Dear Parishioners: What a wonderful celebration of Confirmation we had last Sunday.  Nearly 100 of our young parishioners were confirmed in their Catholic Faith by Bishop Evans.  The sun was shining, the choir sang beautifully, the Bishop provided an inspirational message for our Confirmation Class, and the newly confirmed were radiant with the grace of the Sacrament and the power of the Holy Spirit!  I offer my thanks to all who helped prepare for this day and  provided a great celebration and reception.   I ask you to please pray for our Confirmation Class that they may remain close to the Lord and His Church, continue to join us at Mass and put their Catholic Faith into action in their daily lives.  In the coming weeks I will be writing each of them and inviting them to consider serving our parish in one of our various parish ministries.

Enclosed in the bulletin is the Annual Parish Financial Report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2012.   I encourage you to take it home for  your review of our financial condition.  Let me first thank you for your generous financial support of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, without it we could not operate.  Overall the report is not too bad but there are some concerns with the operating deficits over the last two fiscal years.  This year the deficit was again over $40,000 due partly to a slight decline in weekly giving along with increased operational expenses. Our expenses continue to rise but our revenue is dipping below what it needs to be. While this is an issue of concern, it is not a dramatic problem.

Over the next year the Parish Financial Council and I will study our operational budget to look for areas where savings can be found.  At the same time we need a steady increase of the weekly parish support to overcome this deficit.   Therefore, as you study the  report I ask each of you to  prayerfully reflect upon the amount of your weekly parish giving. Are you giving what you gave last year or five years ago?  As you well know from running your own household budgets, expenses do not remain steady but usually increase. In order to overcome this, we need to increase the level of weekly giving as we cut expenses.  Again thank you for all your generosity, it is truly appreciated and I am grateful for your continued financial support of the parish.

In this Year of Faith as we consider the financial support of our parish, I invite you to reflect on some words of wisdom from our Holy Father.  In speaking about faith and charity, Pope Benedict says: “Faith without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt. Faith and charity each require the other, in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path.” God Bless. Go Pats, please!!!