October 17, 2014
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners:
Greetings. October is a month specially dedicated to Mary, Mother of our Lord, and a perfect occasion to share in her model of prayer, through the rosary, through Scripture and through reflecting in our hearts about the blessings we have received.
1. “Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to the Thessalonians…We give thanks for you always.” Paul and Thessalonians (and nearby Phillipi) had a unique and lifelong relationship. Of all the communities he visited and served, they were always his favorites and never let him down. Plus, this is probably the earliest of all Christian writing. Stories of Jesus circulated but as a text Thessalonians goes all the way back to the very early 50s, clustered with the Corinthian correspondence, Phillipians (just proclaimed the last few weeks) and Galatians. It is a reminder to us of the importance of lasting friendships and relationships in parishes and communities of faith. As well, there is the reminder that early Christian prayer was marked by thanks and praise.
2. We welcome Fr. Phillip Ley of Cross International to our Masses this weekend. Fr. Ley is filling in for Fr. Tim O’Toole, who became ill and was not able to come. Cross International serves the poorest among the poor in many lands. This year our parish and other parishes in the Diocese of Tulsa will partner in a pilot project for Christmas boxes for children in Guatemala (more details through Sandy in the School and Liliana with RE program).
3. Congratulations to the Aguilars who celebrate a wedding this weekend. Welcome too to Fr. Leonardo who returns to be the presider and receive their vows.
4. St. Joseph School Students and staff are enjoying Fall Break. Classes resume Monday with 110 students—we do offer open enrollment. 4/5
th graders continue to enjoy Star Base Academy in Tulsa (we are grateful to our faithful bus drivers). Thursday Fr. Elkin Gonzalez, Vocations Director for the Diocese, will celebrate the School Mass and encourage our children (and staff and parents) to focus on vocations and lives if service in the Church.
5. We are very grateful for each and every family who has responded to our parish stewardship effort. Pulling together makes an immense difference. We encourage other families to sign up for envelopes and recommit themselves to regular support of the parish and its ministries.
6. Our pipe organ is functional and tunes and ready to play again after the excellent efforts of Mr. Allen McNeeley from New York. Special thanks to Tom Starnes who came by in the evening to evaluate the progress and confirm the work. Tom knows the organ so well and we are always grateful when he is here.
7. Fr. Rob has been on retreat with the priests of the Diocese an returns today (or tomorrow). I was on retreat with a community of Jesuits. While the language at table was mostly in English they came from Guadalajara Mexico, Entre Rios Argentina and Andalucia Spain – and I even helped out at a Spanish Mass.
May God bless you and all you love (and should)
St. Joseph Church and School