Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This weekend we observe our annual “Accountability Sunday”, when I and the Chair of the Finance Council, Mr. Bob Randolph, provide an accounting of our financial stewardship during the past year. The annual report, prepared by Director of Operations Ben Whitehouse, provides more detailed information and has been mailed to all of our registered parishioners. Following each of the Masses, members of the Finance Council will be available in the stewardship center to respond to any questions or receive your comments. All are invited to join the next Finance Council meeting, which will be held on Monday evening, August 5, at 7:00 pm. in the Anthony Hall conference room. I am grateful to Bob Randolph for speaking at all of the Masses this weekend and especially thankful for his leadership of the council these past several years. Bob will be stepping down as chair, but fortunately remaining to serve as a member of the council.

I am delighted to share with you that His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick will be joining us at St. Francis the weekend of August 17 and 18. Cardinal McCarrick is a longtime friend of the friars, having received our habit several years ago as an affiliate of the province and “honorary” Franciscan Friar. In addition to celebrating the Eucharist with us Saturday evening and Sunday morning, Cardinal McCarrick will speak on Immigration from the Church’s perspective on Sunday, August 18 at 1:00 pm in Clare Fellowship Hall.

Cardinal McCarrick is perhaps the foremost expert in the church on issues of immigration and globalization. He has led the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, the Committee for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, and served as chair of the Committee on International Policy and the Domestic Policy Committee. For the Vatican, he serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. During his time as Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick served as chancellor of The Catholic University of America and president of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, placing an emphasis on education, vocations and meeting the needs of new immigrants, particularly in the Latino community.

As a member of the Board of Catholic Relief Services, Cardinal McCarrick has traveled around the world, including trips to areas affected by major natural disasters, such as Central America, Sri Lanka and Louisiana and Mississippi (post-Hurricane Katrina), to ensure people in need would receive assistance, and to bring prayer and financial support. He has also visited many nations as a human rights advocate and to survey humanitarian needs. These include China, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Rwanda and Burundi. He also has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and Central America. Cardinal McCarrick speaks five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

He is a fascinating man and a great story teller. I hope you’ll mark your calendar for his presentation on Sunday, August 18 at 1:00 pm.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark