We are now in the New Year, and as we look ahead we will have (of course!) many second collections. We are certainly a blessed and prosperous society, and with that comes both the opportunity and the obligation to help. One of the most important ways (but not the only way) is to contribute to worthwhile causes.
I believe it is important to do this in a deliberate and a thoughtful way. You could just throw a $5 bill every time the basket is passed. But it is more responsible, and better involves you, to think ahead and consider how you are going to support the many needs that come asking in our second collections. So following is the list, as we now know it, of our second collections in 2017.
I encourage you to do several things. First of all, look it over. Spend some time in prayer, asking for the grace of generosity. This is charitable giving certainly, but it is also an obligation that our Loving Father gives us to care for our brothers and sisters in need. So ask for the grace of generosity. Ask for the courage to do this cheerfully.
Plan how you will respond to the various collections. Some, for example the Annual Paulist Appeal that Fr. René Constanza will be here to preach the last weekend of this month, may be closer to your heart than others. You may want to support these collections more than others. Some you may judge to not be as great a need as others, and so will support somewhat less. And of course, there will be surprise second collections for the victims of natural disasters and other unforeseen needs. We still need to be open to the demands of the moment.