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Rev. André-Joseph's blog

From the Pastor 02/18/18

This weekend we are beginning the public phase of the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign One Faith, One Hope, One Love. As I had explained to you several times before, Archbishop Schnurr allowed St. Gertrude Parish to delay the capital campaign to pay off the debt of the parish. Due to your generosity, we were very blessed to achieve this goal almost 13 months ago. Now St. Gertrude Parish is being asked by Archbishop Schnurr to do our part and support all the good that is being accomplished throughout our archdiocese.

St. Gertrude Parish is being asked to raise $2.6M for this campaign. The campaign is a five-year pledge commitment which will result in 20% returning to St. Gertrude — this represents a half million dollars back to our parish! But there is more ... St. Gertrude will receive an additional 60% of every dollar we raise over our goal. As you can see, this campaign is an excellent opportunity for our parish!

As we begin this public phase, I also have excellent news for all of you regarding the quiet phase of this campaign. Due to the generosity of a number of St. Gertrude families, we have raised almost $1.3M or 50% of the campaign goal already. This is amazing. I am grateful to the families and their willingness to support the Archbishop and St. Gertrude.

Not since Archbishop Karl Altar’s 1955 capital campaign have we been asked to respond so generously to the needs of our archdiocese. This comprehensive, far-reaching campaign is designed to foster strong parish communities, ensure the continued availability and strength of our Catholic schools, help our brothers and sisters in need, welcome and promote the rising number of priestly vocations, and provide for our retired and aging priests. The One Faith, One Hope, One Love Capital Campaign is crucial as we work together to build up a vibrant Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

From the Pastor 02/11/18

Can you believe it? This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar, although it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.

From the Pastor 02/04/18

Next Sunday we will celebrate the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, but it is also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.”

From the Pastor 01/28/18

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Friday, February 2
This Feast occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas Day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in the liturgy.

Before the revision of the General Roman Calendar this marked the end of the Christmas season. The reformed calendar has designated that the Sunday after Epiphany, the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, is the end of the Christmas season. This feast in the Ordinary Form is no longer referred to as the “Purification of Mary” but the “Presentation of the Lord.”

The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as “The Encounter.” In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as “Candlemas.” The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

From the Pastor 01/21/18

THANK YOU! I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our families over the Christmas Season for your very generous financial support of the parish. We made our budget for the Christmas Collection. Thank you so much for helping us in our continued efforts to balance our parish budget.

This is just a gentle reminder to parents about supervising your children, especially during Coffee and Donuts and other parish socials. I realize that we all get to talking to each other and catching up and we forget to monitor the children. Please watch your children and minimize the running around that children naturally want to do, especially around our elderly parishioners. We have the constant issue of children behind the gym stage, and more recently in the newly constructed corridor that acts as a sound barrier between the St. Joseph Room and the Adoration Chapel. We will be installing new doors that lock to secure these areas behind the stage. Also, please remember that the newly constructed corridor between the St. Joseph Room and the Adoration Chapel is indeed a sound barrier. No one should have conversations in this small corridor as it disturbs the silence that is needed in the adoration chapel.

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