Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This will be a busy and exciting week.  On Tuesday all of our parish employees will gather for a morning of prayer and formation beginning with Mass in the church at 9:00 am.  Wednesday is the opening day for our parish Franciscan School which is always an exciting day to welcome our children back.

Our Parish Vision Statement refers to our “natural and simple surroundings.” How blessed that our parish founders and those serving on various planning and building committees since, have worked hard to preserve that environment for us to enjoy to this day.  While walking around campus, in addition to enjoying the variety of plants and  animals to which we have all become accustomed, you may also have the occasion to see hawks, deer, raccoons, opossums, foxes, ground hogs and even a few feral cats.

Although seeing one of these animals may initially be startling, observing one in the city or during the day does not automatically mean they are rabid. (Foaming at the mouth, stumbling, walking in circles and aggression are better signs.)  Although it is fine to observe the beauty of these creatures from a distance, never forget that they are wild  animals and never approach them. Even if a young animal appears abandoned, its mother may be nearby and sense your approach as a threat.  If you sense that an animal needs “rescuing” or is sick, notify a staff member or call Raleigh Animal Control at 919-996-1449.  Do not attempt to capture or  feed wild animals.  If approached, do not run but attempt to calmly walk into any unlocked building or seek refuge in your vehicle.

May you continue to enjoy the beauty of our natural  surroundings!

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark