Dear Friends in Christ,
On 8 May 1965, Bishop Ernest Unterkoefler of Charleston ordained two men to the priesthood here at St. Mary’s, and one of them was Monsignor E. Christopher Lathem, now a retired priest of our diocese. Monsignor Lathem was born and reared in Greenville and became a Catholic at St. Mary’s when he was in high school. In observance of the 50th anniversary of his ordination, we will celebrate Vespers at 6.30 pm on Friday 8 May 2015, and I invite everyone in the parish to join us in prayer that evening. Bishop Guglielmone will be the celebrant, and a reception will follow in Gallivan Hall. Plan now to join us at 6.30 pm on Friday 8 May.
On Friday 29 May 2015, Bishop Guglielmone will ordain two men to the priesthood for our diocese here at St. Mary’s. Deacon Rich Wilson from St. Joseph’s, Anderson and Deacon Roger Morgan from St. Mary’s are both finishing their studies in Houston and will begin their first priestly assignments in June. By coincidence their ordination Mass is on the same day as our annual Golf Classic and Gala, so we’ll be spread a bit thin that evening. But everyone who can attend is welcome to join us for the ordination Mass at 6 pm on Friday 29 May, and Father Morgan will celebrate a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 am on Sunday 31 May here at St. Mary’s.
As you can see from the financial report in the e-bulletin, we are running a very small budget surplus of about 2.5%, so we are on track to complete this fiscal year in the black. To everyone who has given to sustain our parish, thank you for your great generosity; your sacrificial gifts make possible everything we do here for the service of God’s people. We work very hard to be good stewards and to use every dollar to maximum effect, but over time the cost of everything does rise. Beginning 1 July 2015, our new target for the average weekly collection will rise 1.5% to $32,500. This modest increase reflects the low inflation rate of the past several years, and if everyone in the parish gives according to our stewardship guidelines, we will easily make our goal. We request that your tithe be distributed this way: 5% to the parish, 1% to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and the remaining 4% to charities of your choice, including our capital campaign.
Which brings me to exciting news. We are nearing completion of the concept drawings for major changes to our campus that will provide restrooms inside our church for the first time in our history and will dramatically improve the side of Gallivan Hall where children are dropped off and picked up for school and religious education. Watch for information soon about a public meeting to unveil these plans for preserving our past and building our future.