Having recently celebrated my first Thanksgiving at St. Charles as your new pastor, I have a new-found appreciation for these words of St. Paul with which he greeted the Christian community at Corinth. St. Paul marveled at the signs of the Lord’s presence within the community entrusted to his care and was confident that the Lord would provide for their needs. In a similar way, since beginning my assignment here in June, I have been struck by the dedication, faithfulness, and generosity of so many parishioners. I am also eager to see the blessings that the Lord has in store for this parish as we walk our journey of faith together.
To facilitate future communications and to help us to serve better the needs of the parish, please make sure we have your family’s current contact information, especially cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Contact the parish office with updated information or if you are new to the parish, please make an appointment to register or come for hospitality and registration in the school cafeteria after the 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon Masses on the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Please let us know if anyone in your family is homebound and in need of a pastoral visit. I want to make sure that our parishioners who cannot come to church have the opportunity to receive the sacraments on a regular basis.
I am still getting to know the parish. And I would like to get to know you. Please write, email, or call me to let me know how you have been blessed by being a part of the St. Charles parish family and where the Holy Spirit may be leading you to share your gifts and talents with your brothers and sisters in the Lord. When we recognize the graces received from the Lord, we are moved in thanksgiving to share those gifts with others. I am looking for leaders and those willing to be formed as missionary disciples who wish to cooperate in advancing the Lord’s mission at St. Charles. Please stay tuned for more opportunities for adult faith formation and ways to serve coming soon. I also encourage you to check out our recently updated website: http://www.stcharlesbensalem.org to stay connected and informed about the various ministries and opportunities to serve at the parish. If for any reason you have been away from the Church, I want to hear from you as well. Unless we address the reasons people have left, we cannot make the parish a more welcoming and inviting place. Please know that all are welcomed here. If it has been a while since you have been here, I invite you to “come home” to St. Charles.
It has been the tradition at St. Charles to invite all our parishioners to participate in the annual Stewardship Appeal each Fall. St. Charles is grateful for your past generosity and counts on your participation for the ongoing spiritual and financial well-being of the parish. Please consider an offering of $150 or whatever your means permit. On-line contribution can be made through https://scbbensalem.churchgiving.com. While the annual “Block Collection” no longer involves a door-to-door visit by the priest, I would be very happy to come for a visit and bless your home. If your home has never been blessed, please give me a call, and we will make it happen. I am grateful for your prayers and support and will bring with joy you and your intentions to the altar!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Philip M. Forlano, Pastor