May 8, 2011

While I enjoy writing my weekly column, occasionally I make a statement which I later find not to be completely accurate.  Such is the case with my comments last week regarding the Pascal Candle stand and smaller candle stands.  While it is true that a very generous parishioner donated the Pascal Candle stand in memory of her late husband, it turns out that she also donated the other two candle stands which I claimed to be the gifts of others.  Sondra Sheehan and the Men’s Club did indeed purchase candle stands for the altar, however those have yet to arrive.  There are not two, but four candle stands that remain available for purchase at a cost of $1,900.00 each.  My apologies for the error. This will humbly serve as my retraction.  If you would like to purchase one of these beautiful candle stands (see attached picture), please contact me at 566.1678.

After an electrical problem and a leak, the new fountain in our memorial garden is now fully operational and quite stunning.  This is a beautiful addition to our serene memorial garden.  We continue to make improvements to the landscaping in the garden.  In the upcoming summer months, we will add a secondary hedge around the interior of the garden to provide additional privacy.  Space still remains in the memorial garden if you are interested in making St. John the Evangelist your final resting place. The cost to purchase a plot in the garden is $1,200.00.  This is an all inclusive price which includes the opening, closing, urn, headstone and plaque.  If you care to check pricing locally, you will find that our pricing is nearly 33% of what you would pay elsewhere.  I know this is a difficult decision for many as final planning is not something that you may be comfortable with.  I can assure you that planning in advance is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family of loved ones as they will not have to deal with this added stress after your death.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing space in our beautiful memorial garden.  In order to purchase a plot in our garden, you must be a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist or the immediate family of a parishioner 

Thank you to those who signed up for automatic withdrawals from your credit card or bank account through our new online giving module, Pledge Connect.  This is a great opportunity for those who head back north during the summer to support St. John the Evangelist while you are away.  This is also an opportunity to earn points or miles on your credit card.  For those who are used to dropping an envelope in the basket, may I suggest that you simply write “gave via credit card” on your envelope and drop it in the basket?  When making a credit card or bank draft donation, I am notified immediately and your account is credited.  The process is incredibly user friendly and there is no need to create an account.  You will need your envelope number.  Go to our website at www.saintjohntheevangelist.com and choose the “ways to give” button on the home page.  At the bottom of the “ways to give” page, click “here” to make your donation.  You may now donate at a desired frequency or make a one time gift.  Thank you for your patience and enjoy this new online giving system.  Rest assured that the site is encrypted and very secure.

We are thrilled to announce the ordination of our very own Michal Szyska on May 21st at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.  Michal will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, May 22nd at 11:15 a m.  Following Mass, there will be a reception to honor Michal in the ballroom of the Parish Life Center.  The reception is open to everyone that wishes to attend at no cost.  Hors d’oeuvres (some with a Polish flare) will be served as well as a full bar.  Please come out to support Michal as he enters the priesthood.  Please remember that Michal has no family in the United States and that we are HIS FAMILY.  If you would like to take the chartered bus to the Ordination, please contact Bill Wright at wkwrightjr@aol.com to reserve your spot.  The cost is $30 per person and includes refreshments.  Reservations MUST be made through Bill and may not be made through the parish office.

We are slowly nearing the 50% mark with regards to the 2011 Catholic Faith Appeal. We are currently at 46% of our goal of $440,000.00 with eight months remaining in the appeal.  We have worked very hard over the last several years to become financially solvent and your support of the CFA has been a very large reason for our success.  By meeting our annual CFA goal, we can concentrate on building the programs and ministries within the parish.  If we fall short of our goal, funds must be directed from our operating revenue in order to make up the deficit.  If you are a seasonal resident or visitor, may I suggest that you make your check payable to the Catholic Faith Appeal with St. John the evangelist in the memo line?  For our full time parishioners, if you have yet to do so, you may make an annual pledge to the CFA.  Pledge cards are available in the narthex if you choose this option.  Furthermore, on the opposite page I have included a copy of a pledge card if you would like to cut it out and use this.  You may also make a credit card donation to the CFA by visiting the Diocese of Venice website at www.dioceseofvenice.org.  Choose the donations tab and then choose “donate now.”  Thank you in advance for your extreme generosity by allowing us to reach our goal for the 2011 Catholic Faith Appeal.    

You may now have all three of our beautiful sculptures (Mary, St. John the Evangelist and the Crucifix) in miniature form (11” x 5” x 5”) 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 make your check payable to St. John the Evangelist with your sculpture(s) of choice in the memo line.  You may drop your check in the collection basket or bring it to the front office.  If the memo line isn’t sufficient space, attach detailed information and place in an envelope.  We expect delivery in mid to late September.  We will notify you when the sculptures arrive.

We are preparing to break ground on the Paniccia Prayer Garden.  We hope to do so during the month of May.  While we were finalizing details, the decision was made to incorporate the gazebo as an alternate entrance into the garden.  With this decision came the availability of two additional benches to be located immediately inside the gazebo entrance.  One of the benches has been purchased, however, one still remains.  If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity please contact me sooner than later to reserve this final bench.  In addition, two of the four benches in front of the church have now been purchased, leaving only two opportunities.  The cost for a bench is $3,000.00 

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

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