I devote today’s pastor’s corner to sharing with you all kinds of good news, in keeping with the spirit of the Advent/Christmas season.
Things are moving on the building project. I’m not in a position to share specifics with you today, but I suspect that some time soon, we’ll be able to share important news with you.
Today is the official launch of Ave Maria Gardens, a new ministry in our parish of which I have already spoken briefly here. They are the ones who were selling the lovely floral arrangements in the foyer last Sunday. This, in essence, is what they do: they seek out help in creating these floral arrangements, usually on a Marian theme. The creation of the arrangements is already a ministry. They reach out to people who could use some confidence-building and companionship, and this activity provides both. Then they distribute the floral arrangements to shut-ins, whether in their own homes, in nursing homes, or in hospitals. In this way, they provide a human, loving contact with people who are often very isolated. It is a very beautiful ministry. If you think you would like to be a part of it, call the office, and Lorna will be able to give you some contact info for the couple who are running it.
As you know, I’ve been wanting to start a refugee sponsorship team. I even have a team lined up. But I’ve been reluctant to begin, because I feel that the timing is just not right, given the fact that we are soliciting you constantly for the building fund, Project Advance, and so many other causes. I feel this just isn’t the time to raise funds to sponsor a refugee family. But as it happens, I am in contact with a young Somali man who wishes to sponsor the members of his family who aren’t already here. He needs no money. He doesn’t even need help in setting up his family members when they arrive. All he needs is for a parish to sign on as the official sponsor of his refugee family still living in a camp in Uganda. We are exploring this possibility.
We hope, in the coming months, to begin a new ministry called “Witness to Love”, a ministry of providing engaged couples with a senior, mentoring couple, to accompany them as they journey toward marriage, and beyond. Experience has demonstrated that this would be of great benefit to many couples, and that where it has been tried, it works, in spades. Please pray that the Holy Spirit, together with the people who are available for reference at the archdiocesan level, will help us to get this off the ground.
Finally, we are now ready to make known more aggressively our availability for ministry to shut-ins. We have a group of about ten members of Hands of Veronica who are prepared to be on call for visits to shut-ins, whether in their home, in hospitals, or in nursing homes, simply for the sake of a visit, which might even become a friendship, and for the sake of bringing them communion. If you know of anyone who would appreciate this ministry, please verify this with them, and call the parish office. Lorna will find one or two people, and they will get in touch with the person, or whoever is watching over this person, to arrange a date and time for a visit. More on this in the bulletin in the coming weeks. I just want to thank the members of Hands of Veronica who have signed on for this all-important ministry.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on. May it all unfold according to God’s will.