Have you visited our memorial garden recently? Surrounded by a beautiful and very thick Ficus hedge on the Southwest side of the church, many would not even know this garden exists. Our landscapers have done a magnificent job of creating a delightful environment as the final resting place for our parishioners and their immediate family. Just this past week, four different parish couples chose to purchase space in our memorial garden. One of these four couples was hesitant about purchasing space in our Catholic Memorial Garden and suggested they might like to look elsewhere. After comparing prices at other cemeteries, they quickly returned to St. John the Evangelist and took advantage of a truly great deal. It costs only $1,200.00 to purchase a space in our memorial garden. This is an all inclusive price meaning it includes the opening, closing, granite headstone and bronze nameplate. I can assure you that this is an incredibly competitive price. As a reminder, space is very limited and sale of space in the garden may be terminated without notice. I took over the management of the memorial garden several years ago and have learned plenty since that time. The most important thing I have learned is that pre-planning is essential. Those couples who plan ahead and purchase space in our memorial garden have one less thing to worry about when a loved one passes away. Conversely, when you pass away, you will leave your family one less thing to worry about.
As much as I find my affiliation with the memorial garden slightly morbid, I have actually enjoyed the opportunity to sit down with our parishioners and get to know them better. It has also allowed me to ask them candidly “how are we doing?” I have been pleasantly surprised at the answers to this question as many of you are quite pleased with our progress. I also use this opportunity to set the record straight on any number of concerns our parishioners may have. The rumor mill has an odd way of spinning the truth and I am always available to clear up any misconceptions. So I will hope that my feeble attempt at a sales pitch in the prior paragraph will entice more of our parishioners to come on down and see me.
Work continues on the Paniccia Prayer Garden. This past week, crews from Driftwood Garden Center began installation of the water feature which will be the centerpiece of the garden. St. Francis of Assisi will be perched atop the water feature with water cascading below him. Technicians from Best Buy began installation of the sound system last week which will feature eight speakers randomly placed in the shrubs within the garden. We will then have the option of playing spiritual music, chants or whatever is deemed appropriate at any time of the day or night. We are also installing a wireless microphone system so that programs may be hosted in the garden such as the Seven Last Words.
Please pray for our pastor and the youth while they are on mission in the Caribbean. On July 29, Fr. John escorted a sizable group of missionaries from around the Diocese of Venice to St. Lucia. While on mission, the youth will distribute the backpacks and supplies that you (our parishioners) so generously donated through our “Mission Backpack” Lenten program. I eagerly anticipate the pictures of the children of St. Lucia receiving their backpacks and supplies. As a parish, we collected nearly $23,000.00 towards this Lenten backpack project. The missionaries will return on August 13, hopefully with a better understanding of how blessed we are to live in the United Sates of America.
We have reached another milestone with regards to the Catholic Faith Appeal. We have (just barely) broken the 60% threshold with approximately five months remaining in the 2011 appeal. Thank you once again to those who have given so generously to the CFA. Remember, that my wish is to dramatically exceed our goal this year so that the excess may be returned to the parish free of assessment to be used for whatever projects or ministries we choose.
Ella, Mia and Nathaniel (Nate) continue to grow every day. Actually they are growing at the rate of an ounce per day. Based on this info, they should gain one pound every 16 days. Nate is tipping the scales at over seven pounds with his sisters coming in at just under seven pounds. They have each nearly doubled their birth weight as of last week. This Saturday they will be nine weeks of age! Attached is a picture of the trio snuggling. From left to right they are Ella, Nate and Mia. We are still planning the baptism which looks to be a possibility at the end of this month. Coordinating the schedules