 92

Second Corinthians 5:5-10

Mark 4:26-34

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

There are two parables in the Gospel today.

The first is about a man who scatters seeds on the land but does not know how it grows. He does do his part but knows the growth is not something he can force. The man also knows he can harvest and use the produce of the land.  

We do not know how the Kingdom grows but we know it is God who directs and inspires and helps it grow.  We are privileged to share in the bounty of the harvest and obliged to share with others the bounty.

 

The Second parable is about growth. When the kingdom began, with one or two men, it grew like a tree that starts with a very small seed.

The seed somehow grows into a large tree that offers shelter to the birds of the air.

Men, fathers, sons, mothers, women and children.  Every family starts out with seeds of love, kindness, attraction, commitment and trust.

On this day we remember our fathers,  the Father, the boys and men and especially the fathers who helped us to be born, to learn, to love, to provide shelter and safety to others.

Providing shade, shelter and safety brings me to a very current topic.

“We are not politicians……”

Cardinal Dolan of New York told an interviewer yesterday referring to his interest in our current Immigration policies.

“We are Pastors” Cardinal Dolan declared.  

He went on to say that “breaking up families” is not who we are as a people or as a church.  The current policy of breaking up families he declared is inhumane, immoral and something we must look into with and from our hearts.

 

In the interest of full disclosure:

I am a son of an immigrant and so have a personal stake and personal experience in this chapter of our national story about how we treat immigrants.

I lived as an immigrant for more than sixteen years in Guatemala so I know about the “immigrant” experience from the “immigrant’s” point of view.

When we are unable to care for the other, the foreigner, the refugee we need to look closely at who we are and what it is we do. How can we not get or “understand” the parable of a seed that became a tree and “sheltered the birds of the air in its branches”?

Families  who come to our borders seeking protection deserve better than having their children taken from them with no assurance of when they will see them again.

 

 

 

 

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9 and 10 June 2018 Tenth Sunday Ordinary Time B Homily

9 and 10 June  2018 Tenth Sunday Ordinary Time B   Homily

Genesis 3:9-15

Psalm 130

Second Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Mark 2:20-35

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

We have made our way through the “extraordinary time” of Lent, Easter and the various special Sunday feasts that follow Pentecost such as the Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ.

We return today to Mark’s Gospel which will be our “normal” Sunday Gospel.  There are exceptions to this “normal” routine.

One special exception to the “normal” rhythm of hearing Mark’s Gospel each Sunday  is that towards the end of July we will celebrate the Feast of Blessed Stanley Rother. On July 28 and 29 will be the first opportunity since Father Rother’s beatification to celebrate his Feast.

Now, back to the Gospel of Mark at hand.

We are in chapter three which is fairly early in this shortest of the four Gospels.

Jesús has done some healing and has faced some criticism for “eating with tax collectors and sinners”.  Jesús gives a brief but complete explanation to this criticism:

“I have come not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (2:17)

Jesús has also crossed another boundary. His disciples have “worked” picking grain on the sabbath.  Again Jesús answers his critics with a few well chosen words: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”

 

Jesús also has upset his family and the “Scribes” because of his teaching.

His family comes to “seize Jesús” saying, “He is out of his mind”.

This is proof that Mark’s Gospel must be the earliest Gospel because Mark gives us an unvarnished snapshot of Jesús in chapter 3.

Jesús is a real human being with a real human family.

 

As a personal aside I have always taken comfort from this vignette in Mark’s Gospel since my family has on a number of occasions  thought “Tom is out of his mind”.  They have occasionally even said that to me.

In today’s Gospel Jesús is accused of being possessed by Beelzebul by the Scribes.

Jesús points out that he cannot be possessed by Beelzebul because he drives out devils.

Jesús again hears from his family.  They are “asking for Jesús”. This, for Jesús and his disciples, a teachable moment.

Jesus asks “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

Jesús looks around and declares, “Here are my mother and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesús has made clear that believing in him is not even about him but about  “doing the will of God”.

The Scribes may have “talked” about God’s will but may have never discovered doing God’s will was doing the work of mercy and forgiveness.

Jesús clarifies that “family” his “family” is not determined

by blood,

this or that religious group,

this or that ethnic background,

this or that social class,

this or that language,

this or that gender.

