Just a few weeks ago, another one of our parish sons, John LoCoco was ordained to the transitional diaconate in Rome. He joins his classmate and another one of our parish sons, Deacon Will Arnold (ordained in April) in beginning their final months of preparation and formation for ordination to the priesthood in May of next year. It has been many decades since two young men from the same parish were ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on the same day. This will be a great moment of celebration in their own lives and for their families as well as for the entire parish. We have been very blessed to have had, along with Patrick Magnor also in formation, three parish sons studying for the priesthood over these past few years. In order to mark this occasion St. Mary’s will be giving both Deacon LoCoco and Deacon Arnold an ordination gift. A number of people have asked me if they can contribute to cover the cost of that gift and the answer is – yes! If you would like to give a donation for ordination gifts for them, please simply make your donation out to St. Mary’s Visitation Parish and mark on the memo line: Ordination Gifts. They can be mailed directly to me, dropped off at the Rectory or placed in a separate envelope with “Ordination Gifts” marked on the outside and placed into the collection basket at Sunday Mass.
Speaking of vocations, if you or someone you know is considering a vocation to the priesthood, the diaconate or the religious life, please feel free to contact me, I would be happy to assist anyone who is thinking and discerning their calls. Of course, one can always look at the vocations office website, www.thinkpriest.org for more information and resources.
I think that any of our parish seminarians would point out how important prayer has been to the discernment of their call. If we think of the Eucharist as food for the soul, then prayer is the soul’s breath. This past October 7th we celebrated the 32nd Anniversary of our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. When we step back to consider such an amazing history we can only begin to imagine the many vocations that have been discerned there, burdens lifted, strength offered, problems solved and thanks uttered in that chapel. Be sure to make a regular visit to the Chapel part of your own prayer life and, if you are so inclined, to consider committing one hour a week as a regular adorer or to sign up as a substitute for when needed. Information on our Chapel is provided in every weekend bulletin.
Also this past October 7th, the parish launched a new initiative which you have probably seen in the bulletin – The Memorare Society. The Memorare Society is a group designed for parishioners who make a planned gift to the parish, whether while still alive, or as part of their estate. No matter how large or how small that gift, remembering the parish in that way is a great gift to the entire parish community. If you would like more information on The Memorare Society or have already made a planned gift or have made allowances for the parish as part of your estate or would like information on how to do so, please contact Cheryl Peters, our Director of Finance. She will be happy to assist you and the entire parish will thank you.
As I wrote at the very beginning of this column we are privileged to have three sons of this parish in formation for the priesthood – did you know that it is the Catholic Stewardship Appeal that provides a large funding source for priestly formation? Along with this the Catholic Stewardship Appeal helps the Archdiocese to function, forms future priests and deacons, and assists the poor and the disadvantaged. It relies on the generosity of each one of us to make this all possible. I would like to ask you to consider making a donation to the annual Catholic Stewardship Appeal. If you would like more information on how to donate, please go to their website: https://www.archmil.org/2017-catholic-appeal/home.htm.
Finally, be sure to remember that this coming Wednesday is the Feast of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be celebrated at 6:30 AM, 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.