Dear parishioners: I just came back from what I call, my first 3-day missionary trip to my home country Venezuela. It clearly had 3 distinctive goals:
1) Marched in solidarity with my people in a national protest against the leftist and dictatorial government which has led the country into an economic, social and political chaos.
2) Joined my family in the celebration of my sister’s 70th birthday. She is my mom’s primary care giver and they need during these hard times all the encouragement, love and support they can get.
3) Handed over the $7500 worth camera-scanner bought here with parishioners’ donations for the diagnosis and treatment of eye cancer. The rate of incidence at this particular Oncological Center in Caracas is of about 130 adults and 50 children per month. This Pictor Plus scanner is helpful in detecting other eye deceases or conditions besides cancer and facilitates the elaboration of statistics for future research. The oncologist who received the scanner was extremely grateful for our gift to the center and believes they are the only ones in Venezuela with such state-of-the-art equipment. This scanner will literally save hundreds of people with life threatening conditions in a country where the availability of resources is very poor. I believe this form of assistance to the health care system of Venezuela is safer than medicine. This latter form lends itself to manipulation and uncertainty in the proper way of delivery and handling. Needless to say, I am extremely proud and thankful for the generous donations of so many parishioners whose goodness of heart is evident. May God bless you abundantly.
Also, I would like to make an appeal for anyone who would like to be part of two very important parish teams: the Green and the Media Teams. We have already collected several names of volunteers for the Green Team whose main purpose is to foster a culture of care for the environment and put into practice ideas conducive to such purpose. New comers are welcome. Please consider volunteering your time for this worthy cause so dear to my heart and the Pope’s as well. Our first meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 21st at 7:30 pm in the Parma Room.
On another note, we are seriously considering the purchase of two screens and projectors to be used mainly during our weekend Masses. We feel the time is right for this to happen in light of the upcoming renovations of our sanctuary. This costly investment ($23000) would only make sense if we have the man power necessary to operate it. Many feel such a way of leading the congregation in worship is awesome: to be able to follow the song lyrics, possibly the readings and prayers, not looking down at a book but looking up, enhances the liturgy and people’s participation tremendously, and I agree. But like I said, we need laborers in the vineyard of the Lord.
Would you be willing to be part of a first ever Media Team here at SJN that, with the proper training would commit itself to putting together all the data necessary in the system so that it could be projected during Mass? The minimum number of people necessary for this committee is 10, two per Mass. This would call for a twice-a-month commitment per person. However, the more participation the easier the task to manage all the Masses. If this is something you feel you are being called to share your gift, knowledge and talent please consider prayerfully volunteering to be part of this team. Be a trail blazer. You may call the parish office and contact Blanca Rocha, our Pastoral Associate.
Thank you. Peace!
Fr. Octavio Muguerza