Pastor’s Letter – Feb. 18, 2018: Auction and Parish Update; Lent Begins
Last Saturday we had our annual school auction. It was a tremendous success. So much effort goes into planning and carrying out such an event. A special thanks to Sue Venable, our principal, the co-chairs and all the volunteers who had a hand in the preparation and execution of this wonderful event. The environment was so pleasing and beautiful, the fellowship among the participants was cordial and the generous support for our school was outstanding. The auction netted over $120,000 for our school which is an almost 15% increase over last year.
A few things to report: Last year we made a push to get our school endowment to over a half a million dollars. We accomplished that goal and with generous donations this year and the return on the investment we are happy to report the School endowment is now at $642,000. The growth of the endowment is going offer our school a more secure future, and donating to it is a great way to support the school’s future.
The “fund a dream” at this year’s auction was to resurface and stripe the upper parking lots. The playground for the school is the main upper parking lot and with the deterioration of the surface the striping is essentially gone. The plan will be to repair, resurface and restripe the lot for playground games and parking. We are happy to report that almost $50,000 dollars was raised at the auction for this project. This amount from the auction along with a generous donation by a parishioner will allow us to move ahead and complete this much needed project.
Last Sunday Mary Hupf with the many volunteers of the Religious Education program put on a wonderful Lenten family preparation program in the Pastoral Center. Over 200 families participated. Families moved from different stations to various activities and crafts focusing on the themes of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving/service. Letters of encouragement and prayers were written for especially selected parishioners, toiletries were prepared for St. Francis House who serve the homeless, and crafts included caterpillars, cocoons and pretzel baking. A special thanks to Mary and her minions for putting on this program to help our families prepare for Lent.
We are in the first week of Lent. The Gospel this Sunday tells of the temptation of Jesus in the desert for 40 days. Temptation is a distraction, meant to derail us from our true purpose in life. Satan tried to sidetrack Jesus and derail him from his mission of Salvation. Satan could not get Jesus off his track nor separate him from the will of his Father. In our lives Satan tries to sell us short, separate us from God’s will, and compromise ourselves for a false goal, an empty ideal, a false god.
Jesus is here to help us in our moments of temptation that would compromise the dignity of which we are made and called to be. Jesus experienced temptation himself and wants to help us in our struggles in overcoming those distractions that take away from our becoming the best versions of ourselves. I wish everyone a fruitful and grace-filled Lenten Season.