Are you wondering what Christianity is all about?
Are you curious about the Catholic Church?
Have you not received First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you engaged or married to a Catholic, and want to know why they believe “all that stuff”?
Are you returning to the Church after a long absence?
Or are you simply interested in learning more about the Faith you already profess and practice?
THE ALPHA COURSE classes began on Tuesday, May 6th, in Fr. D'Arco Hall, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
(There is no commitment, cost , or obligation to you!)
Monsignor Raun will begin a four week adult education series entitled "Theology of Healing" it will begin on 27 October and end on 17 November 2014. The class will be held each Monday starting at 7:00pm in Father D'Arco Hall. All are invited to attend bring a friend.
Our parish has adoration of the Blessed Sacrament available 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)! Adorers are always needed! Click below for times with urgent needs for adorers.
"Could you not keep watch for one hour?" Mark 14:37
On Sunday, October 23, 2014 the St. Thomas Aquinas parish held its annual Investiture of the Knights of the Altar. Msgr. Douglas Raun, Pastor Invested the Knights of the Altar and Fr. Christopher Bernabe assisted. The new" Supreme Grand Knight" of the Altar for this 2014-2015 chosen was Steven Lopez who has been for many years of his life an Altar Server with St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.
We congratulate Steven who precedes Josiah Fredette who will now serve as the "Grand Knight" with several other former Grand Knights. The Investiture Service consisted of each category of Altar Servers giving their pledge to serve faithfully and commit to the duties as an Knight of the Altar. The service ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We also thank Mrs. Dinah Sandusky and Mr. Steven Woodbury, Director of Liturgy & Music who organized the Investiture Service and reception held for our Altar Servers. Once again, congratulations to all the Knights of the Altar listed below.
My dear family,
This Wednesday we celebrate one of the minor feasts of the Church, the Transfiguration of our Lord, when He revealed His divine glory to Peter, James, and John upon Mt. Tabor, in the presence of Moses and Elijah.
It's also the first day of the new academic year at St. Thomas Aquinas School. I'm very happy to report that, according to the latest reports, we are near capacity in enrollment. It is thanks to our dear Sisters and excellent teachers and staff that our school has such an outstanding reputation. Thank you for your support of Catholic education.
I have received the following note from Catholic Charities:
"Dear Msgr. Raun,
Everyday miracles continue to happen at Catholic Charities because of incredible benefactors like your parish who commit to providing much needed assistance to those in need. Your donation of $8,240.51 has been designated for the Children's Border Crisis,assisting unaccompanied children fleeing the worst of living conditions. Your selfless act of kindness creates hope in their world of despair and loss. Please express my appreciation to your parishioners and please keep the children in your prayers.
Executive Director, Catholic Charities"
"Do you believe in life after death?" the boss asked his employee.
"Yes, sir" the employee replied.
"Well, then, that makes everything fine" said the boss, "because after you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in to see you!"
A blessed week!
Msgr. Doug Raun
I have had a number of parishioners thank me for our campaign to get people to dress modestly and neatly for Mass. By nature, I don't enjoy correcting people, but I have seen an improvement in how people dress. Let's all remember the basic rule: be covered from the shoulders to the knees.
I have also received a lot of favorable comments about the update on the building campaign in last week's bulletin. I'll keep you informed as things progress. We need to just "stay the course", and we will get the new parish church and "campus" (that's the word they seem to use nowadays for the whole complex of church buildings), which is so critical for the future of our parish.
Last Friday there was a big celebration of Archbishop Sheehan's 50th priestly ordination at the Cathedral. Of course it coincided with his 75th birthday, so this celebration was, in a way, his "last hurrah" - when the new Archbishop comes, all of the attention will be on the "new guy". There were many people present, and lots of priests (and twenty bishops!) I think everyone there was very moved. Being a bishop anytime, anywhere, is a very hard ministry, and Archbishop Sheehan has done a wonderful job guiding our Archdiocese through some hard times. Let's remember him in our prayers as we ask the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father and his advisers as the process begins to find a new Archbishop for our Diocese.
You folks are wonderful - last weekend you gave $8,240 to help Catholic Charities of Las Cruces and El Paso with the children who are crossing the border. God bless you.
