T HE C RUX T HE N EWSLETTER OF H OLY C ROSS P ARISH, C ATHOLIC D IOCESE OF P EORIA 405 w. Clark St., champaign, Illinois 61820
A year of joy and gladness HAPPY ANNIVERSARY EVERYONE! The time has come to celebrate. As we begin this New Year, we rejoice in our 100th year tradition as a Parish and School. Many generations have gathered to worship, received sacraments, learned of the Love of God, and have served others. Our Parish has had a strong foundation built on Christ and strong pillars of faith throughout these years. Because of their faith and dedication, we are now able to celebrate and rejoice carrying on the torch of faith for the next hundred years. This year we are having many opportunities to strengthen the foundation of our parish by many spiritual and educational workshops. We will also have social activities as part of our celebration. I encourage all of us to rejoice this year in our Celebration. It is truly a gift and privilege for all of us to be a part of this Historical Event. “So rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” Remember that we are Always Home, Always Family. May God bless, protect, and encourage all of us during this Centennial Year.
Holy Cross is a community of one heart and mind devoted to the Eucharist, the Word of God, and the sacramental life. United and guided by the Holy Spirit, we witness to the conversion that comes through faith in Jesus Christ and invite all to share in that experience. Crux (krux, krooks) n., pl. cruxes or cruces 1. A critical or crucial point.
Fr. Willard In this issue: C RUSADER
I NSID E THIS ISSUE :
2012 S CHEDULE OF 2012 CENTEN-
F OCUS : F INAN- 4 6 CIAL UPDATE P ROGRESSIVE
A flurry of flowers announces the beginning of the mass of our lady of Guadalupe. See more pictures on page 11
E TC .
N OVEMBER & D ECEMBER P IC-
CRUSADER CORNER HAPPENINGS AT HOLY CROSS SCHOOL BY ROSE COSTELLO, PRINCIPAL Have you seen the purple signs celebrating Holy Cross School’s 100th anniversary scattered around town? If you would be willing to post a sign in your yard or place of business, please contact the school office. Join us in reminding the community what a great school we have!! Holy Cross School is accredited through the state of Illinois, and now we are in the process of obtaining NorthCentral/ Advanc-Ed accreditation. A team of evaluators will visit our school in February, checking out the many materials and test results documenting our commitment to a strong academic program. During the fall and Advent season, our students have been hard at work being “persons for others.” They have provided items needed to fill the backpacks for the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen clients. They have visited nursing homes. They have cleaned books at the Champaign Library. They have raked leaves for an elderly couple. All of this is in addition to our students’ weekly donation of milk and fresh fruit to the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. Our annual spring musical this year is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Performances will be in April. Please check our website (www.holycrosselem.org) for additional information as the time approaches. Catholic Schools Week begins the week of January 29th. We will host an open house the morning of February 1st from 9 a.m. to noon. We invite all to visit our school, especially those considering enrolling their children. The Kindergarten Information Night will be on January18. Please check our website and the parish bulletin for additional information. We welcome the opportunity to showcase what our school has to offer. What Do You Wish For During the Year 2012? By Joy Pace As 2011 comes to a close and the shimmering ball in New York’s Times Square lowers, we signal the end of one year and the beginning of another. We have celebrated Christmas and New Year’s. Every year seems to brim with promise: resolutions abound, reflecting a new time to start again: with a new exercise regimen, a desire to quit smoking, a new budget, a new job or educational goal, a new outlook on family, a new way to multi-task… and the list goes on and on. I have a question for you: Are there spiritual goals on your list? Do you desire to become holier? Get a steady and deepening prayer life? Do you wish you could understand the Church’s teaching better? Want more silence, grounding, and more substance in your life? What about having more patience, more love, more heart? What about the relationships in your life: your spouse, your parents, your children, your friends, your co-workers, etc. – is there time for them? Are your relationships given the priority and time they deserve? I remember my first Spiritual Director, Father Dittmer, who always said: “You are who you hang out with.” He was making the point: who you spend your time with shapes you and your interactions. I wish to add: “You are what you spend your time with.” So if you spend most of your discretionary time with the computer, is that computer as important as your spouse or your children? (OK, Rich - my husband – no laughing!!) Note: You can replace the word computer with any other word, for example: sports, buddies, girlfriends, shop-
ping, excessive exercising, gaming, TV, movies, etc… If you spend an inordinate amount of time at work, while that is needed in order to responsibly take care of your family, how are you taking care of your family’s emotional and spiritual needs? If we are busy beyond measure, our children’s schedules are harried, and we work so much…then where is our quality of life with our family, with each other and with our God? I admit that sometimes, I am too busy. It’s actually easy to get too busy doing ministry. And one should do things according to the state in life (i.e., since I am a married woman living in the world, I should not live the life of a contemplative nun!). I have to be constantly watchful to take good care of my family and not to take on too many projects. I am working on simplifying my schedule so I have more time so do the things that matter to me most. I am trying to live a God-centered life – and I readily admit that I have much more room to improve. This year, I am trying to have a better balance in all aspects of my life… good sleep, nutritious food, consistent exercise, family and friend time, spiritual reading and study, as well as in my Pro-Life and Church ministry. And I want to reassure you that living a spiritual life can, and should, include fun! I really need the silence of prayer, the silence of reflection, so that I hopefully can discern what God wants me to do today. That daily silence allows me time to draw deeply from the Spring of Water that is Jesus. If I am to serve, I can not have my well run dry. But I find that even in performing my normal duties, like buying groceries, is filled with noise! I can’t even go to the grocery store without some HDTV blaring out the latest thing to buy, and the loudspeakers hawking the latest special or a request for a checker to come to the front. (See Wish ,page 7)
January—February 2012 a closer look at the people, places, and activities at Holy Cross. In this issue, Holy Cross''s financial picture
At all of the Masses over the weekend of December 3rd & 4th, our parish trustees presented a frank look at our parish’s financial situation. Below, you will find their talk printed in its entirety, giving you the opportunity to read and better reflect on the facts they provided. Ed. Once again, by pooling our time, talent and financial resources, the members of Holy Cross Parish have furthered God’s work. For Holy Cross Parish this work began nearly 100 years ago and continues today. Our mission has always been the worship of God as part of our Roman Catholic Faith. As part of that goal, our parish assumed the responsibility of educating our youth. The school is an integral part of our parish and is key to our mission and the propagation of our faith. As a parish, the school and church are not seen as separate entities, but rather as one. The operations of our church and school are our collective responsibilities. Since your financial contributions to our parish are extremely important, I want to assure you that the expertise of the finance committee along with the church and school staffs are used to insure that these contributions are accounted for and spent wisely. I am also pleased to report that bills are being paid on time and Holy Cross Parish is debt free. However, you also need to know that Holy Cross has seen a downward trend in the level of contributions it has received over the last several years. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, the combined operations of the church and the school showed a loss of over $133,000. This loss was mitigated by the fact that certain expenses incurred last year were offset by restricted revenues received in the prior year. As a result, the aggregate loss for the last two-year period was approximately $26,000. During these challenging economic times, the parish has made a priority of controlling its expenses. Unfortunately, many significant expenses are out of our control. For example, during this past fiscal year, we paid almost $100,000 in utility expenses and over $205,000 on medical insurance. In order to preserve the condition of our church, school, and parish center, we spent over $154,000 in major repairs and improvements. As you may know, on the first Sunday of every month, a second collection is taken for tuition assistance. Last year, these collections totaled approximately $46,000. However, Holy Cross provided $175, 000 toward tuition assistance because we believe that every student should have the opportunity to receive a Catholic education. We have included in the bulletin a summary of our income and these and other expenses for your re-
view. In order to meet this year’s budget and break even, our goal for the current fiscal year for Sunday collections and Development Fund and Tuition Assistance donations is $950,000. In order to achieve this goal, we will need our donations for these three purposes to average approximately $93,000 for the last seven months of the current fiscal year, compared to the $60,000 average for the first five months of this year. If you can, please make a commitment to increase your contributions in each of these categories by as much as 10%. I can assure you that it will make a difference. The various methods of making donations to these funds are listed on the bulletin insert. We can start to make a difference today. In addition to the standard Sunday collection, today’s second collection is dedicated to tuition assistance. Holy Cross is providing $160,000 in tuition assistance this year, but less than $19,000 of tuition assistance donations have been made so far this year. Although it will be a challenge to meet our goal, I am confident that, like the generations of parishioners that preceded us, we can rise to meet the challenge. As we enter our 100th anniversary year there is much to be thankful for. We have a beautiful church, a successful school and a thriving Parish. In that regard, we are extremely fortunate to have an exceptional pastor in Father Willard, a superior and dedicated office and school staff and an excellent principal in Rose Costello. Much of what we have today is directly attributable to the generations of parishioners that preceded us. These prior generations lived through some very difficult times - a Great Depression, Two World Wars, and other life-changing events that helped to define our parish. Because of their sacrifices, our parish was able to succeed. To all of you and the family members of the parishioners that came before us, thank you for your sacrifices and support. As we move into our second hundred years, that same commitment will be required of this generation and future generations of parishioners. If you can increase your contributions to help answer this call it would be greatly appreciated. Please know that everything you do for our parish can and will make a difference. On behalf of Father Willard, my fellow Trustee, Tom Murray, and myself, John Powers, I want to thank you for all that you do to make Holy Cross Parish a very special place - a place in which together, we strive to know, love and serve God. A place where we can always strive to make ….Always Home and Always Family. Thank you.
Holy Cross Parish Donation Options
Envelopes. The traditional method of contributing to Holy Cross Parish is through various envelopes deposited in the basket at Mass. Our three main envelopes are for the following purposes: Weekly Sacrificial Gift (blue envelopes). The Sunday collections are used to fund the general operations of the Parish and, to the extent funds from other sources are inadequate, to subsidize school operations, provide tuition assistance and pay for major repairs and capital improvements. Sunday and Holy Day collections for the year ended June 30, 2011 were $667,120, compared to $684,923 for the year ended June 30, 2010, a reduction of $17,803. Our goal for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 is $690,000, a 3.4% increase over last year’s collections. Development Fund (yellow envelopes). The Development Fund collections are used to fund major repairs and capital improvements. For the year ended June 30, 2011, $154,630 was spent on major repairs and improvements, while only $49,582 was contributed to the Development Fund during that year, a deficiency of $105,048. In some instances, Holy Cross has had to defer certain major repairs due to more urgent needs. Tuition Assistance (white envelopes). The second collection on the first Sunday of every month is devoted to tuition assistance. Holy Cross Parish is committed to no Parishioner’s child being denied a Catholic education due to inadequate financial resources. With the difficult economic times, the need for tuition assistance has increased. As a result, Holy Cross made $174,743 of tuition assistance available for the year ended June 30, 2011, but only received $46,428 of tuition assistance collections during that period, a difference of $128,315. Our tuition assistance goal for the current fiscal year is $160,000. Automatic Donations Program. ACH transactions are a very cost effective means of contributing to Holy Cross. Once a month your contribution is transferred directly from your checking or savings account to Holy Cross’ bank account. Please contact the Parish Office for more information on this process or to arrange for this method of giving. Online Giving. Online Giving is a convenient and flexible means of electronically transferring funds to Holy Cross. For more information on this contribution method, please visit the Holy Cross website at www.holycrosschampaign.org.
Where we stand on 12/19/11 toward meeting our goal of $950,000 by June 30, 2012
Stay tuned to learn how you can help Little Scotty realize his Christmas dream! (Wish from page 2) I am convinced that living a Godcentered life will actually make more room in a schedule. So what are we going to place as a priority for 2012? Do you think that maybe we can have more prayer time, more family time, and more study time for the things that matter most? Do you think that we can try to nurture our souls, so that we can truly nurture others? Can we acquire more virtues and lessen our vices? Live a more sacramental life? If each one of us improves, imagine the possibilities! If Jesus were making a list of resolutions for 2012, what do you think He would suggest? In a nutshell – we need to ask ourselves: WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?). It is with determination that these changes take root. Aim big. Let God help you! Happy dreaming and happy listmaking. Let’s make this year really count!
