March 6, 2011

As a reminder, Thursday March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day and we will once again be celebrating the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 9:00 am.  There will be no 8:00 am Mass on St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Vincent de Paul will be the recipient of the entire collection taken on St. Patrick’s Day.  As you know, our St. Vincent De Paul Society assists needy families within our parish boundaries and sometimes beyond.  Many families in our parish and community are in need of help in the way of rental assistance, utilities, fuel and even the basic necessities such as groceries.  Through the generosity of your donations, St. Vincent De Paul is able to provide for these families.  In addition, the funds raised through our parish St. Patrick’s Day party next Saturday, March 12th will be used to benefit the St. Vincent De Paul Society here at St. John the Evangelist.  Between both events last year, we raised in excess of $22,000.00 to assist families in need.

 The management at Naples Memorial Garden next door has suggested that they may begin towing vehicles that are parked on their grass or in clearly marked no parking areas.  They have also installed signs to suggest such.  We have absolutely no control over their ability to act on this threat so I would strongly suggest that you either park in one of their “clearly marked” parking spots or utilize one of our many parking spots.  We offer additional parking behind the Claussen Center or in the Elementary School.  I do not want to see one of our parishioners leave Mass only to find that their vehicle has been towed.  Thanks for your cooperation with this request.

 We are announcing the formation of a very exciting cultural event here at St. John the Evangelist.  On Sunday, April 10th we are going to host our first ever International Festival.  This event will be hosted by the Men’s Club but will involve many of you.  We are asking that if you have an affinity for cooking the food of a particular ethnicity that you contact Peter Heaney ASAP to coordinate your involvement in this event.  The options are limitless and I would expect that we have more than 50 ethnicities within our parish that may be willing to participate.  Off the top of my head, I can think of numerous individuals that would fit the bill from Lebanese to Vietnamese to Belize.  Based on turnout, we will have the ballroom and courtyard setup with stations from around the world for attendees to visit and taste the particular delicacies from each region.  We are also considering offering entertainment provided (hopefully) by our parishioners which will be tailored to the particular region that each group represents.  This could be a traditional dance or music specific to a particular country.  If you are interested, please contact Peter Heaney at Peter@saintjohntheevangelist.com or 290-8484 ASAP to sign up.  We really think this can be a great event for our parish and also a great way to involve many of you who would like to showcase your country of origin or cultural background.  Once details are finalized, we will have a flyer in the bulletin officially announcing this event.

 On the opposite page you will find a much more succinct plan for the Paniccia Prayer Garden.  You may now depict the locations of the individual Stations of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi statue as well as the benches.  Many of you have commented that you were having a difficult time reading the huge plan in the Narthex.  There are currently nine Stations of the Cross and three benches remaining.  The statue of St. Francis of Assisi also still remains.  The Stations that are committed are noted in red.  The cost for the St. Francis statue is $15,000.00, Stations of the Cross are $7,500.00 and benches are $3,000.00.  We are also planning on offering benches in the Memorial Garden and in front of the Church if that would suit your needs better.  Some of you have taken advantage of my offer to pay for your Station or bench over the course of eight months or by the end of October.  We would like to have all of the Stations, benches and the Statue 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.

 As a veteran runner and a brother Knight, I will be running the 5th Annual West Coast “Run for Life” this Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, due to my recovery from a chronic injury (plantar fasciitis) I will only be running eight miles this year.  If you would like to sponsor my efforts this weekend, please make a check payable to the “Florida K of C Charities, Inc./Helping Life” in any amount that you would like.  The proceeds from the run will be used to support our local pro-life organizations.  This is a completely tax deductible contribution.  Checks may be dropped in the collection basket, brought into the parish office or mailed to the parish.  I thank you in advance for your support of the Knights of Columbus and our local Pro-Life organizations.

 Following up with my pitch for the K of C, I will carry on with another.  The Lenten Fish Bakes officially kick off this coming “Ash Wednesday” and then continue every Friday throughout lent with a break on March 25th for the St. Joseph Feast.  There will be no Fish Bake on Good Friday either.  I must say the Knights do a phenomenal job of preparing a healthy, yet incredibly tasty meal for a great price.  The baked fish served is REALLY good.  If you question my testimony, come down and find out for yourself.  You may find a flyer for both of these aforementioned events in the bulletin this week.

 The Holocaust Museum Boxcar will not be onsite until Friday March 11th due to some renovations.  We apologize for this inconvenience.

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

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