I. Welcome Fr. Ron Chochol! While Catholic Charities is the home or national outreach to the needy, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international relief and development agency that assist the poor and vulnerable in more than 100 countries on behalf of the Catholic Church in the United States. Both Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are under the direction of the U.S. Bishops. Fr. Ron will be visiting the Cathedral this weekend to raise awareness on behalf of the poor overseas. For more information about CRS visit www.crs.org.
II. Holiday Mass Schedule: on holidays–July 4th, Labor Day, Memorial Day–the Cathedral will merge the 7:00am Mass and the 12:05pm Mass to one Mass at 9:00am. I wish to invite you to celebrate the “Freedom to Worship” at 9:00am Mass on Monday, July 4th, as we celebrate our Declaration of Independence by celebrating Eucharist.
III. Fortnight of Freedom, June 21st to July 4th: The Catholic faithful have been invited to Pray, Fast, and Act for true religious liberty these two weeks leading up to our celebration of Independence Day, July 4th. I find it interesting that people in other countries are sacrificing their lives to gain this freedom, while we here in the USA have this freedom, but over 65% choose not to exercise this right by worshipping at a church, synagogue, or mosque. “Freedom isn’t free; you have to pay the price, you have to sacrifice for your liberty.” Again, I invite you to celebrate the “freedom of worship” at our 9:00am Mass on Monday, July 4th. Information on this event is available on the vestibule table or you may visit www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/
IV. Beginning New Fiscal Year, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017: approved by the Finance Committee and our Parish Pastoral Council, the budget requires that we average $19,038.00 per week for the coming fiscal year. This can be easily achieved if everyone simply adds a few dollars to their weekly contribution, or those who are not contributing could start contributing even $5.00 per week. Read, discuss, and reflect upon Mark 12:41–44, the parable of the Widow’s Might.
V. The Golden Anniversary! Last week George & Margaret Frey celebrated 50 years of marriage! This weekend Dan & Rose Ann Payne celebrate their golden anniversary, as will my sister, Mary Jo and her husband, Don Kirby, who will be celebrating at Epiphany Parish in Louisville. I will join them along with their children, grandchildren, and other members of our family! Tried and tested as gold in the furnace, they have allowed the challenges of marriage to strengthen their union, and bring new life!
VI. Always remember to include in your prayers that those called to serve as priests or religious will answers God’s call with a resounding, “Yes!” We must “ask the master of the harvest [God] to send out laborers for his harvest.”