 

Jesús redefines family for the Scribes, his listeners, his own birth family and you and I.

Jesús includes “sisters” in “his” family.

It is a good thing Jesús included his sisters in his “family”

If his sisters  are like my sisters he would have heard clearly and loudly about their not being included!

 

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2 and 3 June 2018 Body and Blood of Christ B Homily

2 and 3 June 2018 Body and Blood of Christ  B Homily

 

The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is a very incarnational Feast

Jesús the Christ takes on our flesh (body) and our blood.

Jesús taking on our humanity implies several things.

 

First,  Our bloodline is no longer only human.  

Exodus tells us about a sacrifice made with blood today in the first Reading today.

Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;

the other half he splashed on the altar.

Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,

who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”

Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,

“This is the blood of the covenant

that the LORD has made with you

in accordance with all these words of his.”

 

This “blood of the covenant is “animal blood”

The blood is an outward sign that  seals the agreement between the Lord and the people.

Naturally enough this use of blood is used by Jesús to “seal” the agreement between the Lord and the people in the New Covenant.

In the New Covenant the blood does not remain “outside” of us.

It is intended to get inside of us,

It is intended to transform us.

It is intended to mix the blood of Jesús with our own blood.

It is intended to transform our hearts of stone and steel by mixing the blood moving through us to take on the attitudes of the One who shed his blood for others.  

Can our hearts be transformed physically by the special “blood”?

I cannot answer that question but certainly our hearts can be changed spiritually if we are open to the promise of the Covenant.

 

Blood is as necessary for the body and mind as is food.

Jesús’ blood in us and for us is intended to help us share in and become one with the body of Christ.


The body of Christ needs our assent, presence, sacrifice and care as much as we need Christ’s assent, presence, sacrifice and care for us.

This body and blood must be replenished, renewed, recirculated over and over again.

The Gospel tells us how bread becomes body and flesh.

 

While they were eating,

he took bread, said the blessing,

broke it, gave it to them, and said,

“Take it; this is my body.”

The Gospel goes on about how the wine becomes blood.

We are also told how our lives are transformed by the wine become blood.  The blood is shed “for the many”, Jesús informs us.

 

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,

and they all drank from it.

He said to them,

“This is my blood of the covenant,

which will be shed for many.

Amen, I say to you,

I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine

until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

 

Today let us eat and drink the food that is transformed into body and blood.

May this food and drink transform our hearts and help us live the promise of the Kingdom.

The Kingdom is not somewhere else but as Jesús explains is “near”, is “close”, is so close that it is “in you” and “in us” .

The Kingdom is like the body and blood of Christ that gets not only “near and close” but actually gets “within us” each time we come to be nourished at the Lord’s Table.

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May 26 and 27 May 2018 Trinity Homily

 May 26 and 27 May 2018  Trinity Homily

Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40

Psalm 33

Romans 8:14-17

Matthew 28:16-20

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

We celebrate the “Most Holy Trinity” today.

 

Our patron, Saint Patrick, is said to have explained the trinity by

showing a shamrock with one stem and three leaves to the people

of Ireland.

 

I am not sure how well Saint Patrick’s explanation went over but I am fairly certain there is much more to be said about this most intriguing mystery.

 

Part of the difficulty with the Most Holy Trinity is that the word

“trinity” literally “three in one” might suggest a mathematical

explanation, mathematical approach, mathematical language is

most appropriate in explaining the mystery of the Most Holy

Trinity.

 

If I really understood and could use mathematical language that way of speaking about the Trinity might appeal to me.

In the interest of full disclosure you should know two things.

First. I do not understand mathematical language.

Two. No human being I know, or know of,  including Saint Patrick

can ever “explain” fully or “fully” understand the Trinity.

 

The language of the scriptures is not mathematical.

The scriptures show ample fascination with numbers. One, three, five, seven, ten, twelve, fifty, one hundred and multiples of these communicate completeness, divine approval, symmetry.

 

The language of the scriptures and language about the Trinity is more poetic than mathematical.

 

The Most Holy Trinity evokes the language of  “playing,”

“delight,” and “dancing.”

 

The Trinity evokes the language of shared work, shared

craftsmanship, shared company, shared friendship, shared love.

 

If I asked you to describe a positive, life giving, loving relationship

between friends, spouses, partners, siblings, parent and child would

you use mathematical terms?

 

You might say friendship is two people sharing, believing, caring

even becoming one in varying ways but you would probably not

speak in mathematical terms.

 

Jesus speaks about the coming of the “Spirit of truth.”

The Spirit of truth, Jesus tells the disciples, will “guide us

to all truth.”

 

The truth, all truth, the truth of the Father’s love for us in

Jesus does not depart when Jesus goes to the Father.

 

The disciples of Jesus are in constant need of guidance, of

assurance, of the truth.

 

Saint Paul explains to us  in Romans Chapter Five what the Holy Spirit that is given to us does.

The Spirit has a purpose, a task, a job you might say.

Paul says:

….we even boast of our afflictions,

knowing that affliction produces endurance,

proven character,

hope.”

 

I often am asked to anoint, give the sacrament of the sick to

someone who is ill, gravely ill or dying.

 

I have met people at these times who have faced severe health

afflictions.

 

I can only conclude that their hope, their hope for hope, their

assurance, their peace comes from their identifying their

suffering with the suffering of Jesus.

 

Hope comes from the love of the God that has been given to

us from before the beginning of our lives and from the moment of

our Baptism.

 

Our hope comes from the Spirit who guides us to the truth and takes such delicious delight in guiding us with the Son and Spirit into the eternal presence of the Father.

 

 

 

 

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12 and 13 May 2018 Ascension B Homily

     12 and 13 May 2018  Ascension B Homily

 

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm  47

Ephesians 1:17-23

Mark 16:15-20

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

We celebrate today Jesus’ Ascension.

Many beginnings require some endings.

The birth of the church, which we often think of as occurring on Pentecost, will be celebrated next week.

We might ask what had to end before the Apostles and disciples could “become” the church?

Jesus seems to have spent a great deal of time since his resurrection at Easter outlining what his commandments and expectations of the community were and are.

The commandments are to be obeyed.

The commandments have to do with love of Jesus the Son, the Father and our neighbor.

This love is how we can expect to or are expected by Jesus to “remain” in his and the Father’s love.

Disciples, “the faithful”, the members of the community “remaining” in the community appears to have been an issue at the time of the first Christians as it is today.

The feast of the Ascension is not about Jesus migrating to a different place. The Ascension so is about the disciples taking on the very challenging task of leading the community of believers.

In other words, Jesus had to do what every parent eventually must do.

Jesus had to turn over what had been his responsibility prior to his death on the Cross

According to Mark’s Gospel today Jesús gave the following carisms or gifts to his followers:

proclaiming the Gospel,

driving out demons (i.e. conquering sin and darkness),

speaking new languages (as we welcome members to our community who do not speak our language),

picking up serpents (we can not be put off of our responsibility because of fear),

exposing ourselves to what may appear at least to be poison and

laying our hands on the sick so they may recover not only physically but also spiritually.

 

These are daunting if not impossible tasks.

They are not accomplished by our hiding from our responsibility or trusting in our own cleverness and resourcefulness.

Proclaiming, living, being, the Gospel are tasks that are not accomplished unless we answer a simple question.

The question is asked by the “men in white garments” today in the first reading.

The question is simple, while the giving the answer to the question is quite challenging, to the disciples then and to us, the disciples of today.

The question is:

“Men of Galilee,

why are you standing there looking at the sky?”

 

The feast of the Ascension invites us to be prepared to be Christ present in a world in need of Christ’s farewell gift of forgiveness and peace.

How you and I answer that question really can make for a very

different kind of world.

Jesus came to make the world a place of justice, forgiveness and peace.

 

May we rise with Jesus the risen Christ to the

challenge to fulfill our baptismal promise,

to do our sworn duty and

to exercise our great privilege of being co workers  in God’s Kingdom.

 

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5 and 6 May 2018 Sixth Sunday of Easter B Homily

5 and 6 May 2018 Sixth Sunday of Easter B Homily

Acts 10:25-26,34-35,44-48

Psalm  98

First John  4:7-10

John 15:9-17

 

“Love is of God.”

The Second Reading seeks to illustrate this point.

