Dear Fellow Parishioners,
October Mass Count: As I mentioned at some Masses last weekend, this is the month for the annual October Mass Count. The purpose is to count the number of regular attendees at Sunday Masses all over the United States. October was selected as a typical, normal month: school is in session, there are no big holidays like Christmas or Easter, and the weather is temperate. When the Mass count is complete at the end of the month, we will have a very good idea as to how many people attend each of our six Sunday Mass times, and how many attend in English or Spanish. We will share the results in early November.
Annual Ministries Appeal: The AMA is an annual appeal to fund various ministries – almost all lay ministries – carried out at the diocesan level. There are ministries and services that are far more efficiently and equitably spread over 43 parishes, than employed separately by every parish. These services include diocesan financial, legal and human resources guidance. Those of you who are employers or business owners know how complicated those areas are to manage, and professional support is often necessary. Our three St. Vincent de Paul entities – the parish, the elementary school, and the high school – employ over 80 persons in one way or another, not counting contracted services, like landscaping and repairs requiring technical knowledge. The other ministries covered by the AMA are the Canon Law department, the Marriage Tribunal, Religious Education, Safe Environment and much, much more. This year’s goal is just under $50,000, and we are about $17,000 short of that goal, which we must meet, or
have the difference paid directly by the parish. Since we’re getting close to the year-end deadline, I’m now
giving a gentle reminder. Within the next couple of weeks, I will mention it at Mass and make AMA pledge
envelopes available in the pews. Pledges can be made and paid off all at once, or monthly, by check or credit card.
Blessing of the Animals: One thing I’ve been wanting to do for some time is the Blessing of the Animals. Though the traditional day is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th), it can happen at any time. I am working with the elementary school to schedule a date. It will probably take place on the plaza and Triangle Park, in front of the church.
In closing, the Gospel readings this week and last are set in a vineyard. As we live in Wine Country, that set-
ting can so easily be seen with our mind’s eye. One reflective exercise would be to imagine ourselves as each
of the characters in those Gospel parables. That can be a big help in developing a subjective appreciation for the power and beauty of Jesus and his preaching of the Kingdom of God.
Wishing you a beautiful and blessed autumn,
Fr. Bill Donahue