As I am writing my weekly column, Fr Robert Barron is getting ready to be ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Both in his public ruminations and in his personal conversations with some of our parishioners, Fr Barron reminisced over his positive pastoral experience as a newly-ordained priest here at our parish. His three years here afforded him his only full-time parish ministry before he left for graduate studies in theology. Fr Barron also said that he was indebted to Monsignor Quinn who taught him much about priesthood and priestly ministry.
Bishop Barron is one more blessing for which our parish can be grateful. We are a blessed parish that has much to be thankful for. In the last six years, I have personally touched the numerous blessings the Lord showers on this community of faith. This weekend we are grateful for our new shepherd, Archbishop Blase Cupich, who celebrates our Thanksgiving Mass on Saturday, September 12. We are giving thanks to God and to all our benefactors for a successful capital campaign that has raised almost $3.9 million both for the archdiocese and for the parish.
First of all, I express my sincere thanks to the 609 parishioners who have given generously to our campaign. As you can see from this bulletin, they have given gifts both big and small. Second, I want to single out our major donors without whose large gifts we could not have exceeded our expectations. Next my thanks go in a special way to our Capital Campaign Committee members who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to plan, to prepare and to execute the various steps of the campaign. My special gratitude goes to the committee chairs, Patti Nowak and Dan Hogan, who supported me with their wisdom and counsel. I want to say thanks in a special way to our parish staff whose assistance was crucial to the success of this campaign. They continue to work on the campaign because, as I write this, the capital projects are being realized one by one. I thank all our parishioners for their faith, their prayerfulness and their commitment to their families and to the parish.
A moment like this in the history of our parish should make all of us proud. As I have been saying again and again, we stand on the shoulders of giants who built this community over the last 104 years. We look back on our past and remember the thousands of parishioners, lay ministers, deacons and priests who labored in this part of the Lord’s Vineyard. We are reaping what they sowed. Now it is our turn to guarantee the sustained vibrancy of this wonderful parish. It is in that spirit that we undertook this campaign. It is in the same spirit that we are completing our projects.
Now I would like to make a personal appeal to all those parishioners who may be considering making a pledge to our campaign. We still need you. No gift is insignificant. You can give in various ways: through a pledge, through your prayers, and through your continued participation in the life of our parish family. You can see how the Holy Family Chapel has been transformed. In a few months we will begin work on the Upper Church and I am sure it will be magnificent. Once more pledges are paid, we will begin to install the elevator in the Kinane Center. As you know, we have an unforeseen need – a new pipe organ. This campaign is sure to benefit future generations and everyone’s participation is welcome.
I will be remiss if I did not express my special gratitude to our Blessed Mother and to St Joseph. Just as our Upper Church honors the three persons of the Holy Family, we acknowledge the never-failing patronage of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Our Holy Family Chapel bears eloquent testimony to this conviction. We placed our capital campaign under the special protection of St Joseph who always provides for God’s household. He has come through. As I have mentioned in my homilies, we attained our parish goal of $3 million precisely on the feast of St Joseph. In gratitude to the Holy Family, we have installed the glorious stained-glass window behind the altar in the chapel.
At this juncture in our history, let us raise our voices in praise and gratitude to God, the Giver of every good gift. He blesses us in spite of our sins and our lack of gratitude. The best way we can thank our God is to remain faithful to Him. We need to assure Him that we will teach everyone who Christ is. As we vowed during our Centennial Year, we should join Joshua of Old and declare: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
May the Lord bless our Archbishop Cupich and guide him in his important ministry! May the Lord continue to bless each and every parishioner, each and every household!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...