Today we launch the 2018 Catholic Charities Apeal: 60 YEARS OF GIVING HOPE TO ALL. Gifts made to the Catholic Charities Appeal will provide support needed to tens of thousands of people through countless organizations, programs and ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The goal of the 2018 Catholic Charities Apeal is $12.5 million. Now in its 60th anniversary, the Appeal remains a channel of hope for so many in need, and serves as a positive source for good in all facets of the Church of Philadelphia. It is important that every parishioner and every parish do their part to help raise this $12.5 million, because we are one family in Christ. Taking care of those who need help the most is one of the most important things we can do as Catholics, for as it is said in the Book of Galatians: “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I would also like to assure you that any gift you make to the Catholic Charities Appeal will be appropriately stewarded and spent only in accordance with its goals. The Catholic Charities Appeal Board is there to ensure your funds are spent according to the purpose for which you donated. Thank you for your sacrifice, and may God bless you and those whom we vow to help in need. Good News! We will have an exciting Lenten Series this year: Bishop Robert Barron’s enlightening study on sin and virtue. By DVD and discussion, we will be taking a look at what Catholic tradition calls the Seven Deadly Sins and contrasting them with what Bishop Barron refers to as the Seven Lively Virtues. The aim of this six-weeks’ course is to increase understanding, promote reflection and encourage practical action to assess and enhance our life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This course will take place at 7:00 PM in the Parish Center (behind the school) on the Thursdays of Lent, beginning February 15. See you there!
We are blessed here at Holy Cross Parish with an excellent elementary school, as well as being surrounded by such good Catholic high schools. Our sacrificing parents and dedicated teachers, staff and principal, Mrs. Maureen Ward, bring to life the theme of Catholic Schools Week, 2018, “Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed.” I invite you to participate in the events of Catholic Schools Week, including the School Open House on Friday, February 2, at 6:00 PM. See why I’m so proud of the quality faith and academic formation of our precious young people that transpire every day at Holy Cross School.
Good News! We will have an exciting Lenten Series this year: Bishop Robert Barron’s enlightening study on sin and virtue. By DVD and discussion, we will be taking a look at what Catholic tradition calls the Seven Deadly Sins and contrasting them with what Bishop Barron refers to as the Seven Lively Virtues. The aim of this six-week course is to increase understanding, promote reflection and encourage practical action to assess and enhance our life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This course will take place at 7:00 PM in the parish center (behind the school) on the Thursdays of Lent, beginning February 15. See you there!
About 130 people attended January 12th's Parish Meeting. I reiterated the guarantee of the archdiocese that our parish and school will remain open and independent. We discussed the current attempts to combine several ministries with S. Francis of Assisi and St. Kevin parishes so as to enliven our pastoral effort here at Holy Cross. However only 13% of our 5900 registered parishioners are attending Mass every week here and hardly anybody is coming to confession here.
I explained that we will soon start a capital campaign to raise $1.2 million for the major repairs needed for our school - pointing, new roof and skylights and several new windows. Lynn Cummings Consultants will coordinate the campaign. Details will be forthcoming.
As you know, the Archdiocese has approved the independent continuation of Holy Cross parish and school. With the help and guidance of our lay leaders, I have authorized a Planning Study to assess the readiness of our parish community to address certain significant structural repairs to our school. A recent evaluation by O'Donnell and Naccarato Structural Engineers has revealed necessary major work - including pointing, a new roof and some new windows.
I am happy to tell you that we have retained the services of Lynn Cummings Development Consultants to conduct this Study and to assist us with our plans. A highly regarded consulting firm, based in the Delaware Valley, LCDC is committed to churches like our own and has served over 900 during the past thirty years.
A Planning Study will provide us with the data necessary to implement a needed and successful Capital Campaign. During the course of the Study, confidential interviews will be conducted with a representative group of parishioners who will be asked to share their perceptions of our church community and the plan for our future. Questions concerning volunteer interest and financial support are included in this Study, but the interviews are not for a solicitation for funds. Your voice is important and you are invited to submit your name if you wish to be interviewed. Please call the business office during weekdays between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM for more information.
