Message from Fr. Howe - A Sign of Appreciation
Merry Christmas, one and all—and blessed Feast of the Holy Family!
As you entered into Holy Cross, St. Hedwig or St. Clement churches over the past several days you might have noticed festive evergreen wreaths adorning the doors. I want to draw your attention to these beautiful wreaths as a sign of appreciation for all of our dedicated volunteers who work so tirelessly throughout our parish in countless ways. The beautiful wreaths were all Minnesota grown and prayerfully woven by organizers of the Holy Family Home. A charitable contribution was made to the Holy Family Home in honor of our parish volunteers in deep gratitude for their service. Special mention should be made of the Tuesday Toilers who do so much and helped to hang up the wreaths. Without attempting an exhaustive list, I would like to mention at least a few groups of volunteers who come ready to mind: those who regularly clean and who decorated our churches so beautifully for Christmas, our liturgical ministers and all who assisted with preparations for our festive Christmas Masses, our funeral lunch helpers, our money counters, school volunteers, family faith formation catechists, homebound ministers, those who help stuff bulletins, SeptemberFest volunteers, our trustees, members of pastoral and finance councils and countless others who serve in visible and in hidden ways. In this Christmas season, please know of my personal appreciation, the appreciation of our staff and indeed our entire parish. We could not do it without you!
I am grateful to the Holy Spirit for orchestrating a timely introduction to the work of the Holy Family Home. I commend their efforts. May their important work be blessed and the young people they serve be touched. I am so grateful that the wreaths that hang on the entrances to our parish campuses will lift the hearts of those who enter and pass by to remember the reason for the season. Here is a bit more information about the organization that our charitable contribution is going to support.
The Holy Family Home for Orphanage Graduates and Disadvantaged Young People is a recently formed US-based charitable organization aiming to serve the orphans in an Eastern European country Ukraine. Our mission is to provide spiritual, educational, and physical support to older orphans and disadvantaged youth as they age out of state-run boarding schools and start living on their own. This includes providing a loving residential environment (transitional housing), providing daily access to the Sacraments of the Church, providing spiritual counselling and support, teaching domestic virtues, teaching household skills, teaching social skills, teaching handyman skills, teaching the arts of farming, providing help in choosing and acquiring a profession in order to become self-supporting and productive members of society, organizing summer camps, and providing basic Catholic education. It is also our goal to reach out to the younger orphans who are currently living in the institutionalized environment by providing for them a variety of learning, recreational, and discernment activities. To learn more please visit the organization's website: www.jmjhome.org
May Jesus, Mary and Joseph intercede for these young people and all who find themselves in need!
United in gratitude,