I am glad to inform you that, after a careful evaluation of the downward trend in the spread of the Coronavirus in recent time, and following the requirements of the Arizona Health Department, Bishop Olmsted has now granted us permission to extend our Mass attendance from 25% to 35% sitting capacity of our Church. This will begin this weekend. This is a significant progress and one more step in the right direction as we gradually move toward the complete restoration of parish life.
I thank everyone for your cooperation and understanding in observing the safety precautions over the past months. I wish we could return back to normal now, but hopefully we are not too far away from that time. I appeal for your continuous patience in observing all the current safety precautions, especially maintaining healthy physical distance and wearing face masks inside the Church. You may notice a few changes during Mass this weekend such as the arrangement of chairs and different Communion stations among others. I remind those receiving Holy Communion on the tongue to receive only from the priest and to come at the end of the Communion line. We will continue to livestream our Saturday Vigil Mass and the Sunday 9am Mass, offering Holy Communion at the entrance of the Church to those not able to join us physically.
I am so excited to share some important news with you! The family that offered us the Gift Matching Opportunity has kindly decided to match all of the money we raised from July 1 to September 15. This means that rather than matching $29,700, this family is now matching the entire amount raised, specifically $45,231, bringing the new total to $90,462. This is wonderful news for our parish community. Please join me in praying that God will continue to bless this family for their generous support of our community.
More good news! We received a check in the amount of $20,000 from the Diocese as our second share of the Diocesan Capital Campaign, Together Let Us Go Forth, Juntos Sigamos Adelante. You may recall the first payment was sent to us earlier this year in the amount of $35,000. Here is a quick summary for those who were not here during the beginning of the Campaign. Our parish and SJB school participated in the Diocesan-wide Campaign between October and November last year with a goal of $1.3 Million. We made 50% of the goal by pledge at the end of the campaign. Although it was a diocesan campaign, it was actually a shared campaign between the Diocese and parishes where 65% of the money raised goes to the Diocese, while 35% stayed in each parish. Our parish identified four areas where our share of the campaign will fund: 1) To purchase pews for the new Church, 2) To purchase the main Crucifix for the new Church, 3) To expand the St Vincent De Paul Pantry and the remodeling of the current building, and 4) To set up a tuition assistance program and upgrade the telephone system at St. John Bosco School.
If I can read your mind right now, you may be asking, “What about our Living Our Faith, Building Our Home campaign?” I would like to inform you that, although we decided not to make any announcement concerning the campaign during the pandemic, the Finance Council and Building Committee have been monitoring the progress of the campaign redemption. The current total cash redemption at this point is $2.2 Million. An update of the campaign redemption is provided on page 2 in our weekly bulletin. Again, here is a quick explanation for those who were not here during the active phase of our building campaign. We ran our parish building campaign from April to August of 2018, with a goal of $3.5 Million over a three year period. We reached our goal by pledge and are currently in the third year of the campaign redemption. The plan was to raise $3.5 Million cash and take a loan of $3.5 Million to build a new worshiping place.
Going through a campaign redemption period generally requires patience, but the pandemic has made it even more challenging for us. I thank everyone who has already participated in the campaign. I invite our new parishioners to please join us to help build our church. More information about the campaign is provided on our parish website and the campaign envelopes are located at the entrance of the Church. We look forward to resuming back to more announcements regarding the campaign soon. Please give me a call if you have any questions.
Congratulations to all those who will be receiving their First Holy Communion and Confirmation tomorrow. These 47 Candidates have been waiting patiently since the Spring to receive the sacraments after preparing all year. I thank the candidates for their faithful commitment. Also, thanks to the RE coordinators, the teachers, sponsors and parents for your support and guidance. Please keep all of these Candidates in your prayers this weekend. May they be strengthened by the Spirit and nourished through the Eucharist during this important time in their faith journey.
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Have a wonderful weekend and Remain Blessed.
Fr James Aboyi, VC