Honoring our German Roots in this Year to Recommit
Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write this column, I am still a little sore from all the work we did on our campus last Saturday, but it was well worth it. Not only does the campus look spectacular with the new mulch and fall flowers, but our strong inter-generational parish dynamic was highlighted as some 40 candidates for Confirmation worked with their parents, along with members of the Knights of Columbus and the Boy Scouts. I want to thank our faith formation team in particular-Teresa Stitz, Sherrie Palmateer, and Page Naimoli-for leading the effort with our youth. Last Sunday, at the 10:30a.m. outdoor Mass, children from our St. Joseph Athletic Association came in their soccer uniforms as we celebrated a successful fall soccer season. After holy Communion, Greg Keating, Dave Luby, and Scott Evans, came forward and spoke about the importance of this year’s in-house soccer program in light of the pandemic. These fine fathers and leaders of the SJAA, recommitted their efforts in strengthening the ties between the athletic association and the parish. To emphasize this point, I was presented with a check in the amount of $3,000 dollars to go towards our offertory deficit for the 1st quarter. These funds were raised from the SJAA golf tournament held last month at Mountain Branch Golf Course. This was a very kind gesture and one that will have an immediate impact. As an aside, I am happy to report that there has not been a single case of COVID-19 reported during our fall soccer season amongst the players. Parents have shared with me how important it was that their children got outside this fall and played soccer and socialized. Amen to that.
Last weekend was stewardship weekend. I asked every parishioner to join me in living intentional stewardship in this Year to Recommit. Like every other parish, our parish has suffered as a result of this pandemic. I am grateful for the faithful support of many parishioners who have continued to support the parish during these trying months, but I also know that some families could strengthen that commitment to the Lord through our offertory program. Please pray and recommit to living intentional stewardship. All that we enjoy on this campus is contingent on your faithful support. I am confident that if we all do our part, we can make-up the 6.5% drop in offertory we have seen over the past few months. I use Give Central for my weekly contributions and I would encourage you to do the same.
This Year to Recommit happens to coincide with the 150th anniversary year of St. Joseph Church and School on this current location. The original site of the church was on Bucks School House Road. As we know from our parish history, the founding families of this parish were German immigrants to America. Thanks to their resiliency and vision, we are now a thriving parish, which includes one of the larger churches, schools, and cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. To celebrate and honor our German roots, the parish has organized an Octoberfest celebration with an outdoor Beethoven concert and German inspired food and beer. Food and beverages will be on sale but this unique concert featuring Dr. Ernie Barretta and other classical musicians will be free of charge, although we will accept free-will donations. Please see the website for more details. This event will happen rain-or shine as we will have a large tent covering the upper-field, thanks to the Catholic Women’s Conference. It seems fitting that we should enjoy the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, arguably the greatest German composer of all time, for his music offers hope and joy in the midst of pain and sorrow. So, come-out and join us for Mass and music this Sunday as we honor our German roots in this Year to Recommit.