February 6, 2011

The first annual Ministry Fair this past weekend was a smashing success.  Over 40 ministries participated in the fair and countless parishioners stopped by to meet with the respective representatives.  Many of you singed up to join a ministry or multiple ministries in some cases.  As we have mentioned on numerous occasions this past year, the goal of the stewardship council is to have 100% participation by our parishioners in at least one ministry within the parish.  The fair was our first attempt in achieving this goal.  I would like to recognize Lena Costain for her incredibly hard work and dedication in preparing for and managing the ministry fair.  Lena spent countless hours ensuring that our ministries were represented and that the event went off without a hitch.  She displayed the true essence of stewardship!  In addition, we distributed the new Parish Resource Directory at the fair and outside of the Masses that did not coincide with the times of the fair.  We received rave reviews from our parishioners on the professionalism of the directory.  If you have not received yours, you may pick one up in the parish office during business hours.  Every family should have a Parish Resource Directory.

Annual Contribution Statements were mailed out this past week to all parishioners that contributed at least $1.00 during the 2010 calendar year.  The statements were mailed out first class in order to eliminate any problems with the bulk rate mailing process.  As you know, we have made great strides in the past several years to ensure that your statement is accurate.  For those that are already connected through our “Ministry Connection” portal, you may view your contributions at any time to ensure accuracy.  If there is an error on your statement, please contact me as soon as possible so that I may research and rectify the situation.  The following are examples of contributions that will not appear on your annual statement from St. John the Evangelist.  1)  If you have been contributing to the Catholic Faith Appeal in the 2010 calendar year and have exceeded the IRS $250.00 threshold, you will receive an acknowledgement directly from the Diocese of Venice.  If you did not meet the $250.00 threshold for CFA contributions in 2010, you will need to use cancelled checks for tax purposes.  2)  If you made a contribution directly to the Jamaica Outreach Program (JOP), your gift will be recognized by JOP.  3)  If you made a contribution directly to the St. Vincent De Paul Society, your gift will be recognized by the St. Vincent De Paul Society.  4)  If you deposited loose cash in the offertory and did not use an envelope, we have no record of the gift.  5)  If you are not a registered parishioner, you will not receive a statement.  Thank you very much to all of our parishioners for your generous support in 2010.  We would not be able to efficiently operate without you.

Catholic Schools Week (January 30-February 5, 2011) is an annual national celebration of the important role that Catholic elementary and secondary schools across the country play in providing a values-added education for America’s young people. Catholic schools are proud of their educational network that emphasizes intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and social values in their students.  We are proud to be a part of this annual celebration here at St. John the Evangelist with our Early Learning and Childcare Center.  We offer Prek3 and Prek4 education to those in our parish and surrounding community that would like a strong Catholic foundation to their child’s education.  If you would like to be a part of this outstanding program right here in our Parish Life Center, please contact Renee Dantonio at 325-2102.

Would you like a discount on your automobile insurance?  I would, but unfortunately I don’t qualify.  But if you are a senior, you most likely do qualify.  We are hosting an AARP Driver Safety Class on February 18th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the library of the Parish Life Center.  The cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members.  This is a very informative and fun class.  Upon completion of the program you will be eligible for a substantial discount on your automobile insurance by submitting documentation to your provider.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Toni Valery at 593-9329.

If ticket sales to the parish events offered here at St. John the Evangelist are an “economic indicator” then I would say that the economy may be looking up.  After several years of marginal sales and attendance, this year seems to be much different.  The Paul Todd “Concert for Life” was a sellout (600 attendees) as is the K of C Valentine’s Day Dance (325 attendees).  The Super Bowl party is nearing capacity along  with JOP Pirates of the Caribbean Party.  The Men’s Club Big Band Dance had a great turnout for their first dance of the season and the Rice School Priests Concert is starting out with strong sales.  The first trip to the Horse Races also sold out.  I, for one, am very aware that there are a plethora of activities offered during season and at times it seems overwhelming flipping through the bulletin perusing all of the events.  I have also been told in the past that if a parishioner wanted to attend all of the events, they would go broke.  I am very grateful to our parishioners for supporting these activities as ultimately they all support very worthwhile causes.  I look forward to seeing you at many of these upcoming events.

Believe it or not, without a word being said as of yet, we are already at 10% of our goal for the 2011 Catholic Faith Appeal.  Final compilation of our new goal is still being adjusted, however, it looks to be in the neighborhood of $440,000.00.  This new goal is over $40,000.00 less than last year which is very good news as we enter the new appeal.  Thank you once again for your generosity in allowing us to reach our goal for 2010.  I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but it looks as though 2011 could be a “slam dunk.”

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

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