Love manifests God’s presence.

Love is a sign of our belief in God.

The Second Reading concludes by informing or at least reminding

us:

“In this is love:

      not that we have loved God, but that he loves us

         and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”

 

We believe we must show our love of God.

We believe we can never adequately love God.

We can never love God as much and as well as God

loves us.

 

We may work so hard at loving God and each other that we begin

to think “love is “from  us,” “from me,” rather than “from God.”

 

We are able to love, in so far as we manage to love, because of

God’s gift of love to us in his Son.

 

Our failure to love, our inability to love well, may come from our

thinking “love” is

up to me,

exclusively from me,

my generous gift to others.

 

The Second Reading simply and eloquently reminds us:

Whatever we know of love, can give of love, receive of love

is “from” God and really, in the end, makes its way back to God.

 

The First Reading addresses how the early community faced

the issue of “loving” non Jewish followers of Jesus.

Jesus and his first disciples were all Jewish.

Jesus, as we meet him in the Gospels, had little to do with people

“outside”

the Jewish faith,

Jewish culture,

Jewish language and

Jewish ethnic group.

 

The question before Peter today in the First Reading is:

“What does the community do about non Jewish believers in

Jesus?”

The question is basically who can be “in” who must be “out” of the

Community.

 

Peter answers the question by reporting what he has come to “see.”

Peter says:

    “In truth, I see (with the eyes of faith) that God shows no partiality. Rather, in

every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to

him.”

 

We might ask ourselves what we “see” when differences of

language and culture and custom present themselves in our

community.

 

The God who is the origin of all love,

the God who shows no partiality invites us to “see” beyond the

differences to what we believe in common about love, God

and God’s many gifts.

 

The Gospel of John speaks to us today about “remaining in

love.”

 

Jesus “remains in the Father’s love.

Jesus invites us to remain in his (Jesus’) love.



Jesus describes a relationship with his disciples that is very

unusual.

Jesus could have relied upon the metaphor of

teacher and student,

master and disciple,

master and slave.

 

In fact Jesus relies upon the metaphor of friend, to describe

how he relates to his disciples, that is, to us.

 

If we “see” Jesus not as master, teacher, instructor, boss, judge, score keeper

but as “friend” there is a level of trust, openness and love that is

indeed very rare.

 

We might be uncomfortable with the metaphor of “Jesus as

friend.”

 

This metaphor: “Jesus as friend” invites us to “see” Jesus as

close, confiding, intimate, trustworthy, forgiving and loving.

 

Jesus addresses our possible discomfort, our possible concern

about our worthiness or ability

to be “friend”,

to “remain in his love,”

to “remain with Jesus in the Father’s love.”

 

Jesus reassures us by saying:

“It was not you who chose me,

but I who chose you

and appointed you to grow fruit that will remain…”

The Gospel mentions “There is on greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I taught high school. Mass shootings that occur in schools affect me, as I am sure they do you profoundly.

On Valentine’s Day this year in Parkland, Florida there was a massacre of seventeen people.

Three of those people “took bullets”, laid down their lives for their students, friends, work companions.

A thirty seven year old coach, a fifteen year old student and a thirty five year old teacher showed this type of “greater love”.

They shared abundant and sacrificial love.

We are chosen for friendship with the Son and Father.

May we bear the fruit of the Father’s abundant love that

is showered upon us.

May we follow the great commandment.

May we love one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 and 22 April 2018 Fourth Sunday of Easter B Homily

21 and 22 April 2018  Fourth Sunday of Easter B Homily

Acts 4:8-1

Psalm 118

First John 3:1-2

John 10:10-14

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Chapter 10 of John’s Gospel is used on this fourth Sunday of Easter each year to celebrate Jesús as the “good shepherd”.

The few verses in today Gospel  repeat “I am the good shepherd” and “”A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” several times.

“I am” phrases, if we read John’s Gospel, get Jesús in big trouble with the religious authorities.  The “I am” problem arises because when Moses was instructed to lead the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt he asked the Lord whom shall I say sent me.  

The LORD says to Moses, “Tell them ‘I AM’ sent me”.  Thus for Jesús to say “I AM” was to say he speaks for the Lord and by implication is “One” with the Lord. Or as some of his listeners understood, Jesús “Made himself equal to God”.

