A couple summers back, my family had a float in the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish near Carroll, Iowa. It was about that same time that I was working on our new parish's capital campaign to build a church for St. John Paul II in Olathe. Visiting people and asking them to support the church took on new meaning as I reflected about the sacrifices that people made to build our beautiful church (picture below) 150 years earlier and rebuild it a couple times due to fires/tornadoes.

My Dad, who has lived in the same house his entire life, was heartbroken when they closed the parish last year. This was his spiritual home, the place of friendships, and where many of his activities stemmed from, especially Sacraments.

I am really excited to attend the 99 retreat tomorrow. We are blessed that SHOJ is such a vibrant community. We are blessed with generous support so that we can have a parish that provides for the spiritual needs of so many.

I am so happy that you children are enrolled in SHOJ School – a very important ministry of our parish. If you were at Mass on Feb. 13, you heard Fr. Pat say that he counts you as one of his many blessings. I hope that everyone in our parish, counts this community as a blessing. God is never outdone in generosity. We appreciate your commitment to the school through tuition and service. As you know, the parish supports about 30% of the school budget. I always explain that how a parish works is much like a family – we happily do more to ensure that everyone has what they need. I understand that choosing a Catholic Education is a financial commitment for you and that it may even be a struggle. I also know families that increase their parish donations after their children finish school to "repay" the help they received. I appreciate those who support Sacred Heart Parish with their time, talent and treasure and encourage you to make sure that you complete the parish renewal form (also on line).

We are Called!

Kathy Rhodes