I have received the final numbers of St. Mary and St. Margaret Mary’s pledges to the One Church, Many Disciples campaign of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. You will remember this campaign took place to raise money to build a fitting shrine for Blessed Stanley Rother and to bolster the efforts of evangelization and spiritual as well as catechetical formation of our local Church: the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Remember as Catholics our view of the Church is an ancient one, going back to our Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Apostles, with the bishops of the Church as successors to the Apostles. That’s what we mean when we say: I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! Our Church is one gathered around the bishops as successors to the Apostles. St. Ignatius of Antioch, born in the year 35 AD, only two years after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Where ever the bishop is there is the Church!” This idea of bishops is not some new imposition on the Church. It goes back to the very nature of the Church as founded by the Christ as blood and water flowed from His side! Wow!!

Many of you gave very generously and I thank you for your pledges. For St. Mary our goal was $500,000 and we ended up with $568,530 which is 114% of our goal. St. Margaret Mary’s goal was $65,000 and the pledges there were for $86,550 which is 133% of our goal. There were moments I couldn’t believe it possible but you all in your generosity proved me very wrong! The wonderful thing about the campaign is that up to our goal we receive 20% back. Over our goal and every dollar collected after our goal 50% will be received back in these two parishes. Groundbreaking on the site of the future shrine to Blessed Stanley Rother is already in the planning stages. I imagine in the next few months we will hear more about this.

I gave a homily about two months ago about once a month having a full parish (including St. Margaret Mary in Crescent) get together. My idea was that we would gather for Solemn Vespers (the Evening Prayer of the Church) on Sunday evening and then head down to the parish hall for a potluck. But this would be a very different event. Instead of having a few volunteers it would be expected that everyone pitch in and offer some of their time in the setup and cleanup of the potluck. In almost every parish there is a core group that does all the setup and cleanup. Many of us – like myself – who are used to eating in restaurants just show up, eat, and leave when we want to. My hope is that this monthly meal wouldn’t be put on by a core group who slave away at setting up and cleaning up, but that each one of us pitches in. Imagine how fast it would be, but imagine what a statement it would make: We are a family of faith in word and in deed! Now that the Solemnities of Christmas have passed I will be working to make this happen. Our first Solemn Vespers and potluck will likely happen in either February or March. I just need some time to flesh out all the ideas and see what is possible. I hope you can join us in this venture of prayer and fellowship in which we come together for prayer and the pooling of our strength and resources to continue to build up God’s Kingdom in Logan County! -Fr. W.