Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Saint Mark (1:29-39) shares with us a major glimpse of the ministry of the Lord Jesus, healing the sick and expelling hidden demons. At work in the families of those he has called in the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, touching the lives of the townsfolk who were variously afflicted, he “retreats” to a deserted place to be one with his God and Father in prayer, thus gaining energy to accomplish what the Father wills for him. Like the townspeople, we are afflicted in unique ways, and along with us, many that we love. And so we pray for those who suffer in any way that they may know (and feel) that God is their shelter and strength:

O God, who willed that our infirmities be borne by your Only Begotten Son to show the value of human suffering, listen in kindness to our prayers for our brothers and sisters who are sick; grant that all who are oppressed by pain, distress, or other afflictions may know they are chosen among those proclaimed blessed and are united to Christ in his suffering for the salvation of the world.

We welcome Bishop Noonan this weekend to celebrate the Eucharist and to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to 121 members of our parish community here at Blessed Sacrament and from our mission of Santo Toribio Romo. As we have prayed for these candidates, we now look forward to the many and varied ways in which they will bring the energy and vitality of the Holy Spirit to our parish community and to the world!

As we prepare to begin the “Our Catholic Appeal” for this year, I thought that it would be interesting to point out a comparison of the “Top 10 Parishes” in the number of pledges for last year:

  1. St. Timothy (Lady Lake) – 2,013
  2. St. Vincent (Wildwood) – 1,271
  3. St. Mark (Summerfield) – 1,162
  4. Sts. Peter and Paul (Winter Park) – 1,134
  5. Annunciation (Altamonte Springs) – 1.105
  6. St. Paul (Leesburg) – 1,072
  7. St. Margaret Mary (Winter Park) – 1,025
  8. Blessed Sacrament (Clermont) – 1,011
  9. Ascension (Melbourne) – 955
  10. Queen of Peace (Ocala) – 945

I am so proud that we made the “Top 10” and my hope is that we will move into the “Top 5” for this coming year! Our assessments for this year are $266,512 for Blessed Sacrament and $13,018 for Santo Toribio Romo. I thank you in advance for your generous support of the Diocese and I encourage those who have never had the opportunity to pledge in the past to please assist us in our goal for the coming year.

May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!

Fr. Bob


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