The Pastor realized that the parish had never received a donation from the parish’s most successful parishioner. He called to persuade him to contribute. “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of more than $750,000. you give not a penny to the Church. Wouldn’t you like to help your parish and give back in some way?” The parishioner mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?” Embarrassed, the pastor mumbled, “Um.. No.” “Second, that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheel chair?” The stricken pastor, began to stammer out an apology, but was cut off. “Third, that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident.” The man’s voice rising in indignation, “leaving her penniless with three children?!” The humiliated pastor, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea…” On a roll the man cut him off once again, “…And I don’t give any money to them, so why should I give the parish anything?!?”
There are so many stories about people’s lack of generosity, but such can never be said here at Visitation. Since I arrived, I have been overwhelmed by the big hearts of the Viz family. You give so much of yourselves in so many ways. From getting up early Sunday morning to cook a Parish Superbowl breakfast ( the scrambled eggs were fabulous!), to donating more than 50 Mercy Bags every month, to the food contributions to St. Margaret Center, to care for the poor Catholic parishes through the Together in Mission Program, to parents volunteering their time for innumerable fund raisers, to the church angels contributing their time to clean the church, to all our liturgical ministers who give their lives in service, to our sandwich makers Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to the Knights of Columbus clean-up days, to all of you who contribute in the Sunday offerings, I could go on forever. The good I see here all about me. I am overwhelmed with all your generosity and am grateful for it.
Thank you! Fr. Jim