Our hearts ache for all those suffering in Las Vegas after the horror of last Sunday's shooting. Please join me in continued prayer for the victims, their families and loved ones, and also our nation. We pray for the first responders and medical personnel who continue to aid and assist the scores of people who are injured or are grieving a loved one’s death.
Bishop Tobin issued the following statement following the Las Vegas Tragedy:
“I extend my profound sorrow, sympathy, and prayers to all the victims of the horrendous
shooting in Las Vegas. What a terrible, violent and senseless act! May God help us bring an end to all the violence of our world.”
The Bishop asked us to pray this prayer: "God our Father, our strength in adversity, our health in weakness, our comfort in sorrow, be merciful to your people. Give us new life and hope as we rest in your kindness. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen. Mary, Our Mother of Sorrows, pray for us."
Also Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas invited all "our sisters and brothers around the world to join us in prayer for healing and for an end to violence.” And Pope Francis in a message to Bishop Pepe offered his prayers and support for this senseless tragedy.
Cardinal Dolan of New York along with other religious leaders stated: “Today as we of different faith traditions mourn the tragic violence in Las Vegas, we echo the words of the Psalmist, ‘Hear my prayer O Lord; Listen to my cry for help.’ (Psalm 39:12) We cannot remain silent as innocent lives are taken from us and thus refuse to accept what some call ‘the new normal’ in our society. Too often following mass shootings, we express our words of condolence and return to ‘business as usual.’”
On Saturday we marked the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In light of the need for prayer, perhaps we might all pray the rosary once a week this month for peace and an end to violence in our world. There are rosaries and books on how to recite the rosary at every door of our Church. Take them home, find a quiet place and good time and kneel down and pray. Don’t’ let this tragedy go by without some prayer to Our Lady of Peace.
Also you might join us on Monday night at 7:00pm for October Devotions. We gather before the Eucharistic Lord, recite the rosary, listen to beautiful music, hear a meaningful reflection and pray. It might be the best thirty minutes you spend on Monday and it certainly wouldn’t be “business as usual” for most parishioners.
This week at Devotions, Father Steven Battey, one of our newly ordained priests reflects on Mary, the Mother of God. He is a very talented young priest and I think you will enjoy his reflection. So turn off the Wheel of Fortune, leave the kids’ soccer game early, and bring your family to devotions. Pray to Our Lady of Sorrows and ask for her peace and consolation for the many victims in Las Vegas.
In the bulletin today you will find a copy of the Annual Parish Financial Report for the Fiscal Year of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. It reports that we’ve had a decline in our parish budget revenue of $23,000. This is due to the death or moving away of twelve very generous OLM parishioners. It also reports that we’ve reduced our expenses and have a net cash surplus of about $20,000.
We have also reduced the loss at our school from $170,000 to just $6,000. The prior year loss was due to the departure of students from our parish school. Sadly we’ve had to lay off some faculty and make some cuts at the school to ensure such a large loss does not continue. This year we have 295 students and our future and our fiscal viability is very positive.
The report highlights the reality that there are less people practicing the faith and thus less people financially supporting parishes and enrolling in parish schools. Meanwhile our healthcare costs along with insurance, utilities and other fixed costs continue to rise. Therefore I am deeply grateful for your commitment to the faith and your continued support of the parish.
I am away this week visiting a priest classmate who serves in Southern California. Do good. Be well. God Bless! Happy Columbus Day! Pray the rosary for Las Vegas!