Happy Thanksgiving

11-20-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I was recently up north enjoying Arizona’s version of the Fall season which lasts about two days. This is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather is beautiful, our programs are in full swing, and people just seem to be more pleasant. It is a great time to focus on our gratitude! Thanksgiving Day most certainly includes giving thanks to God for His countless blessings in our life. We will have two morning Masses (6:30am and 8:30am) on Thanksgiving day. There is no better way to give thanks to 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 has made significant strides in our understanding of stewardship. People continue to register as a parishioner and new 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. Many of you have come together to provide food for needy families through our St. Vincent de Paul Society. It is so inspiring to see. Your generosity and thoughtfulness will make a beautiful difference to so many families.

Your food contributions are just the tip of the iceberg. I often hear stories of our parishioners’ service and witness that it extends far beyond our parish boundaries—to our brothers and sisters who are nourished by the Food for the Poor Project lead by our Knights of Columbus, our school children reaching out to our veterans and homeless shelters. The ways so many parishioners support life and pregnant mothers through crisis pregnancy centers. I am so grateful for our young people who are bringing our faith into their high schools and colleges. I hear of parishioners sharing the faith in the workplace and with extended family members who no longer have a relationship with Our Lord. Then there are 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 ministries that serve so many 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. 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, we rightly owe 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.

If you are traveling for Thanksgiving, I pray for a safe journey and peaceful time with your loved ones.