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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-11-15

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Today was a day of great joy for us. Was there a birthday, a wedding, a new grandchild? No, none of those things. Life must not be tied to momentous events to be joyful. This day we were together. We attended Mass at St. John the Baptist and Fr. Fasano shared his great love for St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini). In these times of mass immigration in Europe and the “hot potato” issue of immigration in our own country, we find ourselves dismayed and confused. Yet, there she is, Mother Cabrini, patron saint of Immigrants. Perhaps a prayer or two for her intercession will help us to understand God’s will and will provide consolation to those in great need.

Today was a day of great joy for us. Once again, we were able to visit St. Peter’s Cemetery and pray for all those souls who need our prayers. Many times we feel as though we can do nothing of note or worth in our lives, yet God gives us the great power to pray for those in need. And for those in need, He always listens.

Analysis and Commentary

1. Statement of Financial ActivitBrainies: Last week we made it quite clear – We are not bean counters. When it comes to finances, I find it necessary to quote A. A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh, “I am a bear of very little brain…”

Nevertheless, while talking to my juvenile, 14 lb. Main Coon cat, I had time to ponder and “Think, think, think” about things I have heard about the way it used to be at St. Peter’s. For example, the Statement of Financial Activities noted the existence of the John Paul Storey Fund, but there was no mention of other funds that exist, such as the Building Fund, Church Fund, Cemetery Fund, and the Outreach Fund. By not calling out those funds separately, it becomes impossible to interpret the parish’s financial health accurately.

As my wife and I prayed for the souls in our parish cemetery, I briefly remembered that we had purchased two plots for a total of $1,200. Did the financial statement include that purchase as “Other Operating Income”? We don’t know and won’t know because the Cemetery Fund wasn’t listed separately. That becomes important because, as my cat reminded me: “From a pure accounting view, these are one time asset sales (i.e. once sold, the church will never receive any future revenue from any particular plot that has been sold). Including these plot sales as income overstates “Total Operating Income” as well as well as the “Net Surplus.”  Moreover, absent the spike in cemetery plot sales last year, there would be no “Net Surplus” – instead, there would have been a “Net Loss” for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.”

What all of that means is that, when I’m pushing up daisies in St. Peter’s cemetery, our pastor, whoever he might be at that time, won’t be getting any more money from me. By the way, have I told you that my juvenile, 14 lb. Main Coon cat has quite a knack for networking and linking up with some pretty savvy subject matter experts.

In the end, even Winnie the Pooh would be able to figure out that collections were down 13% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.  –  Oh, bother!

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2. We Grow Numb: Drat! And double drat! And triple drat! – I repeat myself. I’m tired of repeating myself, and you are tired of hearing me repeating myself. Last year at this time, you had to read what was said in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2014-11-30 Part II about the situation caused by eliminating the missalettes and adopting the use of Reading God’s Word.

So, here we are a year later. The same ridiculous situation remains. Walk into Church this weekend and you will find a brand new copy of your favorite substitute for sanity. It will go home. It will remain unopened. People will come to Mass and sit there with no written anchor to the readings of the day. Meanwhile, they will never see the additional prayers that are a part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It will all be lost to them, unless they are super heroes of attention and understanding, capable of hearing, understanding, and comprehending everything that comes through the public address system.

During tourist season, visitors to our parish will continue to be lost. I’ve seen them commenting to each other. Some with dismay and some with disgust.

Quadruple drat!!!!!! We have become numb to the change and no longer complain or call notice to this, just one of the many insanities and foolish impositions upon our ability to enjoy the Mass as Holy Mother Church has given it to us.

3. Ecumenical Thanksgiving: From the Pastor’s Piece:

COME TO THE ECUMENICAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE
10:00 AM AT REYNOLDS BAPTIST CHURCH, SPERRYVILLE

You are invited to the ecumenical Thanksgiving service at lOam on Thanksgiving Day at Reynolds Baptist Church in Sperryville, I will be participating with other members of the Rappahannock Ministerial Association in this service. Come and be a part of this joyful celebration.

We have two comments besides the obvious one that will remain unspoken. First, in his announcement, Father tells us that he will be “participating”. Trinity Episcopal Church has an announcement about the same event. It says: “Rev. Horace H. (Tuck) Grinnell of St. Peter Catholic Church will be preaching.”

Our second comment is that it appears that the Rappahannock Clergy Association has now become the Rappahannock Ministerial Association. We suppose that this is more inclusive.

4. CCHD: As we said earlier, we grow numb. Once again, we receive a full page flyer (two sides) extolling the virtues of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Rather than argue the point about what abuses occur with our contributions, I merely ask you to ponder one thing (Think, think, think.) In the pie chart on the second side what percentage of your money goes to saving souls? Think, think, think.

Now that you have your answer, why did Jesus Christ become man and die on a cross? What percentage of His life went to saving souls? Think, think, think.

warning5. Foothills Forum: Read this week’s Rappahannock News. There is much more to this story, but this blog is about St. Peter’s and not politics.

 

 

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