Dearly Beloved in Christ:
I thank my God each time I think of you, and when I pray for you I pray with joy (cf. Philippians 1:3-4). Later this week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, a time for us to pause and give thanks to God; and there is so much to be thankful for. Many will be travelling to celebrate this wonderful holiday with their families, friends, and loved ones; may we all travel safely to and from our destinations. May we all have a happy reunion, and may our fellowship be free from unnecessary awkwardness, filled with laughter, beautiful memories, delicious food and goodness.
In the midst of our fellowship with our loved ones, let us remember those for whom this holiday might be very difficult – the bereaved, the homeless, the sick, prisoners, the elderly who are alone, all those who are estranged from their families, foreigners who are separated from their loved ones, victims of senseless violence and injustices everywhere, and families who are experiencing serious financial and/or emotional crises.
Throughout history, the Church has always been a champion for the poor and the downtrodden. Thanksgiving is a time for us to remember to share our bread with the hungry (Cf. Isaiah 58:7). So, as we rejoice with those who are rejoicing, let us make it a point to also mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) by reaching out to them. Particularly, I ask that we pray for the repose of the souls of the victims of the senseless shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, as well as for their families and loved ones.
There are many ways we can support the needy during this Thanksgiving holiday. Our local Salvation Army will be serving lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving day. We could donate to support their efforts financially or by volunteering our time. Our own St. Vincent de Paul Society is always assisting families. Please consider supporting them through a financial gift.
I am also very thankful for your generous spirit, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. This great generosity of yours is constantly on display through your prayers, volunteer activities and the myriad of ways you support our Holy Family Parish. Thank you for
continuing to work in cooperation with God’s grace for a one Holy Family Parish, united in the joy of the Holy Spirit and in charity, as missionary disciples. Thank you also for your contributions through the second collection for the past two Sundays to help reach our parish assigned DSF goal. We are almost there. To help reach our goal, we will continue the second collections for DSF throughout this month. The good news is that fifty percent of the money we raise over our goal will be given back to the parish and the remaining fifty percent will be given to the Aid to Poor Parishes fund.
To reiterate, DSF stands for Diocesan Services Fund. Through this fund the archdiocese is able to support ministries and programs such as Catholic education of children and adults; pastoral ministries for the sick, the poor and the incarcerated; the formation and education of church leadership; social service programs such as San José Clinic, St. Dominic Village, and Catholic Charities. Very importantly, the DSF is one way for us to respond to Christ’s invitation to us to see and serve him present in our brothers and sisters in need (see: Matthew 25: 31-46).
We are still in need of volunteers to join the HELPERS MINISTRY, which helps to clean and beautify the different churches in our parish. Please call the office if you would like to assist with this ministry or are in need of information on other opportunities to serve in our parish.
Let us “Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his mercy endures forever! Let that be the prayer of the LORD’s redeemed, those redeemed from the hand of the foe; Those gathered from foreign lands, from east and west, from north and south” (Psalm 107:1-3). Come join us in giving thanks to God on Thursday, November 23rd through the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist at 9:00am at St. Patrick Church. Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Jude Ekenedilichukwu Ezuma