Jesús laying down his life for his sheep became a reality because Jesús’ message about his relationship and unity with God made him a blasphemer to the religious authorities.

John’s Gospel has a different “take” or “slant” on Jesús’ attitude to his impending death than the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew.

In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesús predicts his passion and death but does not have the description of “laying down and taking up his life.”

Jesús “knowing the Father” and the “Father knows me” bespeaks the unity that Jesús experiences and shares in his preaching to the people and in his life with his followers.

Jesús speaks to the unity not just of Jesús, the good shepherd, with the Father.

Jesús also speaks of the unity of the the good shepherd with the sheep.

Jesús declares,

“I am the good shepherd,

And I know mine and mine know me,

just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

John’s writings tend toward repetition but all lead to the unity of Father, Son, Spirit and the unity of the flock, through Jesús with the Father and Spirit.

The “goodness” of the shepherd is proven by the shepherds willingness to lay down his life and take his life up again in obedience to the Father.

The “hired hand” does not have the same interest, dedication, unity or ability to sacrifice that the “good shepherd” has.

John’s Gospel has a severe attitude to those, like the “wolf” who is a marauder  or the “hired man” who “works for pay” and has no “concern” for the sheep.

Jesús also speaks today about “I have other sheep who do not belong to this fold”.

Jesús must call them and they will hear his voice.

Jesús’ vision is that there will be one flock and one shepherd,

The good shepherd who has concern for the sheep must be ready to lay down their own life for the good of the sheep.

May our community strive to be one flock listening to and following the voice of the good shepherd.

 

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14 and 15 April 2018 Third Sunday of Easter B Homily

14 and 15 April 2018  Third Sunday of Easter B Homily

Acts 3:13-15,17-19

Psalm 4

First John 2:105

Luke 24:35-48

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

The Death and Resurrection of Jesús required some serious re- calculations on the part of Jesús’ followers.

Their individual and group thinking, hopes, plans, understanding had to be transformed.

Peter, for instance, has been transformed. He was a braggart and he had an exaggerated sense of his own importance and capabilities.  He has been transformed, as we hear today in the first reading, from a follower with words, lots of words, maybe too many words,

Peter  becomes a “witness” who gives testimony by his deeds as well as his words.

The words of Peter are no longer about himself, his “willingness” to die for Jesús but his mission to help others to come to believe, to understand and to follow Jesús.

Peter’s discourse in the first Reading occurs after Peter has just cured a person who is crippled.

The Gospel today opens with a summary of the disciples who have met Jesús on the road to Emmaus. Jesús’ explanation of the Scriptures to Cleophas ( whiche means the whole glory) and his companion caused their hearts to burn within them.

They heard a “moving” testimony but they could not “see” it was Jesús until “they broke and shared the bread”.

Luke, in the Gospel today, reports various reactions when Jesús appears to to the disciples.

Jesús “stood in their midst” and brings a message: “Peace be with you.”

The reaction of the disciples is that they are “startled and terrified and thought they had seen a ghost.”

Jesús notes they are “troubled”.

Jesús seeks to reassure them in their confusion and fear.

Jesús  shows them his his hands and feet.

The disciple are “incredulous with joy and amazed”.  

Jesús eats with the disciples.

Jesús words, explanations and eating with the disciples helps the disciples to know they are not dealing with a ghost or an impostor or a person who “looks like” Jesús.

The disciples are again treated to an explanation of the Scriptures and are “witnesses of these things”.

“Opening our minds to understand the Scriptures” is a task that has a beginning in a time and place but is a task we can never claim we are finished or have nothing more to learn or “already know them”.

The challenge of “understanding the scriptures” is related to our believing with the first disciples that the resurrection is not a phantasy or fanciful story or the result of “too much wine”.

The disciples are charged with being “witnesses” to the life, suffering and resurrection of Jesús.

The testimony of Jesús’ disciples of all times and eras needs to be a “testimony” whose source is not only our words but also our deeds.

I believe our words can be inspiring and beautiful but if our deeds are half hearted or misdirected or careless the words will be hollow and the testimony ineffective if not false.

The Easter challenge for those of us who are witnesses is this:

Let us be  faithful to the

person,

message and

joy of the victory of life over death that this Easter seasin celebrates.

