A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas of Villanova,

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic Education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week. So this week we pray for and celebrate our own St. Thomas of Villanova Grade School which is a United States Department of Education awarded Blue Ribbon School. At today’s 9:30am Mass, we will be praying with our School Community of students and parents and staff. There are several other school sponsored events like an Open House today and Thursday, a bake sale, Science Fair—its all written in today’s bulletin.

Wednesday of this week, we celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, a priest and doctor of the Church. And how appropriate as we celebrate “Catholic Schools Week!” Did you know that St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron Saint of Catholic schools, Colleges and Universities. Nicknamed “The Dumb Ox” by his class- mates because he was big, shy and thought to be slow, Tom was actually brilliant and eventually became a University Professor, a well-known preacher and one of the greatest theologians of the Church—and a Saint.

And so, in this special week we are very proud of our school and all of the values and traditions that it represents and inculcates in our student body. We are also proud of our alumni who achieve success in many areas of life and dedication to those same Catholic values. Each day this week as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, I ask you to pray for our school, our Principal Mrs. Lisa Ryan, all of our teachers, all of our support staff, all of our parents, families, donors and volunteers. Also pray for all of our students who can appreciate the gift of their Catholic education in ways that go on forever. As is our custom, as part of Catholic Schools Week, we seek your generosity to help us fund this important Parish Ministry. At all the Masses this weekend, we are having a second collection which goes toward our Tuition Assistance Fund to help families who are in financial need with children in our school. Your generosity is appreciated.  

Every registered family should have received their personal, formal invitation to our St. Pat’s / St. Joe’s Parish Fundraiser which will be held on Friday, March 7 in our own Rowley Activity Center. So start planning who you will invite, ask, cajole to join you at your table. The price is the same as it has been for the last umpteen years—$40. If you did not receive your invitation, call t he Parish Office and we will even hand deliver!  

Your generosity is ever present and overwhelming—as always. I would like to share with you our final Christmas collection gift from and for our St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Family. Our actual Christmas Collection 2014 totaled—$132,374.05. Our budget was seeking $134,000.00. so we had a shortfall of $1,125.95!! Thank you to all who gave—no matter what amount. God continues to bless all of us in so many, many ways. And we multiply God’s blessings through our own stewardship of time, talent and treasure.  

Your Pastor,

Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela

P.S. Are you warm enough that you can give up a blanket for the homeless? We want it and they need it!

P.P.S. Yes, I shed a tear for all Packer fans—but thousands of smiles followed! Go Bears!

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