My Dear Parishioners,
I hope that you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration. We have a lot to be grateful for, and it is good to pause and give thanks to God. As one Liturgical Year comes to an end, another one begins. Next Sunday we begin the season of Advent, a special time of preparation for the celebration of Our Lord’s birth. We mark the passage of time by lighting the candles on our Advent wreath.
We are currently running our Giving Tree program for the parish. This is the annual opportunity to provide gifts to the less fortunate. We ask you to take a “gift tag” off the tree which identifies a specific need for the various charitable organizations that we help. Then you are asked to supply a gift card in the amount of $25 – $35 from a department store to help meet that need. (Our scrip sellers will have extra cards on hand). We ask that you return the card to the Giving Tree Box – placed at the base of the tree. The cards will then be distributed to the various charities and also used to help those who contact St. Joseph for help. The people of this parish have always been very generous with this program and we are very grateful for your support.
Next week we will have the special collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious. This is the collection that helps to support the retired Religious Sisters and Brothers who taught so many of us. Archbishop Chaput has asked us to communicate this letter in advance of the collection.
Dear Friends in Christ,
During the special Year for Consecrated Life proclaimed by Pope Francis, the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter to the Church highlighted the importance of consecrated religious life for the mission of the Gospel. Pope Francis, reiterating the teaching of Saint John Paul II, reminded us that “consecrated life is a gift to the Church, it is born of the Church…(and) deeply a part of her.”
Our many consecrated Religious, men and women, in the Archdiocese have lived out this precious ecclesial gift in their ministries of education, caring for the sick and marginal, and in various apostolic endeavors. These consecrated persons have energized and brought vitality to the Church’s efforts for evangelization. Both in active ministry and in contemplative life, we recognize the countless fruits of their dedication.
With sincere gratitude to our religious congregations and recognizing the pressing difficulties they confront with declining numbers and with costly obligations for the care of their aging members, each year our Archdiocese participates in the national Retirement Fund for Religious Collection. This appeal enables us to demonstrate genuine appreciation for their service and their increasing needs.
As Archbishop, I ask that you remember all our consecrated men and women in your prayers and in generous support of this national collection scheduled for December 2-3. I am confident that your concern will be greatly rewarded. May the Lord’s peace be with us all.
Gratefully in Jesus Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
God Bless you,