Our own Julie Coyne will be speaking at all the Masses this weekend. Her annual autumnal return is always one of the highlights of my year. Each time she speaks we get to hear an update from Xela, Guatemala about the miraculous work of EDUCATION AND HOPE.
So many things impress me about her work, but if you forced me to name just two, it would be these. On an interpersonal level, every child in her program feels loved by Julie. On a systemic level, she has created an inclusive community that involves not only the education of children, but creating work and income for their single mothers, and jobs for some of her students as they graduate from college. The change she brings about is both highly individual, and yet at the same time changing the lives of whole families. I am in awe of what she has done with the help of so many of us. If you will be giving this weekend or during the week next week, checks should be made out to Education and Hope. As a result of her annual visit, Education and Hope takes in more than $20,000 a year from the parish gift and individual donations. Let’s match that this year!
Now for the good news and the bad news…The good news is that we have five new people interested in RCIA. I expected no one for inquiry night, and happily I was wrong. The bad news is that our Mass count plummeted. In 2013, it was 801, in 2014 we averaged 960, in 2015 we dropped to 901 and last Sunday we came in at an abysmal 711. We still have this weekend to up our count, so I am hopeful.
Finally, next Sunday we will have our first Faith Formation Sunday. On that weekend, I will be preaching at all the Masses, but in a different way. The homily will be a prayer exercise using the technique of Ignatian contemplation. This is a Jesuit form of prayer that places the listener in a Gospel scene so that he or she can meet the Lord Jesus. It will be an interesting experience so invite someone to come and see.