As I mentioned recently in a homily, hospitality is the responsibility, not of the ushers and greeters, but the entire community of St. Dominic Savio. If we are going to be known as a warm and welcoming community, then everyone who comes to church on Sunday must extend themselves to greet one another. It is especially important for you to notice the folks you don’t know in your area of the church and help them feel like they belong with us. The letter to the Hebrews reminds us, “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.”
I spoke with a couple recently who took their daughter to college in another large city and they discovered that city, although substantially Catholic, did not have anything like the Catholic school system many of us take for granted here in St. Louis. Catholic schools instill virtue, form young consciences, prepare minds for business, medicine, law and service to the Church as priests, brothers and consecrated sisters. More than 96% of the men in the seminary attend Catholic schools.
Your support of Catholic education in past campaigns has helped those who need tuition assistance at the lower end of the economic scale. The Beyond Sunday campaign will help those in the middle income bracket. All of the children eligible for a Beyond Sunday campaign scholarship received one for this school year. 93% of the money went to Catholic students and 7% went to non-Catholic students. That was possible because of the contributions made by parishes in Block One of the Beyond Sunday campaign which was conducted at this time last year. We are in Block Three. Forty percent (40%) of the money you donate in this campaign will remain in the parish. The rest of the money will be managed by the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri and will be used exclusively for Catholic education. While I realize many people are not fond of sending money to the Archdiocese, the truth is the Roman Catholic Foundation has objective standards to determine the genuine need of a family for scholarship monies. Individual parishes like ours have done a historically bad job with that.
Because Archbishop Carlson directed us to conduct this campaign during the second half of this calendar year, we have decided not to have our annual stewardship drive in the parish. We can only ask for so much from you and since 40% of the money you contribute to the Beyond Sunday campaign is kept here at the parish, I felt it was only appropriate to forgo our local stewardship campaign until next year.
The St. Michael the Archangel – St Dominic Savio Parish School of Religion program has 108 students enrolled for the coming year and we expect four or five more to register in the near future. There are thirteen students in first grade (Ms. Andrea Artz), eighteen students in second grade (Mrs. Kathleen Egbert), fifteen students in third grade (Mrs. Michele Chronister), thirteen students in fourth grade (Mrs. Ruth Biondo), fourteen students in fifth grade (Mrs. Lucy Telthorst), ten students in sixth grade, (Mrs. Kathy Mitchel), thirteen students in seventh grade (Mrs. Martha Vitek) and twelve students in eighth grade (Mr. Marion Morris). Please keep these children and the faculty members in your prayers, especially those students preparing for First Confession, First Holy Communion (Second Grade) and Confirmation (8th Grade).
Mr. Rodger Wilhite, our parish maintenance man, had his left hip replaced in early August and is recovering well at home. He is able to drive short distances and is nearly done with physical therapy. This is Rodger’s second hip replacement, so he knows what the recovery period is like. Keep him in your prayers.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us
Fr. Paul J. Rothschild