This Sunday, October 2nd, is Respect Life Sunday, a day set aside to help us refocus our attention on the plight of the unborn and the unwanted of our society. In the afternoon from 2 to 3 P.M., I hope you will join our faithful pro-life parishioners and others as they stand to participate in an Hour of Prayer and Witness to Life for the Unborn at the intersection of Federal Highway and Linton Blvd. They will be holding signs that are meant to draw attention to the value of unborn human life to passersby. Four out of five cars that honk at us will give us the “thumbs up” sign, saying they agree with and admire what we stand for in our silent protest for Life. If you can sacrifice one hour this Sunday afternoon, we’d enjoy your presence and companionship. As Jesus asked His own disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane if they could watch even one hour with Him, anyone who makes this sacrifice on a beautiful Sunday afternoon (when they could be on the beach or in the comfort of their home, watching the ball game), will come away spiritually uplifted and full of hope that the power of God, invoked in humble prayer for the “least of His children,” will bear much fruit. Bring the little ones, for they are closest to Jesus and can remind everyone what wonderful gifts little children really are. We meet in the northeast parking lot behind the bank (near Carrabba’s), where you can pick up your sign. Then our group will split into four units, to man each corner of the intersection. Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen, and bring a bottle of water or two with you along with your rosary.
Our annual Blessing of the Animals will be held on Tuesday, October 4th, the Feastday of St. Francis of Assisi. There will be 2 opportunities to have your animals blessed that day: at 8:00 a.m., and at 7:00 p.m. Bring them to the edge of the playfield closest to the church parking lot. Please don’t forget to bring plastic bags and anything else needed to clean up any “packages” left by Fido or Fifi. It is a courtesy that helps to keep our school playground clean and safe for our kids.
This Wednesday, October 5th, we will hold a Jubilee Year of Mercy pilgrimage to our Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens. Busses (for those who have reserved a place on them) will depart the church lot at 9:00 a.m., and arrive at the Cathedral for a 10:00 a.m. Mass. Those wishing to obtain a plenary indulgence for the remission of all temporal punishment due to past, confessed sins can do so if they make this pilgrimage to pass the specially designated doors of our Cathedral and observe the other conditions necessary to obtain it: confessing your sins within 8 days of either side of October 5th, worthy reception of Holy Communion during this same time period, making a Profession of Faith (Nicene or Apostles’ Creed), and praying for the intentions of our Holy Father (usually an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be). Even if you are not travelling there by bus, you can join in the caravan with your own car.
Next Saturday, October 8th, we will hold our 2016 Viking Classic Golf and Tennis Tourney at the Seagate Country Club in Delray Beach (make sure to reserve your place by contacting the parish office today). The proceeds from this event benefit our parish and are an important part of our fund-raising for the annual Ferrer Fund. We want the best education possibilities for our kids, and your support of this classic is a prime way to make this happen. I’m grateful to Julie Ott, our Director of Stewardship and Development, and her wonderful team of parents and additional parish members who make this fun event the success that it has become. Pray, too, that God will bless us with good weather so that we may maximize his gifts for the benefit of our kids.
Finally, I want to thank all of those parish members and dear friends who have pledged their financial support of our Capital Campaign. You are the ones who want to help us succeed in bringing this huge project to a good conclusion. It’s not easy for me, or anyone else connected with this fund-raiser, to beg for money so that we can have our much-needed additions to our school and church. It’s not easy for Mrs. Delgado, Principal of our school, to desperately try to find the space to accommodate our 350 students this year and then worry what is she going to do when even more students want to come to our school next year. “We have no room in the inn” should only be a verbal vestige of history from 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, not the mantra of a school and administrator in the present-day. But, as I look over the rolls of pledge-donors to our campaign, I see a number of family names from our parish roster “MIA” – “missing in action,” particularly some who are able to afford to make a generous pledge to their parish but haven’t yet done so. An investment in the future of our parish can and should be the goal achieved with a willing sacrifice made by ALL. That’s how we built our parish in the first place, and that’s why so many have succeeded in life – because of the head start that St. Vincent Church and School gave them. I would dread seeing happen to us what has beset many parishes in the north (and already a few not far away from us). Unless we ALL work together for the good of the future of our parish, we could see the same fate some day. Have you made your pledge of support yet for our Capital Campaign? If so, I sincerely THANK YOU, and assure you of my constant prayers of gratitude and that God may bless you abundantly! But, if not, WHY not? For you, I will pray that God will change your heart in this Year of Mercy.