Pastor's Message - July 3, 2016
“Lord let us see your kindness and grant us your salvation.” ~Psalm 85
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Summer days are upon us! I hope everyone is able to enjoy them. Though it may be summer, many parish and school projects and improvements are in progress as well as program planning for the fall.
Helping children grow in their understanding of their Catholic faith is a very important task. Parents have a special obligation to ensure that their children attend Saturday/Sunday Mass, participate in faith formation classes, and receive the Sacraments needed for their grade level. Registration is underway for our Fall St. Rita Faith Formation and Sacramental programs. We are in need of parents and teachers for Faith Formation. If you are able to help, please contact Anita Wagner at the parish office for more information.
Be sure to sign up for our annual St. Rita Vacation Bible School to be held July 25-29. All Are Welcome!. Morning, afternoon, and all-day sessions are available. Contact Elizabeth with questions.
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of our St. Rita Roof Campaign. We hope to begin the parish center roof in the later part of summer. Please prayerfully consider making a donation to this much needed project to ensure the viability of our church buildings for years to come.
Finally, next weekend (July 9 & 10) after all Masses you will have the opportunity to wish Mary Jo DiNoto “Farewell” as she prepares to begin her new position at Holy Cross Church in Charlotte. We are grateful for her many gifts and kindness to so many at St. Rita through the years!
May God bless you this week!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - June 26, 2016
The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
||Would-be Followers of Jesus (Luke 51-62)
"I WILL FOLLOW YOU WHEREVER YOU GO"
At the end of last Sunday's Gospel, we heard Jesus admonish his followers, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." This Sunday
, we learn what that means - let there be no distractions, let there be nothing that comes before the Lord.
In our Gospel reading (Luke 9:51:62), we hear of the rejection of Jesus by a Samaritan town as he makes his way to Jerusalem. Jesus will not be distracted from his mission and destination. He demands nothing less from his followers.
"When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, 'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?' Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
"As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus answered him, 'Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.' And to another he said, 'Follow me.' But he replied, 'Lord, let me go first and bury my father.' But he answered him, 'Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' And another said, 'I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.' To him Jesus said, 'No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.'"
In our first reading (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21), we hear of Elisha's response to his calling by God and anointing by the prophet Elijah. A young man of significant wealth, he bids his family farewell and leaves everything behind to follow the lord.
"The LORD said to Elijah: 'You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.' Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, 'Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.' Elijah answered, 'Go back! Have I done anything to you?' Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant."
In our Epistle reading (Galatians 5:1, 11-18), St. Paul once again tells, in real world terms, how to live out our calling.
"Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
"But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law."
There is no doubt that each one of us has been called by God to be his disciple, to let nothing in our lives come before serving the Lord and loving one another. What remains is how we discern and respond to that call. God will grant us the grace if we but ask.
- Click Here to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, June 26, 2016
KICKBALL TUESDAYS and other outdoor games!
Join us on July 5 – mid August from 6:00-8:00 pm
Everyone is invited to come play kickball (or other outdoor games) on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 pm on the soccer field at St. Rita. This is a free event for all ages - families, teens, young adults. Those younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling. Bring a water bottle with your name on it. Feel free to bring additional sports equipment (soccer ball, Frisbee, etc.) -- just make sure it is labeled if you want it back. This is an outdoor-only event; it will be cancelled in case of heavy rain or thunder. All skill levels welcome! No RSVP needed! For more information contact Elizabeth by email or call 671-1100 ext. 14.
Any boy or girl who will be entering 4th grade or above in the fall and have made First Communion and Reconciliation is ready to be trained as an altar server! Regular attendance at church, an ability to make a commitment, and valuing worshipping together are all important characteristics of a successful server. Please contact Elizabeth by email or at 671-1100 x14 to schedule your training session.
Enrollment for Faith Formation classes for the 2016-2017 school year is underway. Students in Grades K-7, who do not attend a Catholic school, are strongly encouraged to be enrolled in the Faith Formation Program.
You may enroll in and pay for Faith Formation on-line here.
Enrollment Forms for new students are also available in the Greeting Area.
A choice of two sessions will be offered weekly:
Session 1: Mondays: 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm (Grades K-6)
Session 2: Mondays: 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm (Grades 1-7)
Parents of Returning Students - Enrollment Forms were mailed home. Don’t forget to return your enrollment forms, or enroll on-line by July 13, 2016.
Registration for Confirmation is open to any youth in 8th Grade or above who has received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation. He or she is invited to start preparation to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. This is a two year program. The first Parent/Youth Information Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September, 25 at 6:15pm in Church. All parents and youth who are in their first or second year of preparation are expected to attend. Please contact Marie Marton at 671-1100 x 17 if you have any questions. Registration forms can be found here.