Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The first day of school is always exciting. As I and the friars and Mrs. Bigelow, Mrs. Northington, Mr. Watson, and the faculty and staff of our Franciscan School welcomed students to school this past week, there was both nervous energy and excitement.  It’s great to have everyone back on campus although with all the community center camps going on, it was hardly quiet over the Summer. I’m grateful for the many ways our mission is being lived out.

This weekend, Dave Vogelpohl, Interim Coordinator of Youth Ministry and I are speaking at all the Masses to begin our Annual Offertory Pledge Appeal.  As you know from our annual report at the end of the past fiscal year, our offertory was down significantly for the first time in the history of our parish.  While this is not a crisis, it is a reason for concern as it impacts what we are capable of doing.  The pastoral council has set forth three priorities (strategic initiatives) where we will focus our energies and resources in the coming year.  Dave spoke quite eloquently about the need to invest in our youth; there is so much more that we can provide to strengthen the foundation of faith for our young people.  The pastoral council and I are committed to strengthening this area of the parish, but we can only do so with your support.

Please set aside time this week to prayerfully consider your sacrificial gift to St. Francis and complete your pledge card.  On behalf of all those that are served by the sharing of your tithe, thank you!

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark