Jottings from Fr. J.J.

Too Much of a Good Thing…? 
Last week I began my article with the statement that “change is good.” With Fr. Eric coming and both Fr. Mark and Deacon Franz (our business manager) having gone, we have some adjusting to do. Well, I found out this week that we get to adjust a little more. Our youth minister, David Graves is also heading in new directions. He is  getting used to change since he just got married, but also he accepted an exciting new job in medical marketing. We have been blessed, not only since Dave is an excellent Youth Minister, but also because it is not uncommon to have a quick turnover in that position. Dave was one of my first hires (a month after I arrived as pastor), so we have not only had some consistency, but a faith filled man to lead our teens. Don’t worry too much; you will still see his smiling face. He will not be leaving us totally, since he is a parishioner. Toss in some prayers for him, as well as me, since I have to stack that position onto my other interview list.

New Leadership 
On a yearly basis there is transition in who serves as my advisors on Parish Council. We had quite a few folks who were nominated and accepted the nomination. I would like to thank all of you who threw your hat in the ring. Last Sunday we called upon the Holy Spirit to choose for us the folks that He would like to serve in the four vacant positions. I am proud to announce that when the Council begins to meet in the fall Loretta Belardi, Mike Micene, Morgan Roberts, and John Witt will all be giving their input. Congratulations to all of them and please keep them in prayer. 

I would like to thank Mike Hopkins who has served as Parish Council Chairperson for the last two years. He is a good man and has shared his talents well. God knows what He is doing though, Mike’s wife Gina just gave birth to their fifth child, Victoria. Mike will be changing more diapers than parish policies in the near future. Congrats to both of them. Finally, toss in a prayer for Cathy McGraw who will be stepping into the position of Parish Council Chair for the next two years. Believe me when I say that we have been very, very blessed with our volunteers on our Council in the past, and with Cathy helping steer the ship, we are in excellent hands.  

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money 
FYI—the interest rates we were getting from the archdiocese changed on July 1st, thus we are not making as much as we were a month ago with our savings. Therefore, I thought it would be a smart idea to pay off a little bit more of our million dollar debt to the AOD (for all these nice buildings that were built not that long ago, the gym, the pastoral center…). Normally we pay $41,000 quarterly ($164,000 per year), and our debt would be paid off in 7 years. Since I don’t want to waste money and we get more bang for our buck by paying on the interest and principle, the finance committee and I decided to pay $130,000 this quarter. Therefore, our new balance with the AOD is $898,919.15. Congrats—and thank you for your generosity, because we are getting much closer to being debt free.

Don’t Mess With A Missionary Man
If you have not heard our new associate preach yet, like me, you will have to wait another week. As you are probably aware, we have a responsibility to follow the Lord’s words to “go to the ends of the earth and baptize,” as well as clothe the naked, feed the hungry, etc. On a yearly basis through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, our parish is assigned a missionary to come and share his/her ministry with us. This weekend we welcome Fr. Jorge Fernandez, MXY.  He is currently ministering in Kenya, Africa and his order, the Yarumai Missionary  Society, has a goal to witness the Catholic faith among peoples of other religions and to reach out to the poorest of the poor.  Our generosity will help support evangelization all over the globe. Please make sure we give him a hospitable St. Anastasia welcome.

God bless, Fr. J.J.