At the time of writing this article, our parish has already donated $23,000 (including pledges) of our $30,000 goal for the Annual Catholic Appeal. That puts us already at 76% of our goal. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this point so quickly! For any amount that we go over our goal, Divine Mercy will receive 50% back. Last year, we went well beyond our goal for the Annual Catholic Appeal. As a result, our parish will be receiving $7391 back.
Please note that this Friday, March 25, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Because this feast day is ranked as a solemnity, we are exempt from the Lenten obligation to abstain from meat on this day. This is stipulated in Canon Law, in which, canon 1251 states: “Abstinence from eating meat or some other food according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops is to be observed on every Friday of the year unless a Friday occurs on a day listed as a solemnity. Abstinence and fasting, however, are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.” So, happy solemnity! Be sure to celebrate!
The above note about the Solemnity of the Annunciation also serves as a reminder for all of us that we are expected to do some sort of penance every Friday of the year, even outside of Lent. The universal norm of Canon Law, as mentioned above, stipulates that we are supposed to abstain from meat every Friday of the year. This we must do on Fridays in Lent (except on solemnities, of course). However, on Fridays outside of Lent, it is permitted in the United States that we substitute the abstaining from meat with another penance.
Lastly, I would like to update everyone on an announcement that Bishop Thomas made at the end of February regarding the “Intentional Planning” discussion that he started almost a year ago (Please note that this is completely independent of our parish “long-term planning” discussion.). From the beginning, Bishop Thomas stated that this process is about how to best assign priests throughout the Diocese, given the continued shortage of priests that we have been experiencing, and will continue to experience into the near future. Ultimately, this means that, across the Diocese, we will see pastors being assigned to more than one parish, with parochial vicars (priest assistants) to assist them. While Bishop Thomas’ February announcement does not affect our parish, I want to share what was announced:
Defiance: Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Defiance and Saint Mary Parish, Defiance will be served by one Pastor and one Parochial Vicar.
Mansfield: Resurrection Parish, Lexington, Saint Mary of the Snows Parish, Mansfield and Saint Peter Parish, Mansfield will be served by one Pastor and two Parochial Vicars.
Toledo, Saint Agnes Deanery: Regina Coeli Parish, Toledo and Saint John the Baptist Parish, Toledo will be served by one Pastor. Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Toledo will be served by a Parochial Administrator. Other parishes in Toledo will be engaged in the Intentional Planning process going forward.
Please continue to pray for more vocations to the priesthood in our diocese! Please also pray in particular for the parishes that are affected by these upcoming changes.
Blessings to you all!