A thankful heart…

There are many reasons why I find my heart filled with gratitude these days. Last night was the Legacy Dinner for the nine Catholic Newman Center (CNC) students who made their pledge to ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation of Newman Students. They are the largest group to pledge $1,000 over the course of the next 5 years. As our way of kicking off their gift, we take them out for a nice dinner. Near the end of the evening, they were asked to summarize what their time at CNC meant to them. One student said it simply and best: “Newman taught me acceptance of my past, appreciation of my present, and courage for my future.” What an amazing tribute….

The second reason for a thankful heart is a bit more personal. I received a text message from one of my friends from my days assigned in Washington, Missouri. “Rumor has it that you are coming back here! We’re so excited!” I responded: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated, as well as the rumor of me returning to Wash, MO.” Barring any unforeseen last minute changes from the Archdiocese, I do not have to scramble to find boxes, nor figure out what to do with the accumulated possessions of the last 11 years as pastor and 13 in residence. So, in God’s providence, it looks like I will be here at least another year. (While I realize that may not be good news for everyone, it certainly is for me.) 😉

The third reason is that the sponsor’s Dinner Dance seems to once again have been a huge success. Kay Dieckmann and Cheri Smith and their crew of volunteers did an amazing job once again, in soliciting donations, organizing the caterers, arranging the band, decorating the hall and all those countless behind the scenes little decisions and acts of service that make the Dinner Dance such a wonderful celebration for our parish and school community.

The break down is as follows:
$18,885 in cash sponsors* (*does not include Boeing matching funds which won’t hit our books until October)
$4978 in Raffle Tickets
$6,400 in the Tuition Raffle (1/2 going to the winner)
$27,651 in Auction Items
$15,375 in Teacher’s Wish List* (*includes $1,750 in Boeing Matching funds from LAST YEAR)
$11,044 in Reservations
$2,034 in Bar revenue (thank you St. Ann Men’s Club)
$3.41 from an anonymous member of the office staff, (whose initials are Eileen Engelmeyer) to bring the totals up to a nice, round number.
Less expenses of $18,370.41
(Drum roll, please)
Grand Total = $67,000.

Thanks for making this Pastor’s heart so full of gratitude for you and for this community I am so blessed to serve.