Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I ask for your support of the Called to Serve as Christ campaign this weekend. We first announced this campaign in August, and over the course of the fall, I trust most of you have received various communications about it. In particular, all registered households in the parish should have received a letter from Archbishop Sartain asking for your help. Thank you to all who have already generously responded; so far 7% of our households have pledged or given almost $320,000 toward our $1.1 million goal.
Recap of the Campaign: For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance to participate, you may recall that Archbishop Sartain initiated this campaign to support the retired priests of the Archdiocese of Seattle as well as those religious who have served here in Western Washington. The urgency of the campaign became more and more apparent as the Archdiocese looked at the increasing number of priests who are not able to serve in parishes full-time and yet need support as they continue to bring the sacraments to so many by assisting with Masses and confessions as they are able. It has always struck me how many of my ordained brothers continue to exercise their priestly vocation for the good of souls even as their health declines!
In addition, Archbishop Sartain desired to recognize the many years of dedicated priestly ministry offered by the Dominican friars in Seattle. And so, the Archbishop graciously decided to direct a significant portion of the funds raised here at Blessed Sacrament Parish to our aging and infirm Dominican brothers. I am grateful to Archbishop Sartain for his generosity! As a result, 42.5% of every dollar given here will go to support the aging and infirm Dominican priests who have served in Seattle and throughout our Western Dominican Province. [The pie chart gives a full breakdown of how funds given at Blessed Sacrament Church will be distributed.]
Two coins: In today’s Gospel, the widow generously gives two small coins that Jesus identifies as “her whole livelihood.” Saint Bede the Venerable suggests that these two coins represent the love of God and the love of neighbor. According to Bede, these loves are represented by “small” coins because such love does not come first from us, but rather as a gift of the grace of God. And yet, such love is everything, our whole livelihood!
The priests and religious supported by this campaign are like that poor widow. By God’s grace, with all their human frailties, they gave to the Church their whole livelihood, loving God and neighbor in prayer and service. In many cases, the likeness is not merely spiritual; how great the number that gave up worldly success and security to follow Jesus in holiness!
Now it is our turn. The love of God calls us to sacrifice something of our livelihood, and to drop in our two small coins in support of those friars, priests and religious who have given their lives to the Body of Christ. Any gift is truly appreciated, whether financial or prayerful.
In the pews this weekend: This weekend, I will ask everyone to fill out an envelope as a sign of our common support for this campaign. Envelopes may be found at the entrances to the Church or in the racks in the pews.
The campaign envelopes are very accessible. As is usually the case, there is space on the envelope to indicate your gift or pledge. If you have already given, there is a box where you can indicate that as well. And if you are not able to give financially to this campaign, there is also a box to indicate your prayerful support.
Thank you! I want to thank all of you for your prayers and support for this campaign. What a great gift it is to be able to support the priests, both Dominican and Archdiocesan, who have led generations to Jesus through the Eucharistic sacrifice!
In Christ and St. Dominic,
fr John Marie, op
If you would like more information or to make a gift, please visit the campaign website: www.calledtoserveaschrist.org.
As noted above, 42.5% of all Called to Serve campaign funds raised at Blessed Sacrament will benefit the elderly and infirm Dominican friars. You can read more about this breakdown in Fr. John Marie's Pastor's Corner from August 19, 2018.