This weekend opens a very busy week on multiple fronts. Sunday initiates Catholic Schools Week across the country. We are very proud of our Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, its administration, faculty and staff! We are very fortunate to have so many talented, faithful and dedicated professionals helping our young disciples to become all that God has created them to be.
At the weekend Masses, a representative from the school, a student, will address our parish family. The school hosts an Open House for everyone on Sunday from 10 AM to 12 Noon. If you have not visited the school or if it’s been awhile since you have, be sure to make it a point to do so now or by appointment. Holy Cross is now accepting registration for September 2020.
The cost of a Catholic Education can seem daunting. Our School Board is doing a remarkable job in managing the finances of the school. They have also focused on Tuition Assistance, especially a Pennsylvania state sponsored program called EITC ~ Educational Improvement Tax Credit. Anyone who pays $1,000 or more in PA state taxes can qualify to have part of their tax dollars earmarked for Holy Cross to help with tuition assistance. It is a win-win opportunity and we have people who can help to explain and walk you through the process. This present school, some 60 students received $187,300 in tuition assistance. That is quite a number. We believe we will have a large amount of EITC money available for next year as well. We are most grateful to those folks who donate this way, earmarking their tax dollars to help our school families.
This week also brings the two-and-a-half-day orientation for those pastors participating in the Catholic Leadership Institute’s initiative The Next Generation Catholic Parish. Two weekends ago, I explained a bit about this initiative that we will be participating in. It goes hand-in-glove with our Amazing Parish experience and efforts, although it adds data information as well. I will keep you informed as we process through this initiative. In the near future, you will be asked to participate in The Disciple Maker Index Survey in order to gather appropriate data to help in our planning and visioning efforts. Your help is deeply appreciated.
Next weekend, the first weekend of February, is the kick-off weekend for the 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal ~ Giving Hope to All. I am grateful to Jeff Mehallick for his willingness to coordinate this appeal again for our parish family. I will be sharing more information in my column next weekend. Your generous response to this Appeal is a direct involvement in the charitable help given to countless numbers of our brothers and sisters in need right here in our region. The money collected goes directly into a separate 501c3 fund and is used only for the Catholic Charities Appeal beneficiaries. This appeal is over 60 years old. May we be generous in helping those in need out of gratitude to God for all his blessings to us.
God bless you, God love you,