CATHOLIC SERVICES APPEAL
A mailing went out to all those who have not yet pledged or made a gift to the 2017 CSA. This month’s FAITH magazine gives you some idea of the 90 ministries and services that you help to fund through your support of the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA).
I am asking every parish family to make a pledge or a gift to this appeal. Our parish goal is $87,500 for the combined parishes of Sacred Heart and St. Joseph. So far we have 237 pledges for $81,000 from St. Joseph Parish and 12 pledges for $2500 from Sacred Heart Parish. Anything collected over and above this goal will be used for projects here in our parish. Pledge envelopes are at each of the exits.
PRO LIFE AD
Every year the Pro Life Group of Mercer County puts together an ad in The Herald on Mother’s Day acknowledging the gift of life we have all been given. An envelope is in the bulletin today to support this ad. Please return these envelopes by May 7 at the latest.
BABY BOTTLE DRIVE
During the month of May we will be holding a “Baby Bottle Drive” in support of the Willow Women’s Center in Transfer. Baby bottles will be available for you to take home and fill with money, maybe the left over change in the console of your car, or in that container where you throw all your change at the end of the day, or maybe just a donation you would like to make to support the Willow Women’s Center in Transfer.
We will also be collecting the following baby items for the layette bags the Willow Women’s Center
gives out to new mothers:
| Newborn diapers
Small package baby wipes
Toiletry size baby soap/shampoo/lotion
Gender neutral booties/bibs/hats
Toiletry size hand sanitizers/hand lotions for moms.
Any extra items will be given to Catholic Charities to give assistance to new mothers as well.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE FROM BISHOP PERSICO
On November 8, 2016, James Alan Reardon, formerly a priest of the Diocese of Erie, was dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Because Mr. Reardon has now been removed from the clerical state, he is forbidden to function as a priest in the Catholic Church and should no longer present himself as a priest and not be admitted as a priest in the celebration of the sacraments. Such celebration of the sacraments would be gravely illicit and, in the case of marriage and sacramental absolution, nearly always invalid. (April 5, 2017).
SACRED HEART PARISH COUNCIL OR FINANCE COUNCIL MEMBERS
We are looking for members of Sacred Heart Parish to be a part of our Parish Council or Finance Council. If you would like to be a member of one of the councils please give your name to Fr. Whitman or call the parish office to let us know you are interested. We need your input to help us better minister to your needs.
GOOD SHEPHERD (RETIRED PRIESTS) COLLECTION
In two weeks, on Good Shepherd Sunday, a special second collection will be taken up in our parish to assist with the needs of caring for our retired diocesan priests. There is a special need to assist them with the escalating health care costs and long-term care expenses. As more priests become eligible to retire from active ministry in the next few years, our Priest Retirement Plan must be adequately funded to cover their future needs. Please consider a generous gift to the annual Diocesan Good Shepherd Collection on the weekend of May 6 & 7. Use the special envelope provided or any envelope and mark on it – “Good Shepherd Collection.”
ANOTHER SPECIAL COLLECTION
A collection to finish the Trinity Dome of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be taken up the weekend of May 13 and 14. In 2020, the Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal church of our nation, in Washington, D.C. This collection will support the decoration of the last unfinished dome in the basilica with a mosaic depicting the Blessed Trinity.
GOING OFF TO COLLEGE???
The diocese of Erie and the Newman Connection are partnering to help college freshmen connect to the campus ministry at their college or university. If you are going off to college in August, please fill out one of the cards at the exits and place it in the collection basket or drop it off at the parish office. The campus ministry office from your college will then contact you prior to your arrival on campus. These can be filled out by students or their parents.
REFLECTIONS ON THE READING
Our readings again begin with the Acts of the Apostles and give us another snapshot of the early church. Today we find Peter courageously proclaiming the Gospel that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead and how that offers us the incredible hope found in this Easter season. It also is a moment to marvel at how Peter has become transformed by his experience of the Risen Jesus.
The second reading comes from the Letter of Peter and it gives us the pattern for all spiritual life: surrendering ourselves even to the point of death and trusting in the power of God to raise us to a new and better life.
The Gospel today is the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. A story we can probably tell without even reading it. And yet this story is filled with so many aspects of our faith. Just think of all the events that are happening on this “first day of the week” – Easter Sunday. The women have gone to the tomb with their spices but do not find the body of Jesus; they are told he has risen from the dead. The women return to tell Peter and the others, and Peter goes to check out their story, but he doesn’t see Jesus. Then the two disciples have their experience of Jesus on the way to Emmaus. When these two return to Jerusalem, Jesus has appeared to Peter. Wow – what a day! And to think they were trying to figure it all out. To think that these two disciples had given up hope and now they are overwhelmed by their experience of Jesus. I am sure it took them a few weeks to sort it all out and realize the meaning and significance of what they were experiencing. I suspect the sharing of their stories and experiences of the risen Jesus were what bonded them together quickly. I suspect our own sharing of our experiences of Jesus will help us to bond in that same way.