Giving Tree Program and the Retirement Fund for Religious

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. This week we begin a new liturgical year and the holy season of Advent. Advent is about preparing for the birth of Jesus, but it is also about actively waiting on the Lord. But waiting can be good. It helps to strengthen us and teaches us discipline. Waiting also helps our celebration of Christmas by building up a longing and yearning for Jesus. Not every need has to be met immediately.

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 cards to the Giving Tree Box, placed at the base of the tree, by Dec. 12th so they may be distributed to those in need, with enough time to get their shopping done. 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 Pérez has asked us to communicate this letter in advance of the collection. May God Bless You, Fr. Bordonaro

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The annual appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held in our parishes during the weekend of December 3-4, 2022. The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) coordinates the annual appeal on a national basis and distributes financial assistance for retirement needs to eligible religious institutes within the United States.

As Pope Francis stated in his General Audience of June 15, 2022, “It is precisely the Christian community that must take care of the elderly; the elderly have much to give us: there is the wisdom of life. They have much to teach us. When we are old, we cannot do the same things we did when we were young…” The care for our elder men and women religious is our responsibility. They have sacrificed greatly in their years of service and remain faithful. In retirement, they remain witnesses for the Church and the world and are

As you consider this year’s appeal, I ask you to reflect on the role of religious in your own life. Perhaps a woman or man religious nurtured your faith as a young student or your vocation to the priesthood or to sacramental marriage. Or you may have witnessed the dedication of religious serving in Catholic schools, hospitals, parishes, or social services. Many of these women and men religious are now elderly, and too often their religious congregations do not have adequate funding for their care.

The appeal is to give what you can. Most importantly, is that we join together in prayer for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s elderly sisters, brothers and religious order priests.

Please support our consecrated religious in this national collection scheduled for December 3-4, 2022 in our local parishes and be assured of a remembrance in my prayers.

Thank you.

In the peace of Christ,

+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia