You Keep Giving More, Thank you!
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
It is with sincere gratitude and great joy to share with you that YOU have increased in sharing your talent, time, and treasure compared to last year. It demonstrates that we are alive in the Spirit, seeking to live Jesus’ Gospel and reveal God’s Kingdom among ourselves, our neighbors, and the diocese.
It is your faith, commitment, and conviction in Christ Jesus and His Gospel that accomplished this increase in your stewardship, believing that each of us has a role in God’s plan of salvation. I am blessed to share in your life and worship, and I am honored to be your administrator and spiritual father. As always, thank you for witnessing to me the power of Christ Jesus.
Peace and grace. Fr. Russell
Updates on the Statues
My sisters and brothers in Christ, praise Jesus! Most of our new statues have arrived. We soon will have name plates for their identification. The remainder of our statues will be delivered in late September. Due to the Immaculate/Sacred Heart of Mary’s size, we have determined that she should remain in the church, placing Our Lady of Lourdes in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. Presently, we have the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate/Sacred Heart of Mary, St. Joseph with the child Jesus, St. Martin de Porres, and St. Ignatius of Loyola. We are awaiting St. Rose of Lima, St. Jude, Our Lady of Lourdes, and the Infant Jesus of Prague. Again, it is our hope and joy that these articles will assist in our parish’s prayer and spiritual life, contributing to creating and continuing to keep sacred this space and place of worship.
I realize it may appear hypocritical and anti-Gospel when the priest asks people not to beg on church grounds. We speak of Christ-like charity and being Christ to others, and then Fr. Russell is requesting the needy to leave. Is that what Jesus would do?
The Diocese of Venice and St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church support multiple ministries to assist the poor and those in need. And living the Gospel is tantamount to our mission. Our parish gives many referrals a week, seeking to connect people to these ministries.
Both diocesan guidelines and the sheriffs’ department have requested that we do not encourage people to ask for alms on church grounds for numerous reasons. Sometimes these are professionals who use their own or neighbors’ children to gain sympathy, risking great harm to the children’s welfare. Many of those who pose as in need are dangerous, either broken or wounded souls or professional thieves.
Therefore, for the sake of my parishioners, I ask that we do not encourage them. They are free to use public property, and I neither cannot nor will not dictate how people give. However, please appreciate that WE do care and assist via ministries, and ask you to consider doing likewise. Peace and grace.