2018 Together In Mission

The 2018 Together In Mission campaign kicked off last Sunday. We heard students and faculty from Immaculate Conception School share personal stories highlighting the crucial role of Catholic Schools in the lives of these less fortunate. Our Catholic Schools not only provide excellent education, enabling these students to enter good colleges; they also provide much needed basic faith formation for the entire family. One young student said that Immaculate Conception School gives her the ability to read the Bible to her mother who cannot read or write. Another shared the story of the parents who sacrificed their bed to their daughters, so they would be well rested for school. So many stories of families working 2-3 part-times jobs at minimum wages, cleaning and cooking for the school, etc., in gratitude for their children’s education.

Last year, SMT was $20,000 short of our Together In Mission goal. The 2018 goal is almost $87,000, which is higher than 2017. I again ask for your support and participation in this annual campaign. As Archbishop Gomez put it, we sometimes think of the Archdiocese as a “black hole,” but these students show us the real faces of the receivers of your generosity. Thank you in advance for your support.

God’s covenant with us is the dominant theme in scripture during this year’s Lenten Season, one of the most important concepts in the Bible. A covenant establishes a blood relationship between two strangers. A blood relationship, such as mother-daughter, is permanent. Forever they will be mother and daughter and neither one of them can break the relationship. God’s covenant with us is just that: everlasting and irrevocable.

Throughout Salvation History, we hear of a “new covenant.” Humanity continually breaks this relationship, and God, faithful to His promise, renews the same covenant with new people.

God gave Noah the rainbow as the sign of their covenant. A rainbow appears to join heaven and earth. The sign of the rainbow may help us to understand better the pivotal place of Jesus in salvation history. Like the rainbow, he is the link between God and humankind, between heaven and earth.

In the past, Lent was a time of severe penance as a way of purifying ourselves from our sinful habits with a renewed commitment to follow Christ – the New Covenant. The Church now leaves the Lenten practice of penance to the good will and generosity of individual Christians. This Lent, let’s spend time in personal reflection on where we stand in the covenant: where is our relationship with God, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and fellow parishioners? - Fr. Ben

Susana Nieto