I'm sure you have noticed the hazard tapes at the front steps of the church. These steps need some work to make them completely structurally safe. Frank Del Viscio and our Knights of Columbus will do the work in September, when somewhat cooler weather is needed for the project.
Our Lord wants to receive our cares and worries and bless our suffering and use it for our good
and the good of others.
The weariness of life cannot be relieved by nicer material possessions and more pleasure; in fact, it's the pursuit of pleasure and a better material life alone that wearies us more than anything. Only Jesus can satisfy the human heart. Only coming to Him again, and again, and again, will keep us peaceful, joyful and loving.
Archbishop Chaput recently noted that a survey of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revealed that Philly area Catholics love their priests. But, the survey also showed that many Catholics do not feel that their parishes are welcoming. This is a serious concern. Here at Holy Cross we welcome our new parish members in the bulletin every month and have just started a Welcoming Committee whose members visit the recently registered to warmly welcome them to the parish and assure them of our parish family's pastoral care. If you have any other ideas how Holy Cross can be a more welcoming parish, please let us know.
To honor the memory of a loved one, friend or parishioner, a donation of $150 can be made for sanctuary flowers on the altar and in front of the Blessed Mother's statue. A remembrance will be printed in the bulletin for the donation. If interested, please call the business office at 610-626-3321.
Holy Cross parish needs $13,000 each week from our Sunday collection to pay for all the parish bills - salaries, insurance, assessment, electricity, air conditioning, water, repairs, etc. When the amount is not met, we either need to take from our modest parish reserves or go deeper into debt. From now on in the bulletin, we will list both the amount of money needed and the amount of money received in our Sunday collection.
You probably know that our Church Bulletin is a free service we receive, provided to our parishioners through the courtesy of the local business people and entrepreneurs who are listed on the back pages.
In addition to the benefit of having this bulletin printed and delivered to us without cost, according to the contract we negotiated with the John Patrick Company, Holy Cross receives an annual payment of $5,000 from the fees paid by the advertisers.
So please, take the opportunity to get a hard copy of our bulletin and take a few moments every week to look over the back pages of our bulletin and notice the people who are supporting our parish and who are offering you services you may need, and mention our parish and thank them for their ad when you see them.
I am so impressed with the many parishioners who remember every 2nd Sunday of each month to bring a bag full of non-perishable food items to church to replenish our parish food pantry. I am also impressed with our team of parish volunteers who coordinate the distribution every Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:30 PM. We are trying to form a Social Committee to coordinate social events and activities in our Parish Hall and/or Parish Center to build community and conduct fund raisers. If interested please contact me or call business office at 610-626-3321. Thank you!
If anyone is living in a marriage that has not been recognized by the Catholic Church, it would be wise to consult with a priest to see whether that situation might be rectified. It could be as simple as repeating your marriage vows quietly in front of a priest and receiving the Church's blessing. In that way, one would become eligible to receive the sacraments of the Church, especially Confession and Holy Communion.
We are in real need of more Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to help distribute Holy Communion at the weekend Masses. You would be scheduled once every three weeks or so. If you are interested in this important parish ministry, please contact me at 610-626-3321.
I'm happy to report that more then 62 parish families are using electronic giving for their Sunday collection. Please consider using this easy, safe and convenient method of contributing. Simply go to our parish website at holycrosscatholics.org and click on the Parish Giving link.
A reminder - your good, used clothing can be given to the needy by dropping it into the St. Vincent de Paul container behind Cardinal O'Hara H.S.
We are grateful to the members of our Parish Pastoral Council for their continuing help and guidance: Deacon Frankenberger, Deacon Kevin, Deacon Gousie, Principal Maureen Ward, DRE Kelly Meliti, Judy Vacca, Anthony Creato, Rita Sindoni, Jim Devenney, Ray Butler, Phyllis Heppard, Bill Judge, Margaret Mary McNicholas and Bernadette Ryan!
