Fall officially began on Friday at 5:05 a.m. with the arrival of the autumnal equinox. We experienced approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, hence the term “equinox” derived from the Latin word meaning “equal night.” For those of us in Southwest Florida, fall arrived with very little fanfare. It will be status quo with temperatures in the 90’s and afternoon thunderstorms. For those up north, it is a much different story. The leaves are beginning to change and the temperatures are beginning to retreat signaling that it is time to begin heading south. I spotted my first car carrier of the season this past week on Goodlette Road. For those who are returning to “paradise,” we hope you will find the buildings and grounds more pleasing than ever. We have spent countless hours this summer working to beautify the campus. Welcome back to those who have been away for the summer!
Many of our parishioners appreciate the convenience of picking up the Sunday paper immediately following Mass. We have been providing this service since 2004 or for the past seven years. The program was initially begun by Leonard Sbrocco who saw an opportunity to not only provide convenience for our parishioners, but also to benefit Habitat for Humanity. A portion of the sale of every Sunday paper goes to Habitat for Humanity to provide the dream of home ownership to deserving Collier County residents. After Leonard was no longer able to continue the program, several parishioners stepped up and took over. We are now looking for a few new parishioners to step up and take over the program. If there is no response, the Sunday newspaper program will be discontinued by the end of the year. The dwindling group of parishioners currently in place simply cannot continue. This program has generated over $70,000.00 for Habitat for Humanity since its inception. Would you like to step up and volunteer your time and talent to keep the program going? If you are interested, please contact Joan Scariati at 594.0994. I would truly hate to see the demise of the Sunday paper program. I am overly confident that several parishioners will see the need and make the decision to take a leadership role so that we may continue to support Habitat for Humanity.
The granite for the benches and Stations of the Cross arrived from Georgia this past Monday. I must say that the “butterfly blue” color is simply gorgeous. The engraving on the benches is etched with a silver lithograph and compliments the benches beautifully. The benches are currently being moved to their respective locations in the memorial garden and prayer garden. Optimistically, we may have some of the benches assembled by this weekend so that you may see the finished product. Marty Gauthier has finished fabricating the roofs for the Stations of the Cross. They are each constructed out of cypress wood with a copper sheathing. There will be a light installed inside to illuminate the Stations at night. Last week I spoke to Julie Kwiatkowski (mosaic artist) and she is well underway with regards to fabrication of the 9’ x 5’ mosaic of Assisi, which will be located on the north end of the prayer garden. We are planning the dedication of the Paniccia Prayer Garden in December, however, we will have the grand opening as soon as everything is completed.
It is hard to believe but it’s that time of year again. The Knights of Columbus will be selling their “Keep Christ in Christmas” cards again this season with profits going to the Jamaica Outreach Program and the Youth Ministry department. There will be a large assortment of cards available after each Mass in front of the church. Buy yours early to get the best selection! The sale of cards will begin on October 8 and continue until December 4.
The carillon is now fully operational and I must say that I have missed the beautiful sound of the bells. Thanks again to Jim Follese and Scott Schwarz for getting the carillon back up and running.
The miniature statues of St. John the Evangelist, the crucifix and the Blessed Mother will not arrive in the month of September as planned. The sculptor’s representative tells us that the process has taken much longer than expected. We are at least another month out on delivery. Once we have firm dates from Timothy Schmalz, I will make an announcement in the bulletin. We sincerely apologize for the lengthy delay.
As promised, please see the flyer in this week’s bulletin regarding the Paul Todd dinner concert on November 7 at St. Ann’s Jubilee Center. This will be a patriotic themed dinner concert to benefit Catholic Charities of Collier County Mental Health Counseling Program Scholarships for Low Income Families. Even though the flyer suggests otherwise, St. John the Evangelist parishioners may make their reservations in the parish office.
In His work together,
Scott Schlossberg, MBA