I am writing to invite you to participate in the parish Stewardship Appeal, an annual tradition in our parish and throughout the Archdiocese. St. Charles is grateful for your past generosity and counts on your participation for the ongoing spiritual and financial well-being of the parish. The importance of this appeal is twofold. Through the gathering of census information and feedback from our parish community, we can tailor our programs and ministries to best serve the needs of our parish. Any suggestions for the improved pastoral care of the parish will be read by me personally and brought to the discussion of our pastoral council. Stewardship also includes sharing of one’s time and talent. If you are looking for a way to volunteer or to participate in a particular ministry, please indicate your interest on the enclosed response card. In addition, this appeal provides needed resources for the parish to stay on budget and to maintain the ministries and services that advance the Gospel in our community. The 2019 Parish Financial Report which summarizes the current financial status of the parish, including all our income and expenses, is available for all to review on the parish website: www.stcharlesbensalem.org.
Please take the time to update your family’s contact information, especially cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses, on the response card. Prayerfully consider a stewardship donation of $150 or whatever your means permit at this time. Your prayer intentions placed on the card will be remembered in my daily prayers and remain on the altar in the rectory chapel. The enclosed envelope can be used to return the response card by mail or through the Sunday collection.
Care for the sick and the homebound is a pastoral priority of mine. Please call the parish office 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, especially as we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas.
Having just celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, All Souls, and our Forty Hours Devotions in honor of our parish patron St. Charles Borromeo whose feast day is November 4, I am reminded of the importance of community. We cannot live with hope without the example and support of each other, including the witness of those who have gone before us – the saints in heaven and the faithful departed who we help to get there through our prayers. We are no more united with each other, living and deceased, saints and sinners alike, than when we come together as the Body of Christ to pray and to celebrate the Eucharist. No member of the Body of Christ is insignificant. We all matter. We are all connected. We are all needed and have something to offer. Each person is welcomed here. It is my desire that all may find St. Charles a place they can feel at home and encounter Jesus Christ. I am grateful for your prayers and support and promise to keep you in my prayers as we make this journey together.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Philip M. Forlano, Pastor