Archive for "Newsletter Winter 2013"

Capital Campaign – Winter 2013 update

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments

We are now approaching three years since launching our Moving Forward in Hope Capital Campaign. In the weekly parish bulletin, you can see the results of our progress as we receive payments on the pledges. To say that we need more room for all our activities and masses would merely be an understatement as the struggle to find space for activities in the parish continues.
Our new pastor, Father Brian R. Sheridan, M.S., is committed to this endeavor. As we continue to evaluate and consider the best alternatives to achieve our goals we know that we cannot move forward without your ongoing help! This is our parish and only through sacrifice can we achieve our goals Your decision is a personal one made in good conscience with a true Christian spirit. All contributions from the smallest to the largest will be gratefully appreciated.
Just imagine what we could accomplish if we all were to participate!

God Bless,
Gus Scannapieco
Parish Administrator

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Good News People Immersion Experience

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments

Good News People Immersion Experience
By: Lauren Russell

Bob Burke (background), Frank Madden, Beth, Maggie and Linda

Bob Burke (background), Frank Madden, Beth, Maggie and Linda

The Good News People (GNP) Program gives participants the opportunity to learn, listen and experience what Jesus has done. Jesus lived and modeled a life of giving, healing and comforting others for us to follow. The purpose of Good News People is to learn how we can better share our Good News with others, listen to others share their own Good News and to experience Good News first hand. It’s all about giving of oneself to help others who are in need using the virtues of love, hope, faith, generosity, compassion, patience and mercy.

Bill Russell prepping bags with water, Bob Burke and Linda

Bill Russell prepping bags with water, Bob Burke and Linda

Part of the Good News People Program is an Immersion Experience. Read more »

Family on the Spotlight – Josie

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments

FAMILY IN THE SPOTLIGHT
By Lauren Russell

A St Thomas the Apostle parishioner for 16 years, Josephine “Josie” Poventud strives to share her love for God and our church through the many ministries she is involved with. Josie moved to Atlanta from Ocala, Florida back in May of 1997. At that time she lived in Powder Springs with her brother and sister-in-law. Her brother was battling cancer as well as taking care of their mother. Knowing her brother was in need of help and care for her mother was a priority, she graciously made the move after residing in Florida for over 27 years. Her brother passed away 3 months after she arrived in Atlanta. Then Josie, while caring for her mother who was a faithful parishioner of St Thomas the Apostle since the 1970s, joined St Thomas the Apostle herself. In addition to caring for her mother, Josie worked with Printpack, Inc., and retired from there after 14 wonderful years.

Josie and her two dogs (Chico and Pepper)

Josie and her two dogs (Chico and Pepper)

With the passing of her mother in 2007 (at the age of 100 years), Josie was gifted with a puppy. “Chico” quickly became her companion. Josie owned and cared for animals in Florida: horses, cats and many dogs. She was grateful to have “Chico” with her. Then sometime later, her daughter, Amy who also lives in Georgia, had a friend who was not able to care for a puppy. That is when Josie received as a gift a second dog, “Pepper”.

As a Eucharistic Minister and Altar Server, Josie befriended many parishioners who also love their pets and soon began Pet Setting for them. Though she did just a few, today she has a steady client list of happy, Pet Lovers who call upon her to “pet sit” their dogs and cats. To Josie “pet sitting” is a “gift” God has given her to share her love with our four legged friends as well.
In addition to being a Eucharistic Ministry and Altar Server, she is a weekly Counter, an RCIA sponsor, member of the Women’s Auxiliary, participant of the Thursday morning Bible study and a volunteer with a Boy Scout Troop. Having completed a 31-week and a 21-week session of the JustFaith Program, she also partakes in the Good News People Program gaining more love and wisdom in the things she does daily. With so much that she has received from God, she cherishes the moments when she is able to give back through serving in a ministry and strongly encourages all the parishioners of St Thomas, “Give back when you can, as often as you can and as freely as you can. What you give in love comes back to you ten-fold.”

Josie is an avid bowler and another hobby she enjoys is wood working. She is currently doing kitchen cabinets for her son’s (