PASTOR'S MESSAGE FOR SEPTEMBER. 27, 2015
TWENTY SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Both Moses and Jesus rejoice today in the presence of God's gifts in unexpected people and places. In contrast to the jealousy of Joshua, Moses is pleased that the spirit of prophecy is shared with two elders not immediately present for the ceremony of the outpouring of the spirit (Numbers 11:25-29). Moses shows great openness, saying: "Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!”
In the Gospel today Jesus refuses to agree with the narrow vision of John and says: "Whoever is not against us is for us"(Mark 9:38ff). Much goodness is found everywhere. Instead of judging or excluding others, we must recognize our own selfish and destructive behavior (Jesus says) and root out whatever stands in the way of God's kingdom of life, truth, goodness, peace and justice. Let us use God's gifts in his name and be open to God's gifts and presence in all.
* People ask: "What is Pope Francis saying about abortion and about divorce and marriage annulments?"
Pope Francis is a great pastor and his pastoral concern for people is very great. He has called for a Jubilee Year of God's Mercy for all from December 8, 2015 to the last Sunday of the Church year, November 20, 2016.
Pope Francis has a special concern for women who have had an abortion and others involved in doing so. He invites them to come back and receive God's forgiveness and healing for this grave sin and to be released from the penalty of excommunication connected with abortion. The Archbishop of Los Angeles and many other bishops in the United States have given to our priests the privilege of absolving the sin of abortion and removing the penalty of excommunication. In other parts of the world bishops still reserve this privilege so the person who wants to be absolved must go to their bishop. Pope Francis is granting this privilege of forgiveness to all priests everywhere during the Year of Mercy. Abortion still remains a very serious sin and as believers in the Gospel of Life we need to pray and help women to choose life for their child during the very difficult time of pressure in making these decisions.
Pope Francis also has a great concern for married Catholics who divorce and remarry. He says that our Church community is to welcome them and help them live the Catholic way of life as much as possible - they are not excommunicated. We must also remember the pain of the abandoned spouse and the suffering of children affected by such complex family situations. Sitting down with a friendly, helpful priest to look at the first marriage can be helpful. Is it possible that the marriage was null from the start or is the marriage true and valid in the eyes of God? The annulment process is one way of looking at the marriage. Pope Francis says that the procedures involved need to be simplified so an answer about the validity of the marriage can be given more quickly to people so they can move on with their lives.
* Prayer for the intercession of our new saint, St. Junipero Serra:
"Gracious Father, we thank you for the exemplary life, missionary zeal and loving kindness of your servant, Father Junipero Serra, who entrusted his ministry to the Virgin of Guadalupe and stood firm in the defense of the native peoples. Through his intercession, grant that we may see the face of your Son, Jesus, in all those we meet, especially the poor, the marginalized and those who suffer. Amen."
"Ask and it will be given to you" are words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7. Many thanks to all who are responding generously to our asking for more generous giving to help our parish meet our operating expenses and also pay for necessary repairs and capital improvements at this time. The question for each and for all: "Can you make a commitment to increase your Sunday giving each week to show your love for God and for our Church?"
Here is the report on the Offertory Collection for Sunday, August 29th/30th:
Envelopes & Plate $6,535
Donations for Maintenance $ 730
As a parish, doing God's work, we need to increase our weekly giving by 30% to avoid a deficit like we had in the fiscal year ending June 30 of $74,000. If you are traveling often, a great way of supporting your parish is by online giving - click the DONATE button or visit the GIVING page on this site. Online giving allows you to arrange for automatic donations through your bank account.
Your donations support all the worship, religious, educational and service programs of the parish and provide for necessary maintenance and repairs.
Many thanks and God's blessings on you and your family.
PASTOR'S MESSAGE FOR SEPTEMBER 20, 2015
TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Who is the greatest? Who is most important? Jesus answers these questions in today's Gospel (Mark 9:30-37) by saying that we reach greatness through service of each other, through welcoming, listening, sharing and appreciating each other. At times it is difficult. For Jesus in today's Gospel, it meant death on a Cross which led to the glory of the resurrection.
For us, it means forgetting self to love the other person as Jesus would. Saint James in the Second Reading (James 3:16-4:3) speaks of today's world of divisions, jealousy, selfish ambition, conflicts and passions within that make it hard to live in service of each other. James also speaks of the way of wisdom which is the way of Jesus, the way of happiness, the way of God's Kingdom of mercy and peace. With God's grace in Jesus, we can live this way of wisdom.
* Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic? Do you know someone who is interested in learning about our Catholic Faith? Are you a Catholic who has not received Confirmation or First Holy Communion? You are invited to join Father Steve and the Parish RCIA team on Tuesday evenings in the Spiritual Library in the School from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Any questions? Call Father Steve at the Rectory (969-6868).
