This weekend is HOPE Appeal Weekend! Together, when we pledge our gift to the Annual HOPE Appeal, we are giving thanks to Christ for the innumerable gifts we’ve been given and helping our friends and neighbors who benefit each year from the diocesan good works funded through our annual appeal.
Fr. Dan and Dc. John are asking all parishioners to contribute to this year’s HOPE Appeal. If we all give, we will easily meet St. Francis Xavier’s HOPE Appeal goal, which is our parish share of the support for HOPE Appeal-funded ministries, programs, and services. If we exceed our target, 100 percent of the excess will be returned directly to our parish. However, if we do not meet this goal, the shortfall will be taken from our general fund.
Thank you to everyone returning their HOPE Appeal pledge card this weekend! If you are still prayerfully considering your HOPE pledge, you may bring your completed pledge card to Mass next weekend or drop it by the parish office. You may also pledge your gift to our parish’s campaign online at www.syrdio.org.
I have no doubt that most of us can remember exactly where we were on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. It was a beautiful clear, September morning and I was at school celebrating the opening Mass for the school year. During the Mass the Principal came up to me as I was just getting ready to say the closing prayer; he silently told me that there had been a plane accident in New York City and asked if we could say a short prayer for all those involved; which I did. By the time the Mass had ended and we had begun the first period, it was obvious that something was terribly wrong. Wherever there was a television or radio, students, staff and faculty were intently listening in stunned silence as the horrific events of that day unfolded. Parents then began to call the school to come and take their child home. At the end of the day we gathered to plan how we, as a school, would unfold the rest of that week. By the time of the evening news, it was clear that something had happened that would change our lives forever. I remember that many people just naturally came to Church where we prayed and sat together for comfort. The next weekend, the Church, and all Churches were full, packed to capacity as we prayed for the victims, the first responders and all who were frightened or simply needed the assurance of faith. In those days, we were one people: without regard to denomination or faith, political affiliation or generation; we were “One Nation Under God.” Of course, in time, people began to get back to the business of living their lives, but nothing would be the same. It is my prayer that we always remember: not only the tragedy and loss of human life, but also the lesson of unity and the need to look past our differences, support and help each other and remember, that there is nothing that we cannot deal with as long as we do so together with our God as our support and guide.