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From the Pastor 05/06/18

I am happy to report to all of you that
last weekend we surpassed our goal of $2.6M for the Archdiocesan One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign in our parish. Congratulations! Last weekend during the Dedication Weekend we needed to raise $192,000 to reach our goal, and we received $253,000! I would like to personally express my gratitude for those lay leaders in our parish who accepted my invitation to volunteer and eventually led the campaign to its success. Secondly, to all our parishioners who contributed generously to this campaign.

As of this weekend I am happy to announce that our parish campaign has raised a total of $2,641,000 in gifts and pledges. This represents 103% of our parish goal! So far we have been blessed with 483 St. Gertrude families participating in the campaign. According to the parish sharing formula, a total of $552.00 will be returned to the parish for our own local needs. There are still outstanding pledges and gifts that will come forward in the future. If you have not given, but wish to do so now that 60% of every dollar is coming back to St. Gertrude’s the Dedication cards are in the pews this weekend.

The One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign is a reminder that the Catholic Church is universal. But it is in our own local parish that each of us experiences our faith most directly and intimately. And just as our archdiocese has needs, so too do the individual parishes. Your generosity will truly make a difference within our parish by helping us to address our pressing local needs as well as the needs of the wider Catholic community.

As your pastor, words cannot express the gratitude in my heart for your most generous pledges and gifts to the campaign. I can confidently repeat the words of the Apostle Paul who said,

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-6, RSV)

Your commitment is inspiring and something for which I will always be thankful. By responding to Archbishop Schnurr’s request you ensure the Church’s presence in the lives of future generations. I think we can all take great encouragement from the wonderful words of the Lord recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel:

“... give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38, RSV)

All of you have shown what it means to be good stewards. May God bless St Gertrude Parish as we continue to carry the liberating message of Jesus Christ and do the work of God’s holy Church. Thank you and God bless you.

Pope adds Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, to Liturgical Calendar. Mary will be honored with a special celebration on the Monday after Pentecost. The Vatican announced Pope Francis’ decision that the Church celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as “Mother of the Church” as a way to foster Marian piety and the maternal sense of the Church.

The decree establishing the memorial was published March 3 in a letter from Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

As Cardinal Sarah explained, Pope Francis added the memorial to the Roman calendar after carefully considering how the promotion of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this particular title might encourage growth in “the maternal sense of the Church” and in “genuine Marian piety.”

“This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the mystery of the cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed,” Cardinal Sarah wrote.

The cardinal noted that the “joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman, the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.”

The memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, has been added to the General Roman Calendar, the Roman Missal and the Liturgy of the Hours. The Latin text has been published, and the translations will be prepared by the bishops’ conferences and approved by the congregation.

A celebration of a memorial generally means that prayers and readings specific to the day’s memorial are used in the Mass.

The Marian title of “Mother of the Church” was given to the Blessed Mother by Blessed Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council. It was also added to the Roman Missal after the Holy Year of Reconciliation in 1975.

Subsequently, some countries, dioceses and religious families were granted permission by the Holy See to add this celebration to their particular calendars. With its addition to the General Roman Calendar, it will now be celebrated by the whole Roman Catholic Church.

In 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will be celebrated on May 21. ― Hannah Brockhaus/ CNA/EWTN News

I will be away in Maine checking on my parents until May 17. After a long fundraising campaign I need some time to pray and rest. God bless.

A blessed Sixth Week of Easter to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor