Today’s Gospel from St. Luke says: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you but rather, division.” This is a disturbing statement and yet, this is what happened in the time of Jesus and continues to happen. Not everyone believes in the values that Jesus taught and exemplified throughout his life. Not everyone lives by them in today’s world. The values of Jesus focus on the dignity and value of each person created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus constantly reached out to those who were looked down on by the people of his culture and times. Many today in our world chose primitive values that are self-centered. They do not include God or Jesus in their way of dealing with the world or people. Thus, division. Jesus did not back down on what was important to him. That can be a temptation for us.
Each month I put together the figures of our income from Sunday and weekday Masses, both for collections taken up in church and donations given online. I show the comparison between 2019 and 2018. I also include the budgeted amount that is needed to meet expenses for the month. It is rare that we meet the budgeted figure. Many people are very generous to St. Francis Church and I am grateful for their ongoing support. Some have to live on a fixed income. But some give only $1 in the collection, or nothing at all. You keep this church going; your donations pay the bills, provide beautiful music, salaries for our staff, the ministries that touch the lives of many people. The Archdiocese doesn’t pay our bills. In fact we are assessed a certain amount each year that we must pay the Archdiocese: the regular yearly Archdiocesan assessments for St. Francis are about $200,000 and the school tax is $144,000. I believe that this is important information for everyone to know.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.