Dear Fellow Parishioners,
I’d like to mention briefly a few parish matters that I hope will be of some interest, if not good news.
1) The October Mass Count will continue on Sundays through this month. Soon thereafter, average figures will be provided as to how many people attended each one of our October Sunday Masses. Since Masses are offered in English and Spanish, we will learn how many people attend in each language. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the unforeseen good effects of the COVID-19 is that many families who formerly attended the full 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening Masses and the over-capacity Sunday noon Masses in Spanish have switched their attendance to one of the other 4 weekend Masses. Not only does it free up space at the 12 noon Mass, it has helped create an attendance experience at all Masses that more accurately reflects the overall profile of our parish.
2) This past Friday, October 20, 2023, was the last day for filing historic abuse claims against the Diocese of Santa Rosa. In other words, as a matter of law, adequate notice has been given to potential claimants against the Diocese of Santa Rosa, a Corporation Sole, which has included two suspensions of the state statute of limitations over 20 years. As I understand it, this necessary step of the bankruptcy process will bar forever any claims for abuse that occurred in the distant past. I am in regular contact with the attorney representing the parishes of the diocese, and I will keep you informed of significant developments when they can be confirmed.
3) Not long after I arrived at SV – incredibly, now in my 7th year – I said that I would not make appeals for money unless absolutely necessary, but would otherwise live within the means you generously provide. I’ve kept that promise. It was only in the depth of the COVID lockdown that I made an appeal. Your response was both generous and gratifying, as several donors mentioned my promise as the reason they were willing to help in that emergency.
This time, it’s not an appeal but a gentle reminder regarding the 2023 Annual Ministries Appeal. Unlike other parishes, I haven’t mentioned it once all year, but must do so now as we are about $10,000 short of our goal, which is our parish’s share of (lay) ministries shared by all the parishes together. If we do not meet our goal, we will need to take the money from our general fund, which is the most expensive way of meeting the goal. In the past, we have usually exceeded our goal and received a rebate to our general fund.
Annual Ministries Appeal funds are held in trust and are not reachable by the current bankruptcy process. The AMA envelopes are in the pews beginning this week, to accept your pledges or one-time gifts. I will again be making my own gift as well. I will have more information in coming weeks.
In the meantime, I hope we will all be praying for peace – in our world, in our country, in our homes, in our hearts. How can we not feel at least some measure of peace and gratitude at this beautiful time of the year, and not wish it for others?
Fr. Bill Donahue