Third Sunday of Easter

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


 In our continuing Easter Season joy we celebrate the Third Sunday of Easter.  The Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ renews the whole world!  This weekend, April 25th and 26th, 2009 all across our Diocese of Norwich is the “Annual Bishop’s Appeal – Pre-Appeal Weekend 2009.”


This weekend all our parishes will play the ABA Video with the message of Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D., our Bishop of Norwich.  I invite you to draw the attention to Bishop Cote’s message as we view the ABA Video  at all our Masses this weekend.  We are pleased to report that as of April 20th, 2009, our Diocesan family has raised $1,381,627 which represents 42% of our Diocesan ABA Goal of $3,300,000.  As a point of reference, in 2008 as this juncture, we had raised $1,384,997 so we are essentially on the same track as last year’s ABA. 


The one area of concern, however, is that the percentage of donors who made a pledge as compared to a one-time gift is down 22%!  Historically, those who pledge typically make a larger-average contribution than those making a gift.  The current response, an increase in the number of one-time gifts is to be expected as donors are uncertain about their economic future and do not wish to commit themselves to a pledge that they may be unable to fulfill. 


Our ABA Goal for St. John Parish this year is $29,900, the same as last year.  Last year, we far surpassed our ABA Goal by raising $43,000!  The average gift was $198.67, with only 43% of St. John Parish participating in the ABA.  In 2008, St. John Parish was in the “top 10 Parish Listing for Participation”!  This year, we need to increase our level of participation to 50%!!! If we were able to increase the parish rate of participation we could easily achieve our target goal of $29,900.  This would greatly help so many in need at this difficult time 


In addition, I remind you that “Commitment Weekend for the 2009 ABA” will take place next weekend, May 2nd and 3rd, 2009.  Please prayerfully consider what YOU, as an individual and a family, can pledge to support the educational, spiritual, and many outreach services provided by the Diocese, as well as provide for the education and formation of our Seminarians.  These programs and ministries serve people in ways that we as an individual Parish could never do.  The ABA is a Diocesan family effort! 


One final reminder: St. John Parish Goal is $29,900 with 100% participation.  With your gift, we can do it.  If  you have not already mailed in your pledge card, please bring it with you next weekend, May 2nd and 3rd, to Mass, and place it in the collection basket.  On behalf of the tens of thousands across the Diocese of Norwich who benefit from the success of the ABA, along with Bishop Michael Cote, and Bill Russell our Parish ABA Chairman, I thank YOU for your generous support.  May St. Patrick and St. Anne, our Diocesan patrons, help us make a successful ABA 2009!


                                                         Blessed Easter Days!

                                                       Devotedly in the Risen Christ,

                                                              Father Jim

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