Welcome Back Jesuit Volunteer Corps

Welcome Back Jesuit Volunteer Corps

Welcome Back Jesuit Volunteer Corps

We are happy to welcome back to Portland and to the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). The JVC had community volunteers here for many years and after a brief absence, has now returned.
We welcomed the arriving JVC folks at the 5 PM Mass on Sunday, August 14th. Thanks to Kathy Crosson and others representing the Ignatian Volunteer Corps for amplifying our welcome!

JVC members make a one-year commitment and usually serve in agencies that provide direct service (and advocate) for people who are often excluded or living on the margins of society. This year’s Jesuit Volunteer placements are with Agencies well known to many of us: PSL/Strive, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Cheverus High School, Preble Street – Emergency Food Program Staff, Preble Street – Wellness Shelter Staff. We look forward to supporting this year’s Jesuit Volunteer community and to learning from them.

If the JVC is new to you, here’s a brief introduction:

HISTORY – For over 60 years, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) has been a pioneer in the service landscape. With over 200 volunteers each year and 11,000 alumni, we are one of the largest lay, Catholic, full-time volunteer programs in the world.

MISSION & VALUES – Aspiring to create a more just and hopeful world, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps engages passionate young people in vital service within poor communities, fostering the growth of leaders committed to faith in action.

SPIRITUALITY – We believe in open and honest engagement with spirituality and faith. We strive to perceive God in others, practice personal reflection in daily life, discern and discuss the challenges of living faithful and just lives, and pursue deep attention to the common good.

SIMPLE LIVING – We value opportunities to live a simple and practical life. We seek to maintain balance and perspective in the presence of consumerism, busyness, ambition, and materialism in our everyday lives and careers. We hope to understand the lives and resource constraints of the communities we accompany and serve, and we evaluate the human and ecological consequences of our choices.

COMMUNITY – We build intentional communities that broaden our perspectives and confront our boundaries. We practice methods of active listening, consensus building, and conflict resolution, and we value humility, self-reflection, and self-awareness. We are committed to developing mutual relationships across lines of difference, and we assume good will on behalf of those around us.

SOCIAL JUSTICE – We advocate for compassion, fair treatment, and structural change that addresses the root causes of injustice. We recognize and move to transcend personal prejudices, stereotypes, and presumptions. And we apply the Jesuit practice of discernment, analysis, reflection, and action as we address current social problems and their impact on human communities.

THE “JESUIT” IN JESUIT VOLUNTEER CORPS – The Jesuit Volunteer Corps draws inspiration and direction from the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers. Better known as the “Jesuits,” the order was founded almost 500 years ago by St. Ignatius of Loyola, who challenged others to live as “contemplatives in action,” balancing between reflective prayer and work for justice.

WHO CAN Become a Jesuit Volunteer?
As an organization committed to advancing racial equity and inclusion, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps encourages applications from candidates of all races, classes, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, languages, and physical abilities. Applicants must be between ages the ages of 21-25 by August 2023 in order to be eligible for the 2023-24 program year. True to our Jesuit, Catholic heritage, JVC firmly believes that all spiritual perspectives contribute to the richness of our community. Applicants from all religious traditions and spiritual backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

And, if you represent a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty or other barriers to inclusion, you can learn more about sponsoring a JVC member in the upcoming year.  Let us know and we’ll put you in touch.

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus in the United States Welcomes Overruling of Roe v. Wade
June 24, 2022

The Society of Jesus in the United States welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a massive injustice in our society, and today’s ruling is a critical step toward the legal protection of all unborn children. As we wrote in our 2018 pro-life statement Protecting the Least Among Us, “The most fundamental building block of a just social order is respect for human life. Until men and women individually and collectively make a profound commitment to the value and dignity of all human life, we will never find the true peace, justice and reconciliation God desires for us.”

We also affirm our belief that building what Saint John Paul II called a “culture of life” requires a stronger social safety net than our country has today. To be truly pro-life, we must support all women, expectant parents and their children by advocating for policies like universal health care, paid parental leave and a more equitable distribution of our country’s abundant resources.

We approach this topic as pastors, scholars, social activists and educators. No part of our ministry is removed from the essential work of promoting and protecting the dignity of every child of God. We pray that the Lord might continue to inspire our efforts and to help us always see the face of Christ revealed in each person, both before their birth and after it.

This statement is published by the Jesuits, on their website . We have reprinted it here in full.

 

Finance and Pastoral Councils’ Update to Parish

Finance and Pastoral Councils’ Update to Parish

Finance and Pastoral Councils’ Update to Parish

“At a recent joint meeting of our Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils we reviewed a report on the status of the parish. At the Masses during Pentecost weekend, we are sharing these updates with you in person, and then through other communication channels during the week.

Our parish weathered Covid because of YOU … the wonderful faith and commitment of our parishioners. You stayed connected and even sent in your support when you couldn’t be at Mass in person. You continued to be a vital part our parish community.
Many, many thanks!  In addition, we received about $100K through the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) government emergency assistance over two years. Without your efforts and that support we would have crashed.

That’s the good news…

The not-so-good? Our regular offertory income continues its long-term decreasing trend. Most weeks we don’t make the budget figure we need … you see it in the bulletin report each week. It is not a sustainable situation. We continue functioning only because of a bare-bones budget, deferred upkeep and maintenance, special gifts from you and others, God’s grace, and some degree of plain old luck. Yet, we can’t responsibly continue to operate this way. Regular expenses – like oil, snow removal, insurances, and more – will rise next year by significant amounts. Some building needs cannot be put off any longer.

