Pastor’s Message February 19th, 2017

There’s so much activity going on at our campus these days that it’s hard to keep track of all the events. But, a few are really worth mentioning. The following   students from our parish school recently were inducted into the Junior National Honor Society: Alex Avilla, Ralph Charles-Pierre, Riley Donelan, Sofia Guastella, Valdimir Labady, Ronald Retaleato, John Salvato and Matthew Schuhmann. We are so very proud of them and their accomplishments!

Our local Knights of Columbus council, graciously assisted by their counterpart Columbiettes, sponsored a very successful Mass with a Renewal of Wedding Vows, followed by a dinner last Saturday evening for a few dozen couples who signed up for this event. I especially thank Knight Darin Lueken for taking the initiative and setting up what will become an annual event in our parish. Special congratulations to those couples celebrating ruby, golden and diamond anniversaries this year. What a beautiful way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day!

We will hold our 51st Annual Parish Festival next weekend. This is the biggest event of the year for our parish and the largest in the Diocese of Palm Beach. It takes a lot of volunteer hours on the part of many people to conduct it successfully. All of the festival proceeds go to support our parish school. Our $25,000 Grand Prize for the $100 per ticket raffle is probably the highlight of the weekend. I invite you to get your ticket now, for last year we sold out by Saturday afternoon, and many people complained that they didn’t get the chance to buy their ticket. Well, they waited until the last minute, and we’re limited to only 1,000 for this; so I advise you to get your tickets this weekend at the church doors. Maria Sesto, our ticket sales chairperson, will be glad to sell them to you. In advance, I thank Julie Ott for chairing the entire festival (and her entire Festival Committee), and I invite you to join me in prayer for its success and for good weather throughout the weekend. Also, I ask you to be very patient if you come to the Saturday afternoon Masses and find that parking is so very limited. Being one of the 5 major events in Delray Beach each year, our festival is so crowded that I strongly recommend that you attend one of the Sunday morning Masses instead. Have a great time at the festival!!

This year, we will mark the golden jubilees (50th anniversary) of three wonderful religious men and women who serve our parish community in various ways. Father Danis Ridore, Father Jay Haskin and Sister Maria Liber will jointly celebrate their jubilees on Sunday April 23rd at the 11:30 a.m. Mass, followed by a reception and luncheon in our parish hall. More information on this event will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. How blessed we are to have these fine religious jubilarians serving God’s people at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish – with a combined 150 years of service to God’s people!

Finally, I wish to thank the kind anonymous donor who sent us quite a sizeable donation this past week of $50,000 to help us in our Capital Campaign. May God bless them and reward them for this generous gift. It came at a time when we (Julie Ott and I – primarily Julie) went to present our case once again to the Palm Beach Diocesan Building Commission. We need 70% of the total cost of construction in cash up front to be able to get clearance for construction to begin. Many of our parishioners have already made their pledge and are in the process of honoring that pledge. For some of them, it was a real sacrifice to pledge the amount they did. But, there is a sizeable portion of our parish membership who have not yet made a pledge, nor have they contributed to the campaign in any amount. I hope that this anonymous gift will inspire many others to pledge and donate a sacrificial gift for this campaign. Our children, especially, want and need a larger and improved facility so that they can continue to learn how to grow and become good Christians and solid American citizens. This will require all of us to chip in and help make this possible. If you have already pledged/contributed, I thank you sincerely. If you have not done so, I ask you to examine your commitment so as to help build up our parish into a community of believers and doers.