As Christmas is coming near, our lives are going to be very busy. Christmas shopping, family gatherings, Christmas related special care for loved ones, additional commitments in the parish, parish ministry Christmas gatherings, parish ministry organisation, work related Christmas parties, year end career targets; all are going to make our lives a bit hectic. Amid all this, I have noticed many of you come to the Church with great joy! Indeed, it’s a great joy to be in the house of the Lord who strengthens us, and in whom we can do all things, as St. Paul puts it (Phil4:13).
It is important that we stay focused when life becomes busy. The Word of God will be a great comfort when life becomes tough. St. Paul reminds us again: whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord (Col 3:17). He can bring harmony and peace into the chaos. Therefore, my prayer for all of you is that you may be anchored to Christ, in this busy season as you rush from one task to the other.
The inclement weather of last weekend has kept many of you home. I was so proud of those brave ones who made it to the Church for the Mass. Special thanks to all Altar Servers, Choirs, Sacristans, Ushers, Extra – Ordinary Ministers of Communion both in the Church and to home bound, and Lectors that you have faithfully fulfilled your responsibility in a challenging day. May God Bless You all.
A renovation update was given at last weekend’s Masses, but due to the low attendance caused by freezing rain, I am going to repeat that here.
I would like to personally acknowledge with gratitude the receipt of your generous commitment during our campaign. As announced the estimated cost of our renovation is $ 5.7 million. So far, we have received pledges for $1,045,000 and deposited $550,000. We are hoping to begin the washroom renovation in the New Year and as funds arrive, we will be doing the flat roof renovation of the church.
Those who haven’t made a pledge yet, may I encourage you kindly to consider pledging according to your ability. Some might wonder or even question, why the Church always asks for money? There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make you feel more at home. We spend $4000 every month during the winter season for shovelling and salting to protect us from slipping and falling. Additionally, heating, lighting, cleaning, and staff serving 10,000 people every week involves huge financial commitment. Just as your home has major expenses, so does the church – only multiplied. St. Francis Xavier Church is a 20-year-old building which needs major renovation to its facilities including: the roof, parking lot, heating/air-conditioning etc. We have a strong Finance Council and Building Committee who oversee and advise in all decisions we make, to follow Archdiocesan guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns, you are always welcome to ask! Our campaign team will also be available to answer your questions this weekend in the foyer. Once again, thank you for your generosity. Please keep your Finance, Building, and Campaign team members in your prayers.
Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor