Dear Friends:

As I write these words, we are in the middle of the annual observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins on January 18 and concludes on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on January 25. This annual observance is grounded in the fervent prayer that Jesus prayed on the night before he died as recorded in John 17, namely, “that they may all be one, Father, as you are in me and I am in you.” The timing of this annual week of prayer is aptly connected to the feast of St. Paul’s conversion for it was the great Apostle to the Gentiles who wrote passionately about the unity of the Church as the Body of Christ. Without question, St. Paul probably had many near sleepless nights agonizing over the problems and divisions in the churches he established. As he prayed and worked so hard for the unity of Christians, so must we. In your prayers, ask the Lord to heal the many divisions in his Church, the many wounds that harm the effectiveness of our witness to Christ and our mission as ambassadors for Christ.

We are in the last stages of purchasing and installing a new organ at St. Agnes which will replace the original Allen organ installed when the church was built in1960. We are purchasing a four-year-old Allen digital electronic organ which was used in St. Bernard Church in Tariffville, which was closed when the Archdiocesan pastoral plan was implemented in June. When it was new, the organ sold for $48,000. We are fortunate to be getting it for $20,000. Frank Zilinyi, our music director and organist at St. Mary’s, went up with me to St. Bernard just after Christmas and he signed off on the purchase. It should serve St. Agnes for many years to come.

Finally, I note with gratitude the ongoing generosity of everyone to the new parish. The collections have been quite good and most everyone, perhaps owing to the new envelopes, has started making checks payable to Precious Blood Parish. A gentle suggestion: consider enrolling in the on-line giving program. This insures that your contributions reach us regularly, even when you are away. It eliminates the need to write out checks weekly. It assists us in our bookkeeping as well. All of this is done in a secure and safe manner. Should you have any questions, speak with Meghan Hayes at the parish office.