February 16th, 2020, The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary
Time Dear Friends, Once again, you have proved your mettle! The overwhelming success of our International Festival was a resounding testimony to your love of neighbor and the catholicity of the Church. The highlight of the celebration was our collective witness to the singular fact that we all belong to Christ and, in Him, we belong to one another. With this bond of community, we come together to celebrate the richness of our “diversity that God has fashioned into the very heart of humanity” (Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory). May we continue to be salt and light for the world to see through the uniquely beautiful expressions of our Catholic faith! I am deeply indebted to Lynne Vera who shouldered this massive responsibility and discharged her tasking with the utmost of ease and perfect grace. Assisted by a Core Team of dedicated parishioners, the work began last August with our first of many collaborative meetings. The fruits of those labors were manifested in the glory given to the Most Holy Trinity through celebration of the liturgy on Sunday morning. In total, 32 banners representing as many countries processed into the church, carried by so many parishioners in traditional dress, 31 baskets were assembled with great care to best represent the authenticity of each culture, delicious food was painstakingly prepared by so many of our lovely parishioners, and many talented artists from near and far provided the entertainment – truly a FEAST for our senses! Thanks to your generosity throughout this undertaking, we raised nearly $10,000 through raffle basket ticket and bar sales. I take this occasion to likewise thank Fr. Tobin and the kind parishioners of Ascension for extending their generous support in the organization of this festival, a community effort enjoyed by all. So, thank you, again, for coming out in such large numbers to celebrate our oneness in Christ! This weekend, we are grateful to Bishop John Noonan for shepherding our diocese so diligently. He speaks to us today with love and joy for our celebrated uniqueness. Because of your continued generous response to Our Catholic Appeal, the Diocese of Orlando is better able to support its various ministries and serve thousands of people of diverse need. Last year’s response from 47% of St. John’s families enabled us to reach our goal. Can you imagine what we might accomplish with a response of 90%? I am appealing to your generosity once again in demonstrating the tremendous difference the parishioners of St. John’s can make in the lives of those supported by our diocese through this year’s Catholic Appeal. This year, I ask that you consider participation in one of the following giving societies: Corpus Christi Society (Body of Christ - $10,000+ annual gift), Spes Christi Society (Hope of Christ - $5,000 to $9,999 annual gift), Lumen Christi Society (Light of Christ - $2,500 - $4,999 annual gift), or Fidelis Society (The Faithful) for those who give any size gift for five consecutive years. Thanks for being such wonderful brothers and sisters.
Have a Blessed Week!