Happy Back to School Sunday and Back to School Week! This weekend, we are happy to welcome our school children and school families at our 10:00am Mass for the annual Blessing of the Backpacks. An Open House will follow at the school so that our students and parents can drop off supplies, see their classrooms, and start to get into school rhythm. All parishioners are welcome to visit the school on Sunday until 1:00pm to see our fine school buildings. Many thanks to our maintenance staff, Ken, Joe, and Amira, who have spent this summer deep cleaning, painting, repairing, and organizing the school buildings. Everything looks great and we are ready to welcome our students back! Thanks also to Mr. Holley and Mrs. Lueke and other members of the administration and faculty who have also spend their summer preparing for this school year. The first day of school is this Wednesday, August 16. Please keep our students and staff in your prayers as they begin the 2023-2024 school year.
This week is also the feast of the Assumption of Mary, a holy day of obligation, on Tuesday, August 15. This day celebrates that at the end of her earthly life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven and crowned Queen of the Universe, where she continues to intercede for us. Where Mary has gone, we hope to follow! Masses for the holy day will be celebrated at 6:30am and 6:30pm on Tuesday. If these times are not convenient for you, please contact the other parishes around us for their Mass schedule.
As we head into the school year and into fall, our parish community will be engaged in Stewardship season, a time for each of us to reflect and commit on being more grateful and generous with the gifts God has given to us. Over the next few months, I will be inviting our parish families, in many ways and through many initiatives, to commit more deeply to being a faithful member of our Church and parish family. After the Covid disruptions to our parish life, and now that we know St. Margaret will stay as a stand-alone parish in the All Things New restructuring, it is time to each of us to recommit ourselves, our time, our talent, and our treasure to this parish community. In September, all will receive our Annual Stewardship report, and we will hear from our Finance Council, fellow parishioners, and from David Baranowski, the Archdiocesan Stewardship Director, about the state of our parish and how we can be better stewards. We will be having an Increased Offertory Program and asking every parishioner to increase their financial giving. We will be encouraged to wear nametags and greet one another so that we can know each other as a parish family. We will be having a number of Stewardship Fairs to encourage participation in our parish ministries and organizations. You will be hearing more about all these things – and more! – in the coming weeks and months.
But we will be starting our Stewardship season at the end of this month, at a Thank You reception and evening prayer for all our parishioners. This night is a “Thank You” from the parish to all our parishioners who give so generously to St. Margaret of Scotland. If you have given financially to the parish, if you serve with any of our ministries or organizations, if you come to Sunday Mass and pray for the parish, if you love and support St. Margaret, you are invited to attend on Sunday, August 27. There will be a reception from 4:00 – 5:30pm in the Church Hall featuring food and drinks, music and games and giveaways. This will be followed by Evening Prayer in Church at 5:30pm. We are also planning on offering babysitting so that more can attend. Watch this bulletin, Flocknotes, and our website for more information, and RSVP for this event. As your pastor, I’m so grateful to so many of you who contribute to the life of our parish. Stewardship is all about Gratitude and Generosity, and so we begin our Stewardship season by offering gratitude to all of you who make our parish a vibrant community of faith. Join us on Sunday, August 27!