September 12, 2014
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners,
Greetings and peace. The rain today is such a great gift as one of our best ever summers flows into a great fall. I just hope the farmers are off (their almanac predicts a harsh winter).
“Even death on a cross.” The hymn in Philippians 2 may well pre-date Paul. That is, Paul may be citing a song well-known to a community of believers (as if we might include lyrics from On Eagles Wings in a letter). It shows that within a generation of Jesus’ death what was always a cruel public humiliation was seen instead as the moment showing the embrace of the human condition and fidelity to the Father’s love: suffering transformed through faithful compassion. Artists sense this when they show Jesus’ body on the Cross. It expresses his embrace with us and how his Church (the assembled) suffers as we are transformed through compassion.
Our Regular Mass schedule is easy to commit to memory: Saturday 5pm, Sunday at 9:30am (English) and 12noon (Spanish) with 5pm Bi-lingual. The first bi-lingual
went really well (51 in attendance) including several who found us via the parish
I have all our weekend Masses.
The response to our Stewardship effort last weekend was very positive and encouraging with 145 households re-committing to regular support of the parish, whether weekly, monthly or annually. Letters went out to those among our 945 registered families that we have not heard from yet. We are trusting that as our families prayerfully consider their own part in providing for our parish that some will be able to increase their giving. We will do our best to keep our community regularly updated.
The power of math: When 20% of our parishioners made a traceable contribution last weekend the total collection went over $16,000. Expanding the base of our stewardship makes all the difference.
Religious Education and Formation for Sacraments is Up and Running:
First Communion (two classes, one each in English and Spanish) and all our K-8 RE Programs meet Sundays between 9:30am-12noon Masses.
Confirmation in English and High School RE/Youth meet Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm
Confirmation in Spanish meets Thursdays at 6pm. Adults (post-high school) meet on Mondays
Marriage Preparation in Spanish meets on Wednesdays at 6pm.
Liliana is seeing if there is enough need for an additional Wednesday evening First Communion Class for Parents who work all day on Sundays. These families would attend classes and Mass on Wednesday evening.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word returns this Sunday at both our 9:30am and 12noon Masses.
St. Joseph School Girls’ Volleyball is enjoying the team experience and competition. They are also discovering that some of the Tulsa Catholic Schools are
very competitive (no wonder Bishop Kelley wins so many volleyball championships). Of course, the focus of school is learning and our students are very excited about next week’s science programs which will see several classes travel to and from Tulsa (in our new-to-us minibus and CDL certified drivers).
Principal Sandy will be in Oklahoma City for her daughter Allison’s surgery Monday. In a modern miracle story that is as romantic as it is amazing, her daughter Allison (also a Catholic School principal at St. Mary in Ponca City) is the donor for her own husband Matt, who needs a kidney. What are the odds that a wife and husband would be physically compatible for such gift? J
esus did teach that the two become one flesh. Our thoughts and prayers are with both families.
Patty Allison and the English Youth Group are meeting for the Sunday evening bi-lingual Mass and dinner afterwards. Contact Patty 918-348-6515 for details.
Cristian and Hispanic Youth continue to meet most every Sunday night, first for Mass at 5pm and then activities at 6pm.
Congratulations to our Vietnamese Football Club who won the latest friendly match with our Hispanic youth Group (4-2). The clubs are now even at one win each.
Happy birthday Monday to Fr. Rob. Fr. Rob leaves for a well-deserved vacation on Monday. May God bless him all year long.
Saturday evening our Hispanic Community is sponsoring a Dance in the Parish Hall to raise funds for an outdoor chapel to Our Lady of Guadalupe (to be constructed on the westside of the Church). All are invited and cost is $5 per person.
Last night was a first for me. Carole, our secretary, invited me to Hilltop Arena and an evening of barrel-racing competition. Almost all our staff joined her and husband Herman. Carole and horse Bob finished in the money. The happiest campers seemed to be Sofia (Veronica’s daughter) and Liliana who made friends with Bob. Barrel-racing reminds me somewhat of track meets-it’s an exciting 15.59 seconds when your person runs—and with 100+ competitors we were lucky Carole and Bob drew number 16. Congratulations on the great finish.
Good luck to all our area football teams: Muskogee hosts Owasso across the street (parking benefits our 8
th grade); Ft. Gibson and Hilldale face off and Bishop Kelley hosts Bishop McGuiness in the Battle of the Bishops.
May God bless you and all you love (and all you should).
St. Joseph Church and School