December 04, 2016

 The Pastor’s Journal…

 Fr. William P. Felix

04 December 2016 + Second Sunday of Advent

Christmas is near! Here we are in December and making preparations for Christmas. I just finished my Christmas letter to all of you and sent it to the printers. Hopefully it will arrive in your mail box within a couple of weeks. Our first school Christmas program happens this Sunday, December 4th at 4:30pm in Holy Family Church, Stanley. This program is presented by our students from St. Joseph School in Boyd. All are welcome to attend. Our second program is being presented by our early childhood program from St. Joseph School, Cadott. This will be on Thursday, December 15th at 6:00pm in St. Rose of Lima Church. Mark your calendars!

Feast day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary… This coming week we have a Holy Day celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Check the calendar and locations for the Mass times. The Mass on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:00pm will be in the St. Joseph School gym because of our CCD program. The best way to enter is from the parking lot and the east entrance which is ground level. Chairs will be limited and most of the children will be sitting on the gym floor for parts of the Mass as we do on Tuesdays for our school Masses. Just a "heads up."

A major parish fundraiser for our schools coming soon… We were approached by a Catholic insurance company from St. Paul, Minnesota - Catholic United (CUF) - to participate in an exciting raffle to help support our parish schools. We are one of two schools selected for this honor. CUF has sponsored this kind of raffle for years in Minnesota, and now they want to branch off into Wisconsin. The beauty of this raffle is that it costs us NOTHING and we get to keep every cent we raise. The goal is to sell 3,000 tickets at five dollars each = $15,000!!!! CUF is providing all of the prizes (and they are substantial), the printing of the tickets, and all of the promotional materials. All we have to do is sell the tickets. Why have we been selected? First, I have known this company for many years and have worked with them in other places. Their principal investment is in Catholic education. Second, one of our new parishioners, Sean Pearl (Deacon and Louann Willkom's son-in-law) is one of their agents and will help us coordinate the raffle.

CUF kicks off the raffle at the beginning of Catholic Schools Week, which is the week of January 29 - February 3, 2017. That is when tickets will be available. We plan to sell tickets and end with the drawing on Sunday, March 19, 2017 when Bishop Callahan will be here to bless St. Joseph Church in Boyd. It is important that every parish family does their part to help sell the tickets in and outside the community. We would have to work several small fundraisers to get even close to $15,000 of additional money for our schools. All our efforts are on this one. Next weekend I will be speaking in more detail about the raffle. The following weekend, December 18-19, I will be introducing Sean Pearl to all of you who will give the background of Catholic United Financial and the raffle. Since so many families will be around for Christmas, we are going to try a pre-order of tickets at the Christmas Masses and throughout January, until the tickets arrive for public sale. Wait until you see the prizes they have to offer. You won't have trouble selling the tickets. One small rural Catholic school in northern Minnesota was the top seller last year for their raffle and they raised $50,000! More next week.

Don't forget the Christmas envelope drawing… As you know, we have been drawing a Sunday collection envelope number each week with a prize of $20.00. Christmas happens to fall on a regular weekend this year. Your regular Sunday envelope for that weekend could earn you $20.00, but we are also having an additional envelope number drawn for the "Holy Christmas" envelope found in your packets. The prize for this one is $100.00! Make sure you get your envelopes in the collection Christmas weekend. Have a good week as you prepare your homes for the holidays.

Blessings and best wishes