From the Pastor: Odds and Ends
1) Last week I received the following email from Bishop Parkes. He asked me to extend his thanks to you for your “expressions of support and gratitude.” I wish also to express my thanks to all of you who have thus far sent him the notes and letters he references. It shows that he knows that you are paying attention to what he is doing on our behalf, that you really do support him, and that you are not somehow “outsiders” in the Diocese but rather are a dear part of his flock. If you have not yet sent him a card, please do so. One day I hope he becomes convinced that we are not just fairweather friends but faithful Catholics who—of course(!)—support their Bishop in all things Catholic! The parish contributions to his Catholic Ministry Appeal keep growing, too, which, although he is too refined to mention it, is something that I am sure he pays attention to as well. We still only have 23% participation in the appeal, so if you plan to give to this appeal yet have been procrastinating, this is a good time to follow through on your donations as well. Thank you for your generosity! Here is his email. Dear Fr. Edwin, I hope that you are doing well and feeling ok. I just heard that you were recently ill. I wanted to let you know that I have received many cards and letters from parishioners at Epiphany Parish over the past several weeks. This includes notes received from children as well as adults. Almost all have expressed appreciation and gratitude that the Dicastery has granted an additional two years for the celebration of TLM. They are also appreciative of my efforts in requesting this permission. Please extend my thanks to your parishioners for their expressions of support and gratitude. And most importantly, for their prayers. May you have a blessed weekend! Sincerely yours in Christ, + Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of St. Petersburg
2) Fr. Vincent Capuano, S.J. sent this short but sweet message. The ACU has a women's retreat scheduled for Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21. Manresa retreat house Miami. Same as last year.They asked me to direct it. Send a message on whatsapp to Erik Vieria 352-263-7201 to register. Of course, if you know Fr. Vincent, you know that this retreat will be worth attending, even though it means a drive to Miami. For those of you who may be new here and don’t remember him from his years of assisting here, I can assure you that the initials, “S.J.” after his name are not the scary initials of the (unfortunately) typical Jesuit of this day and age. He is an outstanding Catholic priest. Yes, Jesuit and Catholic. Really.
3) There is an amendment to the Florida Constitution being proposed that needs your attention. Please go to suncoastcatholics.org for more information, but here are some highlights. The “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion” is in the petition stage right now, meaning that if enough signatures are collected it will be on the ballot in November of 2024. From the above-mentioned website, here is what will happen if it gets passed.
This unGodly amendment will:
4) Our annual Priests’ Convocation is coming up soon. From the afternoon of October 2 through the afternoon of October 5 most of the priests of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will be gathering at the Bethany Center for prayer, meals, and talks. The topic at hand this year is National Eucharistic Revival: A Grassroots Response to God’s Invitation. I will be attending the convocation this year so you won’t be able to make appointments with me that week. The morning Masses will continue as scheduled but more than likely there will not be confessions or Adoration after the 8:00 Masses so that I can get back to hear the morning talks at the convocation. Of course, should there be a need that requires me to be here, such as a Requiem Mass, the parish comes first on my list of priorities. But it would be very nice if you all, as you have been so kind to do in the past, refrain from dying at such a time as to require my presence at Epiphany!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka