April 3, 2011

Did you know that last year at this time we were celebrating Easter. Due to the late arrival of Easter (April 24) this year it seems that many of our seasonal residents are staying put a little longer. As a matter of fact, I have seen only one car carrier thus far loading vehicles for the trek back north. For those who are heading back north for summer, we wish you a safe journey and look forward to your return in the fall. For those who remain with us here in paradise, we look forward to celebrating the remainder of the Lenten season with you.

We finally received our first measurable rainfall in over three weeks which will go a long way in recharging our depleted lake in front of the campus. This year we have received only 2.72 inches of rainfall. The average rainfall is 6.08 inches which leaves us well in the red as we continue through our VERY dry season. Collier County has already imposed water restrictions which will pose a challenge in irrigating our 15 acre campus. Although we want our visitors to enjoy beautiful weather, let us pray for some much needed rainfall.

What do you think of the faux painting on the Altar doors behind the Tabernacle? It is a major change from the light cream color that used to adorn these doors. For some, it will take a little getting used to, but the change is welcome. Have you noticed that the stained glass in the doors now stands out prominently as well as the Tabernacle.  A very generous parish family picked up the cost to refinish the doors and we are very grateful for their donation.

UPDATE: International Festival is now Parish Appreciation Day. For many years, the Men’s Club hosted Parish Appreciation Day as a way to thank our parishioners for all they do for this amazing parish.  After much discussion with the Men’s Club and Fr. John, we have decided to resurrect this event which will replace the International Festival.  The date and time will remain the same (April 10 at 12:30 p.m.)  There will be NO COST to attend Parish Appreciation Day, however, you must have a wrist band. You may pick up a wrist band outside of the front of church after all Masses this weekend or in the parish office. The Men’s Club will serve hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, potato salad, soda and beer. There will be activities for the kids. There will also be entertainment in the PLC Ballroom. If you have already purchased a wrist band for the International Festival, you may stop by the office to receive a refund. We want everyone that wishes to attend to be able to do so. 

All of the tickets for the Paul Todd, Jr. and friends concert to be held on April 14 have been distributed.  We kindly ask that if you are not able to attend and have already picked up tickets please return them to the parish office so that those on the waiting list may have an opportunity to attend. As a reminder, this concert is being offered at no cost. We ask that you make a generous donation the night of the event to benefit the Mission Backpack/Youth on Mission in the Caribbean.

After only one week of advertising the new additions to the Paniccia Prayer Garden, both the mosaic and fountain have been purchased. The mosaic of Assisi was purchased site unseen by a seasonal parishioner that wanted to be a part of something very special at his parish. The Men’s Club came forward and purchased the fountain. Another parish family that was “on the fence” decided to commit to Station XII.  This leaves Stations I, V, VII, IX, X and XI.  There are still seven of ten benches remaining in the Memorial Garden and four outside the front of church.  Stations of the Cross are $7,500.00 and benches are $3,000.00. We would like to have all of the Stations and benches spoken for by the end of season so that we may order the granite, break ground and have the grand opening by the end of the year.

Do you enjoy the new statues of Mary and St. John the Evangelist?  Are you mesmerized looking at the beautiful crucifix while sitting in Mass? You can now have all three of these beautiful pieces in miniature form for your home or office. Our sculptor, Timothy Schmalz, is creating miniature replicas of all three pieces which we will offer for sale at $35 each. There are very limited quantities (200) of each piece. If you would like to pre-order yours, please contact Natalie in the parish office at 566.8740 ext. 134.  We are expecting delivery in mid to late September. 

I encourage all men of the parish to attend Faith & Ale on Wednesday, April 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the PLC Ballroom.  Bishop Frank Dewane will be the speaker on this evening.  Faith & Ale is a once-a-month gathering of men from across the diocese. We gather for food, drink and camaraderie, followed by an inspirational speaker and ample time for Q&A. Bishop Dewane spoke last year at Faith & Ale and it was a great evening.  His speech was very brief before opening the floor for questions. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know our Bishop in a relaxed setting.

I wasn’t going to mention the Catholic Faith Appeal this week, but then I changed my mind.  It seems we have such great momentum going that I didn’t want to interrupt our progress. We are currently just shy of 36% of our goal.  If you are a seasonal resident or visitor, please make your check payable to the Catholic Faith Appeal with St. John the Evangelist in the memo line.  Thank you in advance for your extreme generosity.

Thank you so much for supporting St. John the Evangelist.

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