I will be continuing our weekly Parish Bible Study resume Thursdays, starting every September, at 7 PM, in the Parish Center, which is behind the school. We will be looking at the Book of Exodus. Again, there is no need to bring anything; books will be supplied. You do not have to come every Thursday - just when you can! I promise an enjoyable and fruitful time - and no homework!
We are likewise very grateful to the capable and helpful members of our Parish Finance Council: Sister Loretta, Principle Dawn Perry, Anthony Creato, Lorraine Revello, Jack Sullivan, Jim McNicholas, George Rossi and new member, Marian Stevenson.
In the past, donations have been made to the parish in memory of loved ones who have died. If the donor specifies, these donations are deposited into a memoral fund which is used for tuition assistance for students of Holy Cross School. We will like to continue this option. Please keep this in mind if you ever have the occasion to make a memorial donation.
We are blessed to have such an excellent parish school and PREP program as well as the various parish programs that educate and teach the truth and love of God. We are grateful that our parish teachers and instructors are so generous in sharing their time, talent and treasure in the very important ministry of children and adult faith formation. Our parish teachers of the young assist and supplement parents in their solemn task of raising and forming their children in the Catholic faith. How we need Catholic parents who are vibrant examples of the faith and dedicated instructors of God's word!
Exciting News! We are starting a Welcome Ministry here at Holy Cross. We want to make sure that our new parishioners know that we are all family and most happy to have them here in our parish, school or ministries. A planning meeting is needed to discuss possible procedures to be followed when visiting with our new parishioners and their families. If you are interested in joining our new Welcome Ministry, please call me at 610-626-3321.
It is not too late to contribute to our Annual Parish Appeal - The Block Collection. This important collection helps our beloved parish meet its many demands and stay active and vital to ou community. I'm most grateful for whatever donation you can give - which can be mailed, placed in the collection basket, or dropped off at the rectory or the business office.
Our parish RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) begins. This is the "Convert Class" for non-Catholics who may wish to investigate the Catholic faith and perhaps, even become Catholic. Maybe you can suggest the RCIA to a non-Catholic relative, friend or neighbor who lives in the Holy Cross area. The RCIA is also for those who were baptized but not raised Catholic and who want to receive the sacraments. Finally, the RCIA is perfect for Catholics who want to "Brush up" on their faith and better understand the splendor of the truth. Please contact Father Gabin at 610-626-3321 to let him know that you are planning to attend.
Special big thanks to parishioner Anthony Loro, who volunteers sometimes hours a day to help keep our parish property and clean and neat: gathering and disposing of leaves and needles, trimming overhanging trees, and general sweeping. Thank you, Anthony!
Morning Prayer is celebrated at 8:15 AM every Saturday morning before the 8:30 Mass. This is part of the official prayer of the Church - The Liturgy of the Hours. I invite you to attend and worship God in this unique and beautiful way. We Christians are blessed here in the United States to be able to worship and practice our faith without fear of harassment and persecution. That is not so for many Christians around the world - especially in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many of our fellow Christians are facing violent persecution from their governments and terroristic groups. To that end, we are going to have a special Holy Hour for Persecuted Christians in church on Thursday, May 28th at 7:00 PM. We will pray the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers for our suffering brothers and sisters in the faith. Please join us if you can.
I am happy to announce that our new Holy Cross School principal is Mrs. Maureen Ward - our current 8th grade teacher. Mrs. Ward is a member of St. Francis of Assisi parish here in Springfield and has been teaching at Holy Cross for many years. We say thank you, and goodbye to our current principal, Mrs. Dawn Perry, who will be the new principal at the combined St. Luke, Glenside, and Immaculate Conception, Jenkintown, school in Montgomery County. Please keep Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Perry in your prayers.
I pray that God's grace and peace
will fill your lives in 2018