A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
January 24, 2020
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
December 21, 2019
One of the greatest joys of this time of year for me is to see everyone’s generosity and sense of giving. This plays out in a very real way right here at St. Francis Xavier. A few weeks ago, there was the Giving Tree in our Gathering Place filled with ornaments.
Parishioners could take tags and buy gifts for those in need. This program in our parish supports Catholic Charities’ Share the Spirit Christmas Program. (In full disclosure, I work for Catholic Charities.) The recipients of your generous gifts are families who are nominated by their County caseworkers, therapists or mental health professionals who know that these families are in need. The families that are nominated are then paired with families, groups and organizations (such as our parish) who adopt these families for the holidays. Then these recipients are blessed by individuals like you who fulfill their requests for gifts each holiday season. I have heard from some of you that individuals who were willing to take tags from our Giving Tree were disappointed that there were not more tags for people to take. Our community is extremely generous and there is a strong desire to support others. So, there was some disappointment as to why there weren’t more tags available. I spoke directly with the employee at Catholic Charities who volunteers her time to coordinate Share the Spirit to ask why St. Francis Xavier didn’t have more tags available. She indicated that reason was two-fold: 1) The size of the families requesting gifts are generally smaller this year, and 2) the number of families, groups and organizations who wanted to adopt families was significantly higher. In short, more people wanted to support smaller families.
Generally, this is a very good thing! On behalf of Catholic Charities and the families who will have a better Christmas because of your generosity, Thank You! During the holiday season, people are generally very supportive of those in needs. All non-profit organizations benefit from the generosity of others. But I would remind you that the needs are great throughout the year. Right here in Central Minnesota, people are always in need of food. On any given night, surveys show that there are approximately 125 individuals (teens and adults) who are homeless. There are people who are victims of sex trafficking.
Addictions to drugs and alcohol grip individuals
at all socio-economic levels in our community. Victims of
domestic violence are both males and females. The need to support the “least of these, my brothers and sisters” is great. As we prepare for the Birth of our Savior, let me again
Thank You for your generosity and your willingness to help those in need. Your generosity allows others to have a better holiday season. But I’d also ask you to consider continuing to support whichever non-profit, charitable organizations that are near to your heart throughout the year. The needs are great all year long and your continued support truly makes a difference. Advent Blessings, Deacon Steve