THE PARISH DEFICIT
* As mentioned last Sunday, the Church financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, is now completed. A summary will be presented to the parish soon. Its a shock to see that the parish had a deficit for the year of $73,968. We also had capital improvement projects that cost $68.093. We had to withdraw $150,000 from our parish reserves at the Archdiocese to cover the deficit and the capital improvement projects. Starting this July we had to withdraw more funds from our parish reserves to cover the necessary capital improvements this summer and also the lower Sunday collections during the summer months. We cannot continue to make large withdrawals from our parish reserves to cover these needs.
The reason for the deficit is that our parish expenses exceed our parish donations.
What expenses? For example, in May, 2015, the health insurance bill for four employees (including the Pastor) was $4,274 for the month - $51,288 for the year (federal law requires that health insurance be offered to employees).
The capital improvement projects are necessary, e.g., a new roof to replace a leaking roof on one School building; new water and gas lines to the Church and Rectory - a list of the projects will be found under Update on Major Repairs elsewhere in today's bulletin. Last week-end we discovered that the heating/air conditioning unit on the east end of the Parish Hall (and the Pre-School classroom) must be replaced at a cost of $7,600. We are waiting to see if we have funds to do this necessary work.
Our parish donations do not meet our expenses. The average Sunday collection is $7,000 a week (down to $6,000 or less on some Sundays in May and June and through the summer). Weekly donations of $10,000 each week are needed to prevent another big deficit this year.
We ask: "Can you make a commitment to increase your Sunday giving each week to show your love for God and our Church?"
You are so generous in responding to all the special needs we present to you during the year. The need now is your parish and the funding of all the parish worship, religious, educational and service programs of the parish.
Many parishioners are away on week-ends. Arranging for automatic donations to the Church through your bank account or online giving can be the way to support our wonderful parish when you are out of town or unable to come to our parish Church. You may contribute by clicking the Donate button or by visiting the ‘Giving’ page.
We pray God's blessings on you and your family for your generous giving to God and his Church.
OUR PARISH FINANCES
Many thanks to all for your generous contributions to our Church in the Offertory Collection each Sunday. Here is the report on the Offertory Collection for Sunday, August 22nd/23rd:
Envelopes & Plate $7,065
Donations for Maintenance $ 395
As mentioned in the Pastor's Column in this bulletin,our parish had a deficit of $73,967 for the fiscal year which ended June 30. Weekly donations of $10,000 each week are needed to prevent another big deficit this year. Your donations fund all the worship, religious, educational and service programs of the parish and provide for necessary maintenance and repairs.
We ask everyone: "Can you make a commitment to increase your Sunday giving each week to show your love for God and his Church?"
Many parishioners are away on week-ends. Through online giving you can arrange for automatic donations through your bank account or arrange for a regular donation through online giving at the Church - You may contribute by clicking the Donate button or by visiting the ‘Giving’ page.
Many thanks and God's blessings on you and your family.
UPDATE ON Major repairs taking place this summer.
Here are some of the projects:
1. A new School roof has been installed on the west wing of the School - replacing a roof with leaks. Final cost: $38,892, plus $2,146 for work on the wiring on the School roof.
2. The main water and gas lines from Hot Springs Road to the Church and Rectory have been replaced. The water line had a leak during the year and the gas line was not holding the proper pressure. The final cost was below budget at $27,093.
3. Asphalt repair has been completed on sections of the School playground. Cost: approximately $10,000.
4. We are looking for donations to fund a new video and sound system in the Parish Hall to meet the needs of our children and youth. Estimated Cost: $10,000
5. We need to replace the heating/air conditioning unit on the east end of the Parish Hall and the Pre School classroom. Cost: $7,600. We are waiting to see if we have the funds to do this necessary work.
6. Our School has also taken care of important projects: a new electronic security gate on Hot Springs Road; new drinking fountains; the renovation of computer and telephone wiring throughout the School; the painting of the interior of some of the classrooms.
We are very grateful to two parish families who have donated $4,000 to help fund these projects. Any gifts or donations would be helpful in meeting the many needs for maintaining and renovating our Church and School buildings.
El Campo Del Sol - supplies/donations needed
El Campo Del Sol August 9, 2015 A fun-filled day of games, art and music for 150 economically poor Children & Teens who live in Carpinteria. 1. We are in need of gently used clothing for children and teens. 2. We are also in need of donations to purchase school supplies to fill backpacks for the Children. If you can help, please contact Sister Kathleen Patrice 969-4868. Progam flyer attached
wysiwyg_uploads/file/El Campo Del Sol 2015.pdf
First Friday of Every Month - Transition House
Parish Hall Kitchen - In keeping with our First Friday tradition, we will be responsible for the evening meal at Transition House. Transition House is a community sponsored temporary home for families with children. Help is needed - if you can help for this one evening, please call Rina & Alvin Bentajado at 687-8737. Monetary donations may be sent c/o Mt Carmel Parish.
More Events >
May Our Lady of Mount Carmel be with you always. May she be the star that guides you and never disappears from your horizon. May she lead you now, throughout your life, and at its completion to a safe haven.
—Pope John Paul II