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September 2010

Parish Increased Offering Campaign


During October, Holy Cross will participate in an increased offering campaign, designed to  encourage parishioners to increase their financial giving to the weekly offering envelope. Most parishes around the dioceses are participating in the campaign which is being underwritten by the Diocese to strengthen the financial health of all our parishes.

Our fiscal restraint has helped us avoid a parish financial crisis, but has impacted the quality of our liturgy, our music, parish hospitality spreads, capacity to host parish speakers, our youth program, parish cultural and religious trips and diminished our ability to put money aside for the church construction project. In the meantime, we have maintained our charitable giving and our annual supplement to the operating expenses of Holy Cross School.  

Recently we've also been experimenting with passing the basket at all masses rather than using the baskets with the long handles.

Regular envelope use by more parishioners (or enrolling in electronic donation) and weekly increased giving by those who can will enable us to attend to these and other areas of parish life. Thank you for your anticipated attention to the campaign.

Holy Cross Welcomes the Diocesan Auditor


As one of the Diocesan requirements prior to approval of a capital campaign or a final set of construction plans, Holy Cross will once again have a financial audit by the Diocese. It comes of the heels of a full audit last year, but this time will also be focused on the financial health of the parish and our capacity to carry any anticipated financing.

Comments are being edited for this year's financials which will be released next month in conjunction with our parish's Increased Offering Campaign. Members of our Finance Councils will join Fr. Manning in presenting the highlights at all the masses.


Two Trees Less


Two trees on campus here at Holy Cross didn't make it through the recent storms and turbulent weather. The birch tree in front of the church, which had been falling down in pieces, finally shed a major limb. Although the large branch fell and rested against the church, luckily it did not hit the stained glass window.

The tree which shaded the rectory patio lost 50% of its width when a major branch sliced through the wooden fence and fell behind it.

No personal injuries or serious property damage. Both trees were removed along with their broken branches.

You Can't Take It With You...

A commentary on this week's Scripture passages remarked that "an old wag once remarked that he had never seen a hearse pulling a U-haul." I can't remember ever hearing that phrase and so I set out, both to create a visual for it and to discover the identity of the "old wag."

I never discovered its origin, but I did discover that there are songs, You tube videos and a book which all somehow refer to the idea. Anyway, my cartoon delivers the message too.


A notice that the Catholic Bishop's Conference in Australia has had to ban secular songs at funerals crossed my desk a few weeks ago. As I mentioned to some of you, "My Way" is an oft requested song for some inexplicable reason at Christian funerals. Who would have guessed there is a storage pod company by the same name, which also inspired a visual:


While we all might admit that we can't take our earthly possessions with us, we don't always live that way. Too often an avaricious grasp on our wealth and an all consuming drive to possess more pervades our daily routine and can even interfere with our enjoyment of what we have.

Let us cultivate a healthy detachment for earthly wealth, while at the same time enjoying it and sharing it freely, especially with those outside our gates.



Courtesy At Mass


Recent masses have been far more reverent in the gym now that we are limiting our trips to the water fountain and the bathroom. Thank you.

We still have a way to go in certain areas however. A problem which every church struggles with has been growing increasingly worse at Holy Cross: lateness to mass. Even our weekend helper priests have begun to remark about it.

I agree that we should always be hospitable and since we never really know the reasons why some people might be late for mass, we should generally refrain from pointing out lateness when it happens. It is proper to discuss it "later." Especially in the gymatorium, it has become unusual for even half of the people who will eventually arrive to have done so by the start of the mass. Not only do late arrivals distract the congregation and the liturgical ministers, but they also miss whatever brief announcements are made at the beginning of mass regarding the collection and the mass intention. In our gymatorium, they also tend to seek seats in the bleachers, which is additionally noisy. It is the rare person who can enter into prayer with a proper disposition without time to relax or wind down from a hectic rush to church.  

We have made great strides to understand the importance of worship at weekly mass, let us make the extra effort to arrive on time and properly disposed. Thank you for your courtesy and understanding.


