I send best wishes to all of you for a Happy Thanksgiving Day. We indeed have much to be grateful for in our personal lives, in our families and in our parish. So join us if you can for the 9am Mass on Thursday. And do have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.
What a picnic!! God truly looked upon us as he gave us a perfect weather day with plenty of sunshine. The children had a great time with the inflatable play structures and all the food, soda and popsicles they desired. The adults not only enjoyed the food and beverages but took in the music and the great opportunity to be together and socialize.
All of this happened because of the dedicated hard work and planning done by the combined efforts of the Social Activities Committee and the School Dads’ Club members. We are indebted to them and very grateful.
The spirit and joy of the entire afternoon has made it clear that this format will be repeated next year. The timing of a September picnic goes very well with the end of summer, the beginning of the parish’s fall schedule and the beginning of the school year.
I thank everyone who came and participated and I especially thank all who worked so hard to make it so successful.
Don’t forget our Young At Heart Mass the 1st Sunday of every month from October—May. First Young At Heart Mass will be Sunday, October 1st. @ 5pm. All are welcome!
This Sunday we hold our parish/school picnic. It begins at 12:30pm (right after the 11:30am Mass). Please come to our picnic. It is a very enjoyable afternoon right here on our parish property. You will have fun, eat great food, converse with other parishioners and play games (if you choose). We look forward to this every year as a great social event for our parish and our school. Do come!
All the children in our school have settled into the routine of the school year. We are all pleased with the spirit and the energy that is so evident. Our school enrollment is 294. The good news about Our Lady of Refuge School is getting noticed. All the efforts of our faculty and staff and the updating of the buildings and campus grounds is making our school very attractive.
The Parish Council and its commissions had their first meeting this past week and they are off to a great start. There was much planning, organizing and scheduling taking place as the commissions worked on their objectives in order to keep the parish moving forward spiritually. Our next meeting is October 10th at 7pm. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Do come.
With June 30th we finished the 2016-2017 fiscal year and on July 1st began the new year. Fiscal years by definition always bring to mind the financial condition of the parish. However, as a parish we are all about our spiritual growth in faith. Spiritual growth is harder to measure. But I pray that the past year has been a good one for all of us. It was highlighted by the many liturgical celebrations throughout the year and most important for us our celebration of the 75th Anniversary of our parish’s faith journey. May we take advantage of the many opportunities for graces this new year.
Back to the fiscal year! The big news of the past fiscal year was a very successful offertory increase program that took place in October and November. The generosity of our parishioners to the offertory increase appeal was outstanding. As a result, we finished the fiscal year with $31,633.00 over budget on income. With that extra money we were able to put new heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls in the church and we were able to replace the entrance doors to the Performing Arts Center (which is the original church building on our campus).
Now on to the new fiscal year. You will notice in the parish stewardship report (that is in this paper each week) that the budgeted weekly income increased from $12,500.00 to $13,400.00. The $900 increase is the average weekly increase we received from the offertory increase program. All of this additional income will be used on the capital expenditures that I outlined as the purpose for the offertory increase last fall. These projects are: purchasing new chairs for the social hall; replacing the sound system in the church; re-facing the columns at the entrance to the church; provide lighting for the school parking lot; and updating/remodeling the church bathrooms. All of these will be done this fiscal year.
We are very solid financially as a parish. Your goodness and support allow me to say that. We have also gone over our target on the Catholic Services Appeal. Thank you again!! We still have some funds from last year’s extra income that will allow us to get started immediately on these projects. We do the projects when the money comes in. So keep up your support and we will get these tasks done. I am very appreciative. Having good facilities on our campus allows us to have great parish life, to grow in our faith, to share with each other and to support one another. God bless each one of us and our parish.