It looks as though my comments from last week regarding the end of the rainy season may have been a bit premature. Although the computer models do not agree, there is an outside chance that while you are reading my column, we could be experiencing tropical conditions due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Rina. Depending on the strength of the system and the timing of an approaching cold front, Southwest Florida could be in for a very rainy weekend. Currently, this system is eerily similar to hurricane Wilma which made a direct hit on Southwest Florida in 2005. As of Tuesday afternoon, Rina was virtually stationary but expected to begin moving northwest towards the Yucatan Peninsula and then make a sharp turn to the east. Let us pray for a positive outcome.
Thank you so much to everyone that gave so very generously to the second collection last weekend for World Missions. The collection totaled $6,079.00. Offerings from Catholics in the United States, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, are combined with offerings to the Propagation of the Faith from Catholics worldwide. Mission dioceses – about 1,000 at this time – receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected. In addition, these mission dioceses submit requests to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples for assistance, among other needs, for catechetical programs, seminaries, the work of Religious Communities, for communication and transportation needs, and for the building of chapels and churches. These needs are matched with the funds gathered in each year. The world’s national directors of the Propagation of the Faith vote on these requests, matching the funds available with the greatest needs. These funds are then distributed to Mission (Arch) Dioceses throughout the world. This General Fund of support is then distributed in its entirety each year.
Veterans Day is a day to remember, honor and thank all who served in the United States Military. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day and called upon all Americans to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. On Thursday, November 10 (the day before Veterans Day), the Knights of Columbus is sponsoring the 9:00 a.m. Mass honoring our Veterans, especially our WW II heroes with Fr. John as the celebrant. The Marine Corps League of Naples will present and post the colors and fire a rifle salute, honoring those who have fallen in service to our country. Please join us on this special occasion to thank our veterans who have preserved our freedom. Complimentary refreshments will be served in the PLC following Mass, while we enjoy entertainment by the Harp & Thistle Band.
This coming Friday, November 4, will be the third Anniversary of Fr. John’s arrival as our pastor. On behalf of our entire parish family, I would like to say “Happy Anniversary.” Fr. John has brought a renewed sense of spirituality to our parish. Under his brilliant leadership, St. John the Evangelist has flourished and will continue to grow and develop into the future.
On November 10, the Knights of Columbus will honor Fr. Len for his vocation by hosting their Annual Seminarian Dinner in the Ballroom of the Parish Life Center. This is a great opportunity for our parishioners to congratulate Fr. Len on the completion of his first year and a half as our Associate pastor and to say thank you for his vocation and all he has done for our parish. Tickets for this event may be purchased in the parish office.
Bob Claussen (Stewardship Council President) and myself attended the International Catholic Stewardship Conference in Orlando on October 23-26. As a result, we have gained a better understanding of stewardship as a way of life with Christ in the Church! The ICSC Stewardship Conference is an exciting gathering of bishops, pastors, parish leaders, diocesan stewardship and development directors and religious congregation leaders from all over the world. Conference registrants learn both the spiritual foundation and the hands-on details for bringing stewardship as a way of life into their parishes, dioceses, congregations and organizations.
Work began this past Tuesday to repair the benches in the Memorial Garden and Prayer Garden. We are scoring the backs of the benches and using a different adhesive, which we have been told is guaranteed to solve our problems. We are optimistic that by this weekend, our parishioners will be able to utilize these beautiful benches.
The contributions continue to trickle in. This past week we received several more gifts of $500.00 and $1,000.00 towards our lighting project. We now have received $13,500.00 and are nearly 20% of the way to a new lighting system. If you would like to contribute, please drop a check in the offertory or better yet, stop by and see me in the office. Together, we can meet with success. Thank you very much to those that have made a contribution.
In His work together,
Scott Schlossberg, MBA