An Old Friend Returns

For many years the baptismal font from Holy Rosary has been collecting dust in Holy Cross' church cellar. Since the metal bowl we have been using ontop of Holy Cross' baptismal font has become pitted and damaged by the water and will need to be refinished, we took another look at the venerable font and decided to see how it suits us here.

The lid had a faux marble sculpture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus which was easily removed, since the figures atop the lid stood well above the altar table. And while it could probably use a touch up of paint, it looks dignified and proper to our worship space.

The old font was moved into the entrance space where it serves as a noble repository for holy water for those who enter the front doors of the church.



Religious Education Sunday Mass Attendance

Thanks to the hard work of our Director of Religious Education, our catechists, parents and parish staff, we are able to present some information on the weekly worship of our CCD students.

While we must continue to emphasize the importance of weekly worship together, our effort is good and far improved (almost double) what it was several years ago.

Let's keep weekly worship at the Eucharist our number one priority!



Faith Seeking Understanding: Reading Pope Benedict's "Jesus of Nazareth"

Our adult faith enrichment group has resumed meeting on Wednesday evenings and has begun a reading and discussion of Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth (volume 1). Benedict gives his insights on how a modern Catholic should approach the reading and study of Scripture and through such means come to know Jesus better.


Join us for all or some of the discussions. Next week's discussion will focus on Chapter 2, The Temptations of Jesus.

Dress Down Stones and Boat Tickets: A Case of the Enterprising Steward?

Andresr00168 Two allegedly true stories which form a bookend to today's parable of the dishonest steward:

Last year some enterprising 8th graders noticed that the "dress down stones" used as legal tender in our school to enable its bearer to dress casually for school that day instead of in uniform, could be bought at local vendors. Typically the stones would be earned by a donation by the parents to the school or for some meritorious act. But when student partygoers needed dress down stones to dress casually for an after school party, "counterfeit" stones were pressed into service and supplied with the party invitations.

Four men were arrested in early September for selling fake boarding tickets for the SeaStreak commuter ferry. The company which printed the ferry's legitimate tickets allegedly marketed extra tickets through third parties who sold them to commuters who bought them (wittingly or unwittingly) at reduced prices. Estimates placed the corporate loss at $ 600,000.

Would Jesus consider either of these groups to be enterprising stewards? We'd be hard pressed to suggest that Jesus condones or encourages their dishonesty, but he would surely point out their ingenuity and encourage his own followers to be equally creative in doing good.

So many times we are paralyzed by feelings that nothing can be done, what's the use, the usual ways aren't working. We should whine less and creatively try more fruitful ideas for helping to build God's Kingdom.

Mass on the Memorial of St. Peter Claver to Open School Year

Our entire school family, some their parents and our regular daily mass worshippers gathered to pray for God's blessing on the new school year and be strengthened by the Body and Blood of Jesus at the 9:00 AM mass on Thursday.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and so many new ones too. Everyone seems to have grown even over the all too short summer months! The singing was spirited and lively. It was fitting to review the life and ministry of St. Peter Claver to remind us to treat each other and all God's children with respect and consideration throughout the coming year. Several students suggested that we should think about how we could care for the sick and the poor. St. Peter's courageous charity, even in the face of opposition by others, should give us encouragement to act rightly even when we must act alone.

Here's a photo of the rose window at St. Peter Claver's church in Cartagena, Columbia where the saints remains lie under the main altar. (courtesy of Galen Frysinger)


Welcome Back Holy Cross School Faculty and Staff !

Holy Cross teachers and staff joined in worship at the 9 AM mass this morning to reflect on their roles as Catholic school teachers and to pray for God's grace. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, a fourth century Church Father, wrote some words then which are as valuable now:

"The scope of our art is to provide the soul with wings, to rescue it from the world and give it to God, and to watch over that which is in his image. If it abides, to take it by the hand; if it is in danger, to restore it; if it is ruined, to make Christ dwell in the heart by the Spirit.”