Pastor's Letter - December 16, 2018

The Church has traditionally called the Third Sunday of Advent Gaudete Sunday, or Joyful Sunday, because of the reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians – the second reading from today’s Mass and the Entrance Antiphon: “Rejoice! The Lord is near!” These words of St. Paul also express our anticipation as we draw nearer to the celebration of the Lord’s birth. The reading from the Gospel again focuses on John the Baptist as the precursor to the Lord; that is, he is the one who guides us in our preparation for the Lord’s coming. Are you and your family preparing to celebrate the Lord’s birth at Christmas? We’re on the “home stretch” now, so let’s make good use of these last days of the Holy Season of Advent! I will be mailing out my Christmas letter to all our parishioners early this week. Please note carefully the scheduled times for the Christmas Masses.

The mission of the pastor is the spiritual care of his parishioners. Our material assets are meant to serve that spiritual end. And so I also seek to carefully utilize our parish’s material goods. Upon arriving at SSPP I became aware that our pipe organ needed significant repairs projected to cost more than $50,000. Just before I left for my Pilgrimage to Italy I discovered that a church in Green Bay was closing and selling their excellent tracker pipe organ. Though installed 17 years ago at a cost of $200,000, we were able to purchase it for $20,000. A donor provided the full amount, so SSPP obtained this beautiful pipe organ at NO cost to us! I anticipate the cost to move and install the organ will be around $12,000, which the parish will need to pay. Some of that may be offset by selling our existing organ. If all goes well, we should have the new organ installed before Easter. If you would like to help with the installation costs I recommend a generous (additional?) gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal, since every dollar over our target is returned to our parish.

As we draw near the end of the calendar year, please remember that if you wish to claim a financial gift to our parish on your taxes for 2018, we must receive it at the parish by December 31, 2018. By law, donations received after December 31 must be recorded for 2019.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller