Sixth Sunday of Easter

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Jesus Christ Is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 The 2008 Annual Bishop’s Appeal begins this weekend, April 26th and 27th. Commitment weekend is May 3rd and May 4th in all parishes in the Diocese of Norwich.

 On Commitment weekend, every Catholic attending Mass in all 78 parishes and 10 missions throughout the Diocese will be asked to help provide means to continue the mission Christ entrusted to us: to serve and care for the poor, to educate, to keep our Diocesan ministries alive for this year. The agencies, ministries, programs and services that benefit from the ABA allow you and I to fulfill the mission given to us all.

 St. John’s parish goal for this year’s campaign is set at $29,900.00. We have already raised over $10,000 in our Advanced ABA Gifts and Pledges. Our Parish Goal is a fair share of what is being asked by every other parish in the entire diocese. Last year, we surpassed our ABA designated goal and had high participation! It is because of the tremendous generosity of the wonderful people of St. John’s that we are able to help those most in need. The key to our success lies in PARTICIPATION.

 Our goal this year is to have 100% participation. If folks excuse themselves from participating, we will struggle to reach our goal. If everyone attending St. John’s prayerfully chooses to participate, we will reach our goal. It’s just that simple. I ask for your full participation to do what you can, not out of fear for what you lack or want, but trusting fully in the Lord’s abundance for all who trust in Him.

 Next weekend, we will conduct an In-Pew Appeal at which time everyone will be asked to make their commitment to the 2008 ABA. I would ask you to review the materials sent to you directly by Bishop Cote. If you did not receive a pledge card in the mail, please take advantage of the envelopes distributed on ABA Sunday. I ask you to prayerfully reflect upon the blessings and graces that the Almighty God has bestowed on you and your loved ones this Springtime. The decision you make is between you and God.

 St. John’s is a very generous parish; I am confident as your pastor that together we will witness our unity in Christ with our fellow Catholics throughout our diocese by exceeding this year’s ABA designated goal. If we act together, as members of one family united in Christ’s love, we can do great things.

 May the Risen Lord continue to bless you for your care, compassion, and generosity to the Springtime Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

Fr. Jim

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