Suggested reading: Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Jacques Philippe In Conversation with God by Ferdinand Fernandez, Volume 1-7 The Way of the Heart, The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers by Henri Nouwen Anything by St. Jose Maria Escriva, Jacques Phillipe, Thomas Dubay Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis deSales Of course, the Bible, and any good Catholic author… Please consider purchasing your Catholic Books at our local Catholic bookstore, C & A, on North Mattis, Champaign.
tion to as many of our children as possible. We simply cannot shun that commitment. It’s the best investment in our parish’s future that anyone can make. It’s exciting to be a Holy Cross parishioner as we look ahead to 2012, our parish’s centennial year. The schedule of events, workshops, Bible studies, and social activities on page 3 offers plenty of opportunities to grow in our Catholic faith and strengthen our bond with our fellow parishioners. I simply love going to the Christmas Midnight Mass. It’s the ideal setting for me to celebrate the Creator becoming the Created. The decorated altar simply takes your breath away. Once again, Harry Breen and his crew have done an excellent job. If you missed the opportunity to purchase centennialyear keepsakes during Advent, you can buy them at any time in the parish center office. Other items will be introduced throughout the upcoming year, so keep an eye on the weekly bulletin, flyers, or posters for further details. God’s blessings to you all in 2012!
Etc. A merry Christmas and happy New Year to you all! You will find, if you haven’t already, several pages (3 to be exact) in this issue of The Crux devoted to financial matters. Considering that this is a 12-page publication, that’s a significantly hefty proportion. That topic, however, more than earns its share of space because it’s a subject that we, collectively and individually, have to squarely confront if we are to maintain the spiritual quality of life that we currently enjoy. The financial break-out on page 5 fully reveals the challenge that we face. One area with a financial shortcoming is tuition assistance for not only Holy Cross School, but also The High School of St. Thomas More. It would be easy to start cutting that area back and re-directing its money elsewhere. After all, there’s no up-front pay back on the money that’s expended there, and we see no immediate result. If we were dealing with ’real world’ economics, that argument would have some merit, but it’s God’s economics, not the secular world’s, that must prevail. There’s no better way to do that than to provide the benefit of a Catholic educa-
Dave Devall email@example.com
Parish Progressive Dinner on Tap! By Cheri Rakers In commemoration of our 100th anniversary, we are bringing back an old favorite—Dinners for Eight—with a twist or two. Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 21st, for the Holy Cross Progressive Dinner. The evening begins with small groups of parishioners (adults only, please) meeting at different homes for appetizers, then moving on to different homes for salad, followed by going to different homes for the main course, and finally “progressing” to the parish center for dessert! As much as possible, you’ll be meeting “new” people at each location. Each host will have four, five, or six guests. Make your reservation now at either 3524918 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your name and phone number and if you use email, give us that, too. Also indicate your 1st and 2nd hosting preference: appetizers, salad, dinner, or dessert. Start off our year-long anniversary celebration with an evening of good food with great people, and keep an eye on bulletins for additional details. See you there!
The last few months of the calendar year at holy cross are always beehives of activity. Let’s close out this yearend edition of the Crux with a look at some of them.
Mrs. Tate’s and Mrs. Bramfeld’s 4th graders dressed up as their favorite saints on All Saint’s Day.
We honored our deceased family and loved ones at the Mass of Remembrance (left) followed by a reception in the parish center’s great hall (above).
(above) On November 11, veterans were honored and entertained with a concert of patriotic music at the all-school Mass. (right
and below) Scenes from the Kâ€”4 Christmas concert
(clockwise from above) The Living Nativity, featuring the children of the McMahon, Herges, and Schacht families; WATCH 20 leaders and participants; Mass and reception in our observance of the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe
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The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross 405 W. Clark St. Champaign, IL Phone: (217) 352-8748 Fax: (217) 366-2929 Email: email@example.com
Veterans recognized at special mass on November 13th
C RUSADER COR- N OVEMBER & D ECEMBER P IC- Holy Cross is a community of one heart and mind de- voted to the Eucharist, the Word of God,...