“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Our Gospel this weekend challenges us to be prepared for the end times. It proclaims the eternal truth of God’s Word. It is a strong, enduring and eternal truth. It also reminds us that you best know ‘the tree by the fruit’. Learn a lesson from the fig tree. If we simply look at our actions and choices, they best communicate what’s in our heart. It’s a good reflection as we prepare for thanksgiving. As we reflect on the blessings of God in our lives, take some time to observe, see and watch the actions and choices you make. Do they reveal the depth and breathe of your love and gratitude to God?

…Actions speak very loudly…..and your actions over the past week reveal the depth and breadth of your goodness and commitment to do the work of the Lord. While the numbers will continue to grow by the time you read this, as I write this letter (Tuesday night) we have collected the 650+ turkeys we need to provide for our sisters and brothers this Thanksgiving. The same is true with pies, donations and volunteers. Your goodness is inspiring. May these days be blessed for you, your family and our parish family as we work together to create a great feast of goodness and love for our sisters and brothers.

…Special thanks to our friends at Marc’s who are such a blessing to our Thanksgiving Meal program. Marc’s believes in our community and our region. They are helping us make sure that 7,000+ meals will be prepared and shared this Thanksgiving. Thank you to our community partner and good friends at Marc’s.

…On Monday afternoon we are taking a group of our Saint Ambrose School students, along with some of our Project WARMTH Team, to Thomas Jefferson Newcomer Academy for a thanksgiving meal for about 150 students. What’s amazing is the opportunity and blessing to teach these newcomers to our country about Thanksgiving and to share their first Thanksgiving meal with them. Many of their families have no idea about this special day in our country. Most of the families would not be in a position to have a ‘feast’ for their families. This is quite an awesome blessing.

…Speaking of Project WARMTH, thank you so much for cleaning out your closets and asking your family/neighbors/friends to do the same. We have lots of coats which will be distributed the week after thanksgiving. Thank you so much. “When I was naked (coatless), you gave me clothes (coats) to wear”.

…The events of these past weeks, and the other day in our local community, underscore why it’s so important that so many of our members come and learn how to respond to threats and difficult situations when we are at Church or on our campus. Over the past several years, hundreds of our members have participated in ALICE training. This, along with the training done for our staff and students, is one way we can help be prepared and best take care of each other…always. Sheriff Miller has arranged for another training on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Mother Teresa Room. Please join us. All are welcome. Concerned – Alert – Responsive = Everyone Safe. Our community CARES.

…One way we can extend the care and compassion of Christ is by bringing family, friends and neighbors to Mass with you next weekend for the Sacrament of the Anointing for those advancing in years or struggling with health issues. It’s a beautiful and powerful moment to allow Christ, the divine healer, to bring comfort and healing peace. It also gives the assurance that the Lord is always with us in our times of need. Anointing will take place at all the weekend Masses after the homily.

…Father Adam Zajac has been appointed the new Pastor of Saint Mark Parish in Cleveland effective December 1, 2018. Father Adam has been with us for seventeen months. We give thanks to God

for his ministry and service to our parish community. Please join in prayer as we ask God’s blessing upon him.

…Welcome home to Father Rob and his pilgrims who journeyed together to the Holy Land. All the pictures they posted on Facebook really give a glimpse of so many of the special places referenced in the Bible. They will be doing a show and tell of their pictures and memories In January.

…Many thanks to our Catholic Works of Mercy team for all their efforts to help collect all the turkeys and pies….and more importantly….for all the good they do for others on behalf of our community and in the name of the Lord. We are so blessed!!

…Dennis and Donna Koeth hosted a Couple to Couple ministers’ meeting this past week as we start to line up the 2019 weddings. We could use a few more couples to join this important and meaningful ministry. There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. Your help with these soon to be married couples really offers each couple a chance to get their marriage off to a great start. All the training is provided. Interested, please contact them at 330.225.8529, or
DEnniskoethaol.com. BTW – Dennis had his 70th birthday a few weeks ago……..

…We received one more piece of news this weeks that speaks to your goodness. Our parish has reached and exceeded our Catholic Charities goal for 2018. Through your goodness, our parish has contributed $120,300 to the important work of Catholic Charities. God bless you.

…God bless you abundantly for all your goodness. The turkeys and pies…the amazing outpouring of help and volunteers….along with all you do for the Lord and our parish community are an expression of your goodness and the blessing of our parish community. Be assured of my prayers especially at the Thanksgiving Day Mass at 9:00 am. God bless you. Happy Thanksgiving.