Is there a “safety net”?

It’s important for you to know that our only “safety net” is our parish savings account. At the current rate, it can only cover us for about 2 more years .

The building endowment money can’t be used for regular operating expenses. The diocese does not “bail out” parishes who can’t pay their bills. If funds are borrowed, they must be repaid with interest. Every parish stands or falls on its own resources
That means it is up to us. All of us.

For our part, we are now preparing to take a number of steps to change this financial outlook:

First, we are already in the process of building our parish programs. A vibrant community attracts people and enables us to carry out our mission. It’s why the parish is here in the first place! We are seeing some positive results already, with new people coming to us sharing their gifts and talents.

Also, we will have our building study results in the next few weeks. That will help us as a parish and school determine what steps we need to take with our two sets of buildings. No decisions have been made at this time……we need the results of the study to do that. You will hear from us again as this process continues to unfold. We will keep this conversation going along each step of the way.

And for YOUR part? Keep being the dedicated, committed, giving parish family you’ve been. Get involved. Participate. Share your ideas. Offer support as generously as possible.

It’s up to all of US.
Change is inevitable. If we refuse to change, we will likely not have a strong or long future. So let’s get to work, together, making the changes necessary to continue the work of this vibrant parish.”

Weeds are for the Bees

Weeds are for the Bees

Weeds are for the Bees

There’s not much that is more appealing than the sight – and scent – of a freshly mown lawn. As terrific as that is, the notion of helping pollinators early in the Maine spring is even more appealing. So, we’ve joined others who are giving the bees and other early pollinators a head start by providing habitat and forage for them as part of No Mow May. This initiative started in the United Kingdom and has earned support on this side of the Atlantic, including Portland and other parts of the state.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s harder than you might imagine for us to see our grass look unkempt, but we remember that we are working to care for our common home in small ways every day – hoping they add up. Seeing bees enjoying those bright, yellow dandelions is uplifting! We’ll see where it goes, but so far, the team’s been committed to seeing it through until Wednesday, June 1st!

Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis In Ukraine

Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis In Ukraine

Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis In Ukraine

Parishioners have asked about established, reputable, and effective organizations who are delivering immediate relief in the places where the our brothers and sisters who are fleeing the war in Ukraine are being served. Indeed, there are many reputable organizations helping with the immediate and ongoing refugee crisis caused by the Russian government’s attack on Ukraine.

The three Catholic organizations listed here have longstanding partnerships with local nonprofit organizations (also known as non-governmental organizations or NGOs) in the countries where they operate. If you are moved to give online, here are links that may be helpful.

1. Catholic Relief Services https://www.crs.org/

2. Jesuit Refugee Services You can learn more here: https://www.jesuits.global/2022/03/18/ukraine-emergency-the-jesuits-commitment-goes-on/ And this link will take you to more specific information to donate online: https://www.jrsusa.org/crisis-in-ukraine/

3. Pope Francis’ Pontifical Mission Societies The Pope’s mission work with people who are living in poverty, marginalized, or otherwise excluded are included on this website with a specific fund for Ukraine found here: https://www.missio.org/project/20899/In-Solidarity-With-Ukraine-?localization=EN

If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an organization or donation request, take your time with your decision. You can look information on their website, search for their recent annual reports describing their work and how their funds are used. Talk to friends or family members to see if anyone has experience with the organization as a donor or volunteer. Never give your credit card number or other banking information to anyone who calls soliciting a donation. It’s wonderful to be generous, and important to protect your personal information.

 

Changes to Mass Schedule in June

Changes to Mass Schedule in June

Changes to Mass Schedule in June

We’ve Heard You…

For several years now, our parish community has been participating in a lengthy process of planning and discernment, with a goal of directing our future parish life with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Divine guidance is bountiful and infinite, of that we are assured! And, from the earliest days of examining our parish life, our resources – both human and capital – through the recent days of Synodal listening sessions, you’ve told us your goals. You’ve
shared your hopes and dreams for the broader Church, and for our parish community.

Among other goals, you’ve told us repeatedly that you want Our Lady of Hope to be a welcoming parish which is known for living out the Gospel message through our vibrant ministries and visible sense of community. You’ve missed seeing each other at Mass – we’ve all missed seeing each other. And, you’d like to find more ways to share your Faith in community.

After listening to you, the architectural planners, and in alignment with Church teaching on celebrating weekend Masses to a full Assembly, we are shifting our Sunday Mass schedules to enhance our parish liturgical experience starting on June 5th . This will also allow greater scheduling flexibility for our dedicated Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeters, and offer creative opportunities for our Music Ministry.

Weekend Mass Schedule Our Lady of Hope Parish, effective June 5, 2022
Saturday, 4:30 PM St. Pius X, 492 Ocean Avenue
Sunday, 7:30 AM St. Joseph, 673 Stevens Avenue
Sunday, 9:30 AM St. Pius X, 492 Ocean Avenue (Family Mass)
Sunday, 5:00 PM St. Joseph, 673 Stevens Avenue

Thank you for your continued support as we make our way forward in our Spirit-guided efforts to grow our Parish.

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