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. Thank you to all who helped make our SJR School Open House a success. Our students are really doing great work, and it is good that we can highlight them in this way. We celebrated our school in a special way this year for achieving the distinction of becoming a National Blue Ribbon School. If anyone is interested in registering for our Pre-K or Kindergarten, please contact the school as soon as possible (215-343-5100), as registration is now open to those from outside the parishes as well.
Both our school and CCD have worked to provide for those less fortunate by making gift boxes to be donated to the Samaritan’s purse program. Thank you to those students who helped provide a nice gift to those in need. Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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,
As we review the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, we are aware of the example and contribution of outstanding men and women in consecrated religious life. Here in our own Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Saint John Neumann and Saint Katharine Drexel stand out prominently and we revere their memory. These two notable figures invite us to reflect upon the ministry and service of those unsung consecrated religious, so very many throughout the decades, that have built up our local Church.
These consecrated persons, men and women, have lived out their sacred calling in exemplary fashion. By their service in education, health ministry, caring for the most needy, and in contemplative life they have been visible instruments of God’s grace. Living out daily their faithful commitment, they have enabled persons of every background to accept and rejoice in the Gospel.
With gratitude for their dedicated service and yet recognizing the situation confronting so many congregations with declining vocations and caring for their senior members, each year our Archdiocese participates in the national Retirement Fund for Religious Collection. This collection provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate gratitude and personal concern for how they have affected each of us.
As Archbishop and as a Religious, I ask prayers for our consecrated persons who strive to live out their special calling. Likewise, I encourage your generous support for this national collection scheduled for December 1-2, 2018. May the Lord reward your generosity and may His peace fill your hearts.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
God Bless you,