Pastor's Messages

September 25, 2022 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Greetings my good friends,

 

This week’s scripture readings are like last week’s. The theme this week is the hoarding of wealth, while ignoring the poor in our midst.

 

The Gospel reading is self-explanatory: you have the rich man who dined in lavish surroundings and the poor man at his gate, starving. The rich man has no idea a poor man is in his midst, but when both die it’s a different story. The rich man is no longer rich; he is stripped of everything and is in torment, while the poor man is enjoying the comfort of heaven. The rich man wants to warn his brothers to repent, but Abraham, our Father in Faith, tells him that if they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they are not going to listen to someone from the dead.

 

So, what can we learn from all this as followers of Jesus Christ? Note that today’s Gospel was addressed to the Pharisees, who were always taunting Jesus because He identified Himself with the poor, the homeless, the sick, those with disabilities, and the outcasts in society.

 

Have we a similar group in the church today like the Pharisees? Of course we have, even in this parish! It is a reality that some Catholics taunt the ways of the Church, its ministers, our faith in Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, and the Gospel Message of Love to the poor in our midst.

 

Who do you identify with? Are you a Pharisee or are you a Rich Man (or Woman), or by any chance are you Lazarus, the poor man?

 

Think about it for a moment. If you call yourself a Roman Catholic, a follower of Jesus Christ and you have no sympathy for the poor, the homeless, the immigrants, the outcasts, the rejected ones in our society, then you have LOST the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Jesus by His actions and words for the least in society shows us the Way, the Truth and the Life. If you are a true follower of Jesus then you follow with passion.

 

On Saturday, October 1, we will have a blessing of pets in honor of St. Francis of Assisi at 11:30 A.M. in the church parking lot.

 

Thank you once again for all those who have pledged (including myself) in our Called to Renew Capital Campaign. My hope and dream are for everyone to prayerfully share a sacrificial 5-year pledge to this wonderful opportunity for us, as a parish, to enhance our church inside and out. I know Our Lady will send many blessings upon us. If you have received calls from the rectory to meet with me or members of our committee, please please call back and make an appointment.

 

Getting involved in this campaign in our parish unifies all of us as one community of faith. Let us all achieve what the early founders of this parish achieved, build from its foundations an amazing church in honor of Our Lady of Refuge.

 

Blessings upon all who worship in our parish. Let us all pray for a successful Called to Renew Campaign.

 

Peace,

Fr. Gerard

 

 

“Every time we use religion to draw a line to keep people out, Jesus is with the people on the other side of that line.”
- Hugh L. Hollowell
 
 
Faith Direct
 

Enrollment in Faith Direct has continued to grow at Our Lady of Refuge. There are now more families participating in electronic giving through Faith Direct’s convenient tool.  When combined with "bill pay" donations, total electronic giving at OLR represents about 27% of the offertory collections. 

 

Giving through Faith Direct lowers the costs associated with our weekly collections by eliminating envelope fees and by requiring less effort to count and deposit money. Electronic giving is a secure way to transmit money while being environmentally conscious. Our parish receives your contribution when you are traveling, sick, or in a rush. Your contribution amount is flexible; as you can give by the week or month and designate donations for specific purposes. It also improves our cash flow and the ability to project our income to match our expenses.

 

Faith Direct enables parishioners to make contributions through either direct debit from a checking/savings account or through a credit card. Now you can apply the convenience of direct debit to your parish offerings in much the same way as you may now use it to make your mortgage, car or tuition payments. This allows you to budget with a ‘set and forget' plan, as the donations recur on a defined schedule.

 

Electronic giving means you do not have to stop at the bank, carry cash or checks, or remember to write a check before coming to Mass. Faith Direct also offers you personalized offertory cards (if desired) to replace your envelopes for the collection basket. You can easily track your giving and know that your donations go directly to the bank. Any time during the year, you have access to records of your donations from both the bank and Faith Direct for tax reporting purposes.

 

For those of you who have yet to consider online giving, enrollment will be a continuing effort.  Please visit the OLR website at https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org/ or visit the Faith Direct website at https://membership.faithdirect.net/CA966. There is a short video and you can read more information about this great way to simplify your giving.

 

As your shepherd, I encourage you to consider Faith Direct. Please help us make our parish financially strong again. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our parish.

 

 In peace, Fr. Gerard