OK - a few more witty quips from Steve Wright:
--If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
--To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research!
--I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous.
--The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
--The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
Msgr. Doug Raun
Ah, something I should have reported last week! Last Sunday we had our installation of the new Parish Councils members. First, let me thank our outgoing Council Members:
God bless you for your service to our parish!
And now, for our incoming members:
And may God bless our new members in their important ministry of advising the Pastor concerning the life of the Parish!
I thought you might find interesting an update on our building project that I recently sent to the Archdiocese:
"Your Excellency, and Reverend Fathers of the College of Consultors,
I wish to share with you an update on the status of our Capital Campaign/Building Project:
The campaign unofficially started in June of 2012 with Major Gift solicitations and continued with the solicitations for the rest of the parish on January 1, 2013 which was the official start of the 5-year capital campaign. As of May 2014 the amount pledged is $6,037,093 with $1,908,819 collected through May 2013. Thank God, the parishioners are paying their pledges on schedule, and we should be close to the $6 million by the end of the five year Campaign.
Out of the funds we have so far collected, we have paid the Cosgriff Co., which conducted the Capital Campaign, id="mce_marker"65,000, and the architect $384,377. With the start of the architectural work, we hired a parish staff coordinator to whom we have paid $68,032. (With the suspension of the architectural work, this position as been eliminated until the architectural work resumes.) Different preliminary environmental and site studies cost $14,641, and miscellaneous capital campaign cost came to $49,586, resulting in $1,227,783 presently available.
The architect is Adam Hermanson of Integration Design Group of Denver, Co. The master planning is completed and in May of 2014 the schematic design phase was completed.
This has helped us to have a much more realistic picture of what the new parish plant will cost. The remaining phases of design development, construction documents and construction are currently indefinitely suspended until the financial situation becomes clear.
As you all know, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has no money to lend us: it is currently all lent out for the financing of other projects. So we have received permission to explore private financing by the parish: banks, the Knights of Columbus insurance fund, church bonds, etc. We have discovered that such folk really don't care how much money you have pledged – they want to see cold, hard cash in the bank. In fact, they all want what is current for commercial loans - a 25% cash down payment. With the whole project being between id="mce_marker"4 - id="mce_marker"6 million, we are talking a $3.5 - $4 million down payment. So no matter what, we probably have a three year wait as the money comes in each month before we go ahead with anything!
As disappointing as it is to have so long a delay before moving on, this is probably not a bad thing. One thing they do not tell you about capital campaigns is that many nice people just split their Sunday tithe in two and give half of it to the capital campaign. Between Sunday collection and building fund the parish has never brought in as much money per month as it is now, but from the start of the capital campaign, we have seen the Sunday collection decrease. And the community has definitely taken "a hit" from the extensive layoffs at Intel and HP.
So it is good to "take a break" for a while, let the building fund grow, and just see where the financial situation stands in a few years. The trick will be keeping the people's enthusiasm for the project. Some of my folk are puzzled why the Archdiocese had money to loan to build churches around us, but not for us, who for years have given the most money to the Archdiocese. But it is my problem to prudently explain this to the people and keep them enthusiastic over the new parish plant, not yours.
My guess is that in three years we would be coming to you with a proposal about financing the project. As soon as the financing issues are resolved we will then come to the Consultors with plans to commence with the design development and continue on to the construction documents which should take approximately nine months to one year, at which time bidding and building permits will be sought.
This hiatus will also give us the leisure to explore our options on whether to phase the construction project or not – this might have to be an option to consider if construction costs rise radically over the next two years. As always, I remain, ...etc.""
So there you have it friends. All we have to do is "stay the course", and we will get our new church and campus. But doing something great for God is never easy, and always full of complications!
A blessed week to you all!
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9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Closed on Holidays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Saturday: 5:00pm, Sunday: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, & 6:00pm.
9:00am & 6:00pm.
Weekdays: 8:30am & 5:30pm. Saturday: 8:30am, 3:00pm - 4:30pm, & 6:00pm - 7:00pm.
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish 1502 Sara Rd. NE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Tel: (505) 892-1511