We Always Have A Choice

Letters from a Pastor to His People- February 16, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

All the priests of the Archdiocese gathered together with the Cardinal a couple weeks ago for an all-day seminar.  We do this about three times a year.  In the afternoon we heard a talk on forming good habits, and the speaker mentioned "mindfulness training." Basically, if you can pause mentally when you are in the midst of a certain habit (smoking, eating, compulsively checking your texts, etc.), be mindful of what you are feeling and experiencing (something that is actually not that satisfying), you'll begin the neural re-networking process to break the bad habit.

This is putting it simply and I don't want to diminish the power an addiction can hold on someone.  But the point is we have freedom.  We always have a choice.  "If you choose you can keep the commandments," we hear from the first reading, "and they will save you."

God does not send us to Gehenna against our will.  We choose Heaven or Hell--both now and in the afterlife.  Let us choose Heaven.  Let us choose to be committed disciples of Jesus Christ.

If you missed the bulletins from the last two weeks and didn't see the Surrender Novena, please check out one of those bulletins and consider praying it or visit stjuliana.org/surrender  It's an amazing prayer experience.

Tomorrow there is no school for President's Day.  Wednesday night is First Reconciliation and Saturday night is the annual Mother's Club Big Night Out in the gym.

We will soon be opening the application for new school board members.  Please consider this opportunity to serve, whether you are a new or veteran family, especially since we will have six of our current members ending their terms.  The board has been a tremendous help to Mrs. Marshall and I these last few years with, among other things, our marketing, financials, and facilities.

This weekend at all the Masses we will hear from the Cardinal and conduct the in-pew solicitation for the Archdiocese's Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA).  The Archdiocese will use this money mean to fund its programs and the worldwide charitable efforts of Catholic Relief Services.  Every dollar we raise over our goal of $65,010 will stay with the parish and we will use this money to continue to fund our capital projects around the parish, which are many.  Last year we raised $7,000 over our goal and were able to complete several projects around the church, school and parish center.  Thank you for being generous in this year's campaign.

Thanks to our various fundraising efforts, particularly the Queen of Hearts Raffle, we have been able to refurbish the parish center, where multiple meetings are held almost every night of the week.  Pictures of the new rooms and kitchen are on page X.  We also painted many classrooms in our school and will paint several more over the Easter break. 

One other project I would like to run by the parish is relocating the tabernacle in the church.  The tabernacle is, to put it simply, the box that holds the Eucharist.  In other words, it's the most precious item we have.  The tabernacle was originally in the center of the church on the altar, and at some point in time it was moved off to the side.  I would like to obtain a new tabernacle (see above image) and place it in the center of the church, behind the altar in the wall.  We would place a large statue of Mary on the side altar where the tabernacle currently is.  You can read more information about this project on page 3 and please reach out to me if you have any questions...or would like to donate to this project!  Thanks!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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