What a wonderful evening that we had on Wednesday, November 28 as we had our first Tree lighting and blessing. Thanks to our parish staff for initiating this event and for seeing it through to completion. Many hands helped to make it a joyful celebration ~ thanks to our many bakers for delicious Christmas cookies, our youth group serving the hot chocolate, setting up and cleaning up, our tree decorators (quite a feat), our chorale who led the singing. Most of all thanks to all the people who came out on a very cold and very windy night to join together as a parish family to begin our preparation to welcome anew our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. As you pass by Church these evenings, may the lights on the tree remind you of Jesus and His love for each of us.
Our youth group also have decorated both inside and outside the parish offices. They have done a marvelous job, making the place festive and ready for Christmas. I am amazed at the vitality, interest and enthusiasm of our young disciples in tackling every work, task or service need throughout the whole year. May the Lord continue to bless them with deepening faith, hope and love as they grow in their relationship with Him!
We have begun to share in the bulletin and on the monitors information about our Tithing the Tithe donations for the fiscal year 2018. We have prepared a pamphlet with more detail on each of the donations, which will be available with the parish bulletins within the next two weeks. On behalf of our parish family over $36,000 was donated to charity from the Sunday collections in fiscal year 2018. This is in addition to your generous response to the Archdiocesan and national second collections which take place. Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the parish and to those in need.
You most probably have also seen the wonderful announcement that three eighth grade students from Holy Cross Regional Catholic School were named Neumann Scholars by the Connelly Foundation. This is a prestigious honor based on academic achievements. Over 800 students from the Archdiocese qualified for the examination and 39 scholars were named. It provides a four-year scholarship covering tuition cost to an Archdiocesan high school. The three scholars this year are members of Saint Eleanor Parish ~ Holly Binkowski, Jessica Carlini, and Lauren Catalano. Congratulations to them and their families, and to the faculty and staff of Holy Cross!
As you also know, our CYO Varsity Girls Volleyball Team captured the State CYO Championship in Pittsburgh on November 18. We are very proud of them, their coaches and their families. Our CYO program does an excellent work for your young disciples. I am grateful to the members of the Board and all the volunteer coaches and assistants who work tirelessly helping our youth.
God bless you, God love you,