Jottings from Fr. J.J.

Fortnight for Freedom
Catholics have long been staunch defenders of God-given religious liberty. Today, such liberty is threatened in our country by government intrusion. Both the federal and state governments have made attempts to inhibit – and even to make illegal – efforts by Catholics and Catholic institutions to operate according to their faith. It has touched areas of health care, immigration, education, Church  structure, adoption services, refugee services, humanitarian aid, and more.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is sounding the alarm on these infringements on religious freedom. To respond, the bishops are    encouraging all Catholics across the country to participate in some manner in the Fortnight for Freedom initiative, taking place June 21 through July 4. The U.S. Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for  Religious Liberty have issued a statement called “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty” which seeks to educate Catholics on matters regarding religious freedom. Here in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Allen Vigneron has issued his own letter to the faithful (which I printed in my article last week), encouraging us to pray, to learn more, and to get involved.

I invite you to attend our own event here at St.  Anastasia this Thursday at 7 p.m. in the church.

Movie Night Anyone?
In line with what I said above, last week Fr. Varghese and I went to see an excellent film whose message of the importance of religious freedom has particular resonance for us today. For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristero tells the largely unknown story of the Cristero War and the struggle for religious freedom in Mexico during the persecution of the Catholic Church in the late 1920s. It is a major motion picture with major actors. Uncharacteristically with this combination, it treats a religious subject with great respect and understanding. It also holds up priesthood in a favorable light, something that is rarely done in Hollywood. I strongly encourage you to see it.

Do Not Forget
We have a CSA target of $254,631. So far we have reached 65% of this target ($177,460). I just want to remind everyone that St. Anastasia has to pay this amount whether we raise it or not.  This means that if the parishioners of St. Anastasia do not pledge, then the shortfall has to come out of our parish’s operating budget. Something would then have to be cut and as you know since we update you about our finances regularly in the Good News bulletin, we are already on a bare bones budget.

I want to encourage any of you who have not given your pledge, to please do so. You may submit your Catholic Services Appeal pledge form in any number of ways (we are trying to make it as hassle free as possible). You can drop it in the Sunday collection, mail it to the office, send it by carrier pigeon, and have Fr. Eric come pick it up after he   prepares you a gourmet meal, serves it and cleans up. Any of these are fine with me, just please get it to us. You can get copies of the pledge form in the narthex carousel, in the racks outside the parish office, or on our parish website. Doing this will save us from contacting you by mail and inadvertently save us postage, stationary and labor costs. Thank you to all who have been so generous thus far.

It is Offical
Brian Burgin is our business manager here at St. Anastasia. You have probably read some of his articles over the last few months or have seen him running around doing one of the 1001 jobs to which a business manger attends. I am here to tell you that Brian has been   deceiving us all. He did not deserve that title “Business Manager”, up until now that is. Brian officially completed his certification with the Archdiocese and his teachers informed me that he only had to stay after school once for shooting spit wads. Congrats Brian, we are proud of you!

God bless,
Fr. J.J.