April 2

I. Child Abuse Prevention Month: “And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “let the children come to me.”  Mark 10: 13-14.  “Promise to Protect—Pledge to Heal” is the theme for April which has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). We must be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves or are too afraid to speak out. Pray for victims; pray for those who victimize for conversion; support your teachers in their efforts to help abused children, and be proactive with our elected officials and let them know there needs to be safeguards in place for the vulnerable, especially the precious children. Let us make our pledge today!

II. “In Service to One—In Service to All” – The Knights of Columbus need you! I wish to recognize an almost 150 year old service oriented organization and the men from our parish who have served for so many years. The Knights were founded by the Venerable Michael J. McGivney, a priest from Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the mariner Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and Catholic public policy positions, and actively defending Catholicism in various nations. In 2015, the Order gave over US $175 million directly to charity and performed over 73.5 million man-hours of voluntary service. Over 413,000 US pints of blood were donated in 2010.* The Knights teach a high and noble patriotism, instills a love of country, and instills a reverence of civic duty. Pray for our Knights and I thank the following parishioners for their service to the community: Robert Ballard, Ronald Bornander, Howard Brown, Jeremy Brown, Michael Brumley,  J. C. Green, Francis Hayden, Dr. Carroll Howard, John Jones, Jr., Joseph Murphy, William McCarty, William McCormick, Thomas Neal, Joseph Offerman, Edward Pickett, Gerald (Mar) Stallings, and Elmo Thompson. If you have questions, ask one of the men named above.   *statistics gathered from Wikapedia

III.  Nominations for your Parish pastoral Council:  I am looking for people willing to collaborate with me, willing to serve the common good of the whole parish community. Council members advise the pastor and recognize the relationship between St. Stephen Cathedral parish, the local and universal Church, awareness of one’s personal call to faith is essential. They must be at least 18 years of age, active members of St. Stephen Cathedral Parish, and will to serve a 3 year term. Pick up a yellow nomination form at the church doors.

IV. Flowers In Memory of or In Honor Of: (note the envelope in your packet or sign up on line and donate through “WeShare”). Mention the name or names of people you would like to be remembered by your donation for flowers or the name of those living you would like to honor. These names will be listed in our Easter Sunday bulletin. These flowers will grace our church for Easter and the Easter Season. What a meaningful way to express gratitude.

V. Proud of our Cathedral Community: I cannot express my gratitude sufficiently for those who helped in so many ways as hospitality ministers, Diocesan Event Welcomers, servers and hosts to bishop McRaith’s family and friends at the rectory providing food and a gathering space, and in giving Bishop Emeritus John Jeremiah McRaith a wonderful “send” off. We had hundreds of visitiors to our cathedral. That same week began with the huge funeral for fireman David McCrady—the church was packed to the gills and the funeral meal lasted all afternoon. Again, you rose to the call of good stewardship in serving your community. A special thank you to Gene Lyon and her team for the meal on Monday and Lisa Taylor and her team for the funeral meal on Wednesday for the family of Herman Dant. I thank ALL the people that serve in our funeral meal ministry. My last, but certainly not least, thanks go out to the Koinonia Team for their hard work, for those that provided food and a heartfelt thank you to all those who participated and allowed themselves to grow through this retreat experience.