Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
The Diocese of Phoenix has the largest St. Vincent de Paul Society in the world. Our parish has one of the largest St. Vincent Conferences in the Diocese which means we are one of the world's largest SVDP's. I'm not sure if that should be a source of pride or dismay that other places aren't taking up the work of the Society more aggressively. Either way for 60yrs our Vincentians have been caring for the needs of those who find themselves unable to fulfill their own needs. All this means is that since we are large we have lots of work to do and therefore always need more people to help with the work of the Conference.
This is just one of the many ministries that we are highlighting on this People Raiser Sunday. Our theme this year is: The World's Most Interesting Parishioner. Since you already met the World's Most Interesting Priest a few years back I thought it be good for you to meet a parishioner who understands that the nature of a Christian is to serve.
And really that is the whole point of our annual People Raiser: to encourage you to serve or to serve more. This in turn helps us live by Jesus injunction: Love your neighbor as yourself. When we serve our neighbor in love, in whatever form we are demonstrating love and when we do so we start to love ourselves a little bit more each day. So that as our love of self increases so does our love of neighbor. Think of it this way. Many of us don't love ourselves so well and if that is the measure of love we extend to our neighbor well it might look more like indifference, hostility or masochism. So in loving ourselves because we are creatures of a loving God and instruments of His Love we can authentically love our neighbor. That's true and not selfish self-interest.
This People Raiser Sunday is also an opportunity to share with you not only the spiritual health of the Parish but also the financial picture as well. You can read the details of that in the annual Stewardship Report. Please take a copy home with you and read it! But most of all ask yourself what part am I playing in the overall health of the Parish? Am I generous with my time, talent and treasure? How do I treat my parish? Do I treat it as my home or more like a hotel? You know if you go to a hotel and the room needs painting or some plumbing work you probably are not going to paint the wall or fix the faucet. But if your home needs repairs you are going to do the work to fix it or get it fixed. Too often we treat our Parish like a hotel and don't take proper ownership. This weekend challenge yourself to consider Mt. Carmel your home and treat it accordingly!
This is also an opportunity for me to thank all those who serve the parish so well and so enthusiastically. I especially want to thank all those who serve on the various Parish committees: the Parish Council, Finance Council, Stewardship Committee, School Advisory Board and Home & School.
So now that we have the World's Most Interesting Priest and the World's Most Interesting Parishioner can you help make Mt. Carmel in Tempe the World's Most Interesting Parish?
Love, Fr. John B.