Being Missionary with our Support
I was glad to have Fr. Jerry Hogan, the National Circus Chaplain, with us last weekend. Often when I think about missionary work, I think about foreign countries or poor neighborhoods. Fr. Jerry’s witness helped enlighten the reality that often mission work can be done a lot closer to home with people that we often don’t think about. The rectory at Saint Denis where I live has a guest bedroom, so I was able to host and chauffeur Fr. Jerry for the weekend. This gave me the chance to hear even more of Fr. Jerry’s story and about the work that he does with the circus people. He has an obvious love for those he serves and treats them like family. This is especially clear with his desire to make sure they have access to the Sacraments, and his support in times of tragedy. Last weekend our parishes’ second collection raised just over $1,300. This goes to support Fr. Jerry’s work as well as 37 other Catholic Missionary Organizations around Wisconsin, these United States, and the world. Thank you for your generosity. I want to acknowledge that this second collection comes at the same time as you are about to receive a request to support the annual seminarian collection, as our parishes are wrapping up the Bishop’s Appeal, and as the Round Up and Cabbage Chuck are coming up. That is a lot of requests for money and fundraisers all at once. In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us to “Take care to guard against all greed... one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Supporting the material needs of the Church is certainly a good way to make sure that we are guarding against our own greed. At the same time, I want to say that I know that not everybody can support everything. I encourage you to pick which charitable organizations, Church related or otherwise, that you do support and to be generous to them. I know that not everybody is able to do even that. Some of you with farms have had a rough season and looking at your bottom line might be causing you some stress right now. With multiple requests coming at the same time from the Catholic Church, I encourage you to pick which ever few you can support and know that I would never hold it against anybody if you can’t support everything. When you do entrust your money to the church, it is an honor for us to be able to put it to good use. I have actually been the recipient of your generosity. The seminarian collection supported my journey through the seminary 2010–2016. Over those years, St. Denis & St. Patrick gave over $12,500 to the seminarian collection. That directly supported me being able to be a priest. Know of my gratitude to you for this type of support with which I would not be able to serve you today. This year, can I encourage St. Denis & St. Patrick to have a combined $4,500 goal? This would pay for a seminarian’s room and board for a semester. I have already donated $100. Today, August 4 is St John Vianney’s feast day, who is the patron saint of parish priests. Please ask his intercession for our current seminarians and for more holy vocations to the priesthood.
To keep you up to date about our Bishop’s Appeal:
St. Denis has raised $8,589 of a $11,152 goal
St. Patrick has raised $7,140 of a $10,136 goal
Not everybody is able to travel to foreign countries, poor neighborhoods, or with the circus. However, when we do entrust our money to those who do that type of work, we are engaging in the missionary work of the Church. You are allowing your money to work in a way or place that you might otherwise not be able to. Thank you being missionary with your money. I know you get lots of requests, and I would never expect you to have to support everything. I consider it an honor when you do trust the Church with your money.