Happy Thanksgiving!

11-19-2023Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is always appropriate to find ways to be grateful to God from Whom all blessings flow! Thanksgiving Day is one such day that even our secular culture focuses on giving thanks. How and to whom secular folk give thanks is a topic for another Pastor’s Notes. For practicing Catholics, this day most certainly includes giving thanks to God for His countless blessings in our life. To that end, we will have two morning Masses (6:30am and 8:30am) on Thanksgiving day. Holy Mass is the best way to thank God who has given us everything.

I have so many reasons to be thankful to God for the wonderful people of St. Bernadette parish and St. John XXIII school. In recent months, our parish and school have found beautiful was to practice stewardship. The Baby Bottle Drive, the Baby Shower Drive, the Turkey Drive, the St.Vincent de Paul Food Drive are just a few examples of how people are giving thanks to God by giving themselves.

Our parish gives thanks to God for the new families who registered as a parishioners and current parishioners are becoming more active members of our parish. More and more folks are realizing that we are all stewards of God’s many gifts. Our parish gives thanks to God for the 38 new candidates and catechumens who are seeking to enter into full communion in the Catholic Church by this Easter! It is inspiring to see your faithful response to God’s call in your life. Your presence makes a beautiful impact on those who may take their faith for granted at times. Thank you.

I am grateful to those in our parish and school family whose witness extends beyond our parish and school boundaries—to our brothers and sisters who are nourished by the Food for the Poor Project led by our Knights of Columbus, to our veterans and homeless shelters and the many parishioners who support life and pregnant mothers through crisis pregnancy centers and the Care Portal. Our parish was just recognized as being the largest contributor (over $100,000 in donations this past year) to families in pregnancy crisis situations.

I am so grateful for our young people who are bringing our faith into their high schools and colleges. I am grateful to our parishioners for sharing the faith in the workplace and with extended family members who no longer have a relationship with Our Lord. I am grateful to those who visit our homebound and our sick brothers and sisters in the hospitals and care facilities. You bring the love of God to places where hope and peace can be hard to find. I am grateful for our incredible faith formation ministries who share the faith with so many young people and families week after week. You make this parish a wonderful place to be. I am grateful to God for our loving and energetic staff who serve this parish so faithfully, often behind the scenes without ever complaining. They are truly a blessing. I am grateful to all who serve Our Lord in our parish and school family. You make the world a better place to be. So, yes, we have so many reasons to be grateful to God Who provides for all our needs. I offer this prayer for you to pray on Thanksgiving Day.

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Father, all of Creation rightly owes you thanks and praise. Your justice, love and mercy abound. We thank you this day for all that you have given us: For the Passion and Death of your Divine Son, we thank you Father, through the Cross, He redeemed the world. For the Church, we thank you Father, it is our beacon for salvation. For the martyrs and saints who give testimony to your Son, we thank you Father, their witness to your Son is our inheritance. For our loved ones and friends who have died and gone before us, we thank you Father, their love remains with us forever. For loving spouses, we thank you Father, together we seek you. For the gift of children, we thank you Father, they are your precious gifts to us and to the world. For the gift of our families, loved ones and good friends, we thank you Father, for through them we see the reflection of your Son. For jobs, our homes and all that we have, we thank you Father, give us only that which we need, as we seek your Kingdom. For the bounty we are about to eat, we thank you through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

God Bless,

Fr. Don Kline, V.F.