Dear Friends,

It hardly seems possible that the month of June passed so quickly and here we are at the beginning of July with the Fourth of July celebration already behind us. Notwithstanding the old saying that when the Fourth of July is over, there goes the summer, in reality the summer has barely started. Seven or eight weeks lie ahead of us before school begins in late August, the signal that the summer is over and the fall season has come.

The summer is a time for “down time,” a time for relaxation, for catching up on reading, for doing things that we cannot do during the rest of the year. Many of you will be traveling on vacation to various destinations. I wish you safe travels to and from your vacation spots. Of course, the summer is not a time for vacation from God, from prayer, from our spiritual life. Please make every effort to participate in Sunday Mass wherever you might go, and do not neglect daily prayer, our life line to God, a great source of sustenance and strength for the stresses and strains that life throws at us, even in the summer months.

As regards the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, the news for Precious Blood Parish in encouraging. As of last week, the people of our parish have pledged some $112,000, which means that we have exceeded our goal by $2,000. I am grateful to all who have made a gift or pledge. On the level of the wider Archdiocese, the Appeal is down some $700,000 from the same time last year. The reasons for that could range from changes in the federal tax laws, to the disturbing news of past sexual abuse of children in the Church, to a sense of dissatisfaction with the recent merger of so many parishes in the Archdiocese. While these reasons are understandable, the needs of the Archdiocese for funding its ministries and helping local agencies across the Archdiocese serve the poor and needy remain. No funds from the Appeal are allotted to settlements or legal fees. All funds are used for the purpose for which they are collected. If you have made a gift in the past but not yet have done so for this year, please consider doing so. If we all make an effort, God can turn what we offer into a real miracle of love and service to so many across the three counties that make up the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Have a great week!