When is the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time not the 3rd Sunday? When you are in a Paulist staffed parish and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (Jan. 25) falls close to the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time!
As I hope you know, the Paulists have served this parish since its beginning in 1908. Our Patron Saint, of course, is St. Paul the Apostle. Every year we “transfer” the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul to the nearest Sunday in order to pray for the Paulist Fathers and to blow our own horn a bit. We also take up the Annual Paulist Appeal on that Sunday, so the second collection next Sunday will be for the Paulists. Just like the Diocese, the Paulists need to train our seminarians, care for our elderly and retired priests, and fund our mission outreach. So every year in January we come to you with the Annual Paulist Appeal.
St. Austin has consistently been very generous to the Paulists. We Paulists deeply appreciate that. We believe that the members of this parish community are partners with us in our mission of evangelization (reaching out), reconciliation (welcoming back), and ecumenism (building bridges to other Christians and also other religions). Together we give life and substance to our Paulist mission.
Next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Deacon Billy Atkins, the first Paulist Deacon Affiliate, will preach the Annual Paulist Appeal. Hopefully this week you will receive a letter and brochure from the Paulists explaining the Appeal and asking for your participation. Our needs are great, but so is the enthusiasm and the support we receive in all our foundations. That is especially true here in Austin.
On behalf of all the Paulists who have ever served here at St. Austin Catholic Parish, I thank you in advance for your generous and prayerful support.