 

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April 7 and 8 2018 Second Sunday of Easter (One Church, Many Disciples: Capital Campaign)

April 7 and 8 2018  Second Sunday of Easter

 

(One Church, Many Disciples: Capital Campaign)

 

My sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

Today the scriptures summarize and interesting fact about the early Christian community.

 

Acts says:

 

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,

and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,

but they had everything in common.

 

This is an idealized picture of  the early community. If you read on in
The Acts of the Apostles you find that  the unity is stressed and the disagreements over property and and donations to the Church get complicated.  We see in Acts a community that struggles with sin. Like us, the early church, needed abundant graces to be faithful.

 

A second fact that has long interested me is found in the Gospel. Thomas appears. Thomas is famously known as the “Doubting Thomas”.  

When people ask me about my interest in “clarity” about

the use of Parish facilities,

forms that need to be filled out before the Parish bus is “borrowed”,

my desire to see requests in writing and

my interest in seeing my signature authorizing activities my standard answer is this: “My name is Thomas and unless I see, I tend to doubt.”

 

Today is “Kick off Saturday / Sunday here at Saint Patrick’s.  What are we “Kicking Off”?

 

We are “Kicking Off” not a football but the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.

 

This is the first capital Campaign in the history of our Archdiocese.

 

With the Beatification of Father Stanley Rother we are entering a new, deeper, more loving and more sacrificial phase of our history as a Church.

 

After reflection, prayer and years of planning the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign has begun.

 

The campaign’s goal is to raise a minimum of $60 million dollars.

 

The campaign is designed to provide

for each local parishes’ pressing needs,

to provide a shrine to honor Father Rother,

to fund ministries focused on Evangelization, Faith formation and Hispanic Ministry.

 

Today, we at Saint Patrick’s join twenty eight other parishes as the second group to participate in the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.

 

$60 million dollar is not a small amount but 60% ot the $60,000 is already pledged.  There are two more groups of parishes that will participate in the campaign over the next year after our group of twenty nine parishes make our pledges.

 

I believe Christians should share what we have as the first Reading reminds us.

 

Being named Thomas I doubted that the goal was achievable.

 

 I honestly thought it was an impossible dream and I wondered who came up with that startling amount: $60,000,000.

 

I have been at the business of fundraising for churches for a number of years.  I have been asked to give to many organizations. Most of my giving is to Church related causes. The first priority on my list is giving to my, your, our parish.

 

The One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign engaged  my cynicism, doubts and disbelief. I began to change my opinion about the campaign the more I learned about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.

 

The enthusiasm of the priests in Group One of the campaign I thought came from their lack of experience or their abundant charm or their good luck.

 

The fact that helped me decide to be the first person to pledge from our parish was that we will receive 20% back of the amount that we raise.  I have been giving to my parish and my special causes for many years but I have never been told that I, or in this case, “we” will get 20% of what we give back!

 

Our parish goal is $405,000 (Four hundred five thousand dollars).

Since it is our Parish goal it seemed larger to me than the $60,000,000 (sixty million dollars) total goal for the whole Archdiocese.

 

I made a few calls to some of you in about a two week period. To my utter amazement  the first thirteen pledges raised $202,800. This is 50% of our goal.

 

I am not in the money raising business. I am not competing with anyone or any parish for being “first” at anything.

 

However, It is interesting to me that the highest  percentage of the goal pledged, among the twenty nine parishes in our group, since our phase of the campaign began fell to a most unlikely, to me, parish.

 

The parish that raised the highest percentage of their goal is located at 19th and North Portland. I affectionately refer to us as “Saint Pat’s”.

 

Congratulations to all of you who stepped up to the plate and gave sacrificially to this worthy cause.

 

Congratulations to all who will have the opportunity to help us meet our goal.

 

I ask that you keep and open mind and heart and pocket book to learn more about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.

 

The campaign prayer cards are in the pews. We will pray this prayer weekly during the campaign.  I encourage you to pray the prayer often.

 

Let us now pray the prayer.

 

If you would like to learn more about the campaign please come to the Parish Hall for a brief video about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.

 

I thank you for your kind attention and your amazing generosity.

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