About this time of year pastors are making their financial reports available to the parish and giving some sort of “End of Fiscal Year Report.” Hopefully yours is positive. St. Sebastian’s report said that we were in the black and starting to do catch up with maintenance repairs that nobody is excited about: fixing boilers, tuck pointing, roofs . . . all the fun stuff most people are not interested in but which is none-the-less absolutely necessary. There’s a lot more to go but at least we are on our way!
Whether you were sitting in the pew as your pastor exclaimed that your finances were as red as the dawn and your particular part of the bark of Peter was taking on water quickly, or if you were blessed to have a coal black financial standing and a pastor pleading with you to give your money elsewhere because they have run out of space to store the stuff, don’t forget to pray for your parish. It does not exist out of thin air. It doesn’t have to be. It could just as easily not exist. A parish is a delicate thing. It might not take more than a factory closing, poor leadership, crime, a natural disaster, a dying city, a bad roof, and an institution that took 100 years to build up could be gone or start a long slow decline.
It is very important to support your parish financially but even more so with your prayers. Pray first of all that she remain true to her mission and center herself on the Eucharist. May she be a beacon of light for your part of the world. May her leadership be skilled and in keeping with the call of Christ and with worldly requirements. May she energize her people with apostolic zeal. May she remain strong and relevant. May she keep doing what she was meant to do.