Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This weekend is Accountability Sunday at St. Francis.  With the conclusion of our fiscal year June 30, it’s an opportunity for Mr. Bob Randolph, chair of our Finance Council and me to provide an accounting of our financial stewardship of the past year.  All registered parishioners have received a copy of the fiscal year 2011 annual report.  Members of the finance council are available after each of the Masses this weekend in the stewardship center or during the week you may contact Mr. Ben Whitehouse, Director of Operations.  Ben would be more than happy to meet with you.  I am grateful to Bob and all the members of the finance council who meet regularly to provide oversight and advice.  Any parishioner is welcome to sit in on the next finance council meeting Monday, August 1 at 7:00 pm in the Anthony Hall Conference Room.

Accountability Sunday has become an annual tradition at St. Francis.               I welcome the opportunity to share with you where we have been and where we hope to go in the coming year.  The Book of Proverbs reminds us that “where there is no vision, the people will perish.”  This insight from the Hebrew Scriptures is as true for us today at St. Francis of Assisi as it was for those who first heard it.  The pastoral council, as the stewards of our mission take seriously our responsibility to articulate a vision for the future.  I encourage you to take the time to read and reflect upon the annual report.  It provides   an overview especially of the pastoral staff’s stewardship of treasure.              It also details the visioning process of the council which grew out of:

Listening-  Listening to the Word of God and listening to the People of God.

Reflecting upon, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the pastoral plan of the Diocese of Raleigh, and the pastoral priorities of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province. 

Articulating strategic initiatives that respond to the questions: Where is it that we want to go?  What is it that we want to achieve?

There has been both excitement and enthusiasm for the success of past initiatives and now for the priorities that will lead us for the next three years.

As a Catholic Community we have much to celebrate and also much more to accomplish that we may continue to be faithful to our mission: to welcome with joy all those who come to us, witness to our faith in Jesus Christ . . . . and reach out to those who hunger and thirst for human dignity.  We can only do this collaborating together as partners in ministry.  Thank you for your willingness to share of your time, talent, and treasure in bringing forth the reign of God in our midst.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark