Jottings from Fr. J.J.

THERE ARE NO MORE HOLES IN THE BELT TO TIGHTEN!!!

You may have noticed if you have been keeping up with our regularly published financial reports that it is getting rather lean around here. With all the snow this winter, not only has attendance at Mass dropped, but so has the giving. Presently we are almost 6 percent behind in collections. That translates to $41,332.01. Not only that, but surprise surprise: we went over budget in snow removal. We had budgeted $17,500, presently we have paid $22,500 and we have not been hit with snow removal bills from February or March.

We are getting close to being debt free, but to do so we need to make a scheduled payment of $50,000. We owe a 7% tax to the Archdiocese every year and the next quarterly assessment comes out to $23,000. This means that we have to pay a $73,000 bill in the next few weeks. Let’s not forget trying to reach our CSA target.

I am writing this to say “HELP!” If you have missed Mass in the last few months, or somehow forgot to give your envelope, or if you have recently won the Lotto, or Aunt Helga left you a small fortune in her will, I ask that you might consider upping your next few donations to St. Anastasia. It really is a necessity. Thank you for your generosity ahead of time.

THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN BUSY

This weekend we invited Bishop Francis Reiss to St. Anastasia for our celebration of Confirmation. Please pray for our newly confirmed members and encourage them to follow the movement of the Spirit. They are adults in the Faith and should share their gifts. Don’t be surprised if you see a few more high schooler’s serving at the altar. Congrats to all of our Confirmandi.

HOLA HERMANOS Y HERMANAS

Recently I told someone that we have a very active Hispanic ministry in our parish: “The Guadalupanos,” and they were surprised.  “You have Spanish speaking folks in your parish?” they asked. Well, I am happy to say yes. They have a representative on our Worship Commission. On May 31st we will have 10 Spanish speaking children receive their First Communion, and starting at the end of June, we will have a Spanish Mass on the fourth Saturday of every month at 6 p.m. Fr. Eduardo Montemayor, who works with the Archdiocese is overseeing it. So, if you know of anyone who is Spanish speaking and does not have a parish home, invite them to St. Anastasia.

LENT IS A PERFECT TIME FOR A RETREAT

Heck, any time is a good time for a retreat. One of our fellow parishioners went to a very life giving retreat a few weeks ago. I asked him to write a note about his experience and this is what he said:

After a welcome dinner on Friday night, we all entered into the silent phase that continued on (for the most part), until after Mass on Sunday.  The theme of the retreat was “All Will Be Well”, based on how that fits into the crazy world we live in. In all, there were 4 or 5 presentations during the weekend.  They all revolved around how God and our faith really do make it possible to live life with the understanding that “All Will Be Well”.  The presenters were excellent and the discussions contained the right mix of Truth, interpretation, witnessing, thought provoking questions, and laughter.  Other great things included in the weekend were an opportunity for Reconciliation Saturday afternoon, a Healing Mass on Saturday evening, and Sunday Mass.  Let’s not forget the food!  Described in a couple of words – wonderful and plentiful.  Each person attending had a private room with a private bath.

I’m sure many of the men and women in the parish have been to retreats in the past. But, as a relatively new Catholic attending his first retreat, I wanted to share what an awesome experience it was.  The silent time away from the real world’s distractions, focused on my faith for the entire weekend, was priceless.  If you’ve never been, or if it’s been a while since your last retreat, I would highly recommend considering a weekend retreat in the future.  There are a number of different men’s and women’s weekends coming up in the next couple of months.  The snow may even be gone and you’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking grounds that the center sits on!

Capuchin Retreat Center:  www.capretreat.org, or 248-651-4826.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.