We are now halfway through the Easter Season. The scripture readings now call us less to look back at Christ’s resurrection than forward to his ascension into heaven. Today’s Gospel comes from Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples at the Last Supper: “I will be with you only a little while longer.” What is the legacy he wishes to leave with them? “Love one another.” This is how he wants his disciple—us—to be known: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Unfortunately we too often fail at keeping this commandment. Yet we must not despair: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Second Reading) This renewal is the grace of the sacraments, especially penance and the eucharist. For this we look to the Church, God’s dwelling with the human race. Our failure to love—sin—is overcome by Christ’s love “even unto death.” (Cf. Philippians 2:8) It is in such love that God is glorified and so are we: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (Gospel)
Our parishes’ fiscal year ends on June 30. Pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal must be received by that date to be credited for this year. Please honor your pledges to the Appeal and continue your support of our parishes. St. Peter Parish has reached 86.76% of its target for this year with $2,546 to go. St. Charles Parish has reached 83.23% of its target with $11,186 to go. The number of donors from St. Charles has increased by 21 to 211 since I wrote last, but that still does not match the number of donors from the two previous years. There are many parishioners from both parishes who have not given to the Appeal. These targets could easily be reached if everyone would give something. This is a fundamental duty of parish membership. Please help us meet our financial obligations.
Did you see the article entitled “Faith through Service” in the May/June issue of Catholic Life featuring our own Daniel and Thomas Reither? We are so happy that they generously employ their God-given talents to enhance our liturgical celebrations at St. Charles and sometimes at St. Peter. The article highlights their faith as a motive for serving our parishes and our community. Thanks also to their parents, Gary and Kathy, for their example and for providing a home environment in which faith is fostered and practiced.
Speaking of putting faith into service, I would welcome new readers, communion ministers, ushers and servers from both parishes. Training sessions for all new liturgical ministers will be provided. Just drop me a note by email or in the collection basket, or leave a voicemail message. I especially encourage those confirmed the last two years to volunteer. The grace of Confirmation is given to help you be active members of the Church and liturgical ministry is one expression of that.
Pray the rosary this week for those who are graduating from whatever level of schooling. Pray also for good weather for the spring planting and growing season. Pray for the needs of our parish and diocese and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.