Thank You! On behalf of the Guatemalan family that will be receiving a new home because of your generosity, Thank you! For the third year in a row, members of the Holy Family family reached beyond themselves to help a family they’ve never met, nor seen, nor ever likely will. But that family will benefit from your generosity, care, and concern. More than $8100 was donated during the Advent & Christmas drive to support provide “Safe Homes for Guatemala” through Cross Catholic International. God calls us to carry his love to the ends of the earth and into the margins of society. This includes Guatemala, a struggling Central American country on Mexico’s southern border, where — with your support — Cross Catholic Outreach is equipping the Body of Christ to bring light and hope. A sad statistic: Nearly 1 in 4 Guatemalans lives on earnings of less than $3.20 a day (a mere $1168 a year). Although the economy in Guatemala is the largest in Central America, many communities and families there are still plagued by extreme poverty. Public agencies are low on cash and prone to corruption, so these struggling people are largely on their own. Private charities do exist, but have limited resources. As a result, Guatemala’s levels of chronic childhood malnourishment are among the highest in the world. While our annual drive in partnership with Cross Catholic International is not a cure all, it is step toward being Salt & Light. Thank you.
Thank you to Tom Andres who has serve 9 years on the Holy Family Parish Council. He recently stepped down with the flip of the calendar to 2023. Tom has been a wonderful support to the parish and to me personally as pastor. He has provided advice, history, and a trusted sounding board. On Parish Council he served particularly as the liaison Stewardship and Facilities initiatives. And Tom has been no stranger to providing boots on the ground ministry in many areas of parish life during these many years. While he will be stepping away from the Parish Council, Tom continues to be engage with Holy Family ministries. He assists in the In Heaven’s Eyes Wednesday night ‘Exit Zero’ ministry, lecturing for daily Masses, and being acolyte for funeral Masses… and probably a few things I don’t even know! Along with his wife, Cindy (also an active volunteer with our Arts & Environment committee), these long time members of Holy Family enrich the greater community by their prayer, dedication, and commitment. I’m greatly appreciative and thankful!
Ash Wednesday is February 22! As I reflect on the statistic about 25% of Guatemalans living on only $3.20 a day, I was confronted by the realities of my Lenten Fast. Nothing I would do will come close to their reality. And for them, it’s not a fast or spiritual practice, it’s just ordinary Wednesday. I don’t say this to guilt anyone, but to raise the issue of solidarity. At a recent RCIA session, I spoke about the 7 Principals of Catholic Social Teaching. Solidarity being one of them. ‘Solidarity can be articulated in terms of “friendship” or “social charity” and is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood, where we are one human family and where we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. ‘Loving our neighbor’ has global dimensions in a shrinking world. Solidarity, says the Catechism, is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It presupposes the effort for a more just social order… yet goes beyond material goods. By spreading the spiritual goods of the Faith, the Church has promoted the development of temporal goods” (CCC 1939-1942). Please reflect upon our Guatemalan sisters and brothers as we embrace our Lenten Fasts & Abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays, asking, “How am I in solidarity with the struggling poor?”
Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.
Holy Family, Poor in material goods, but Rich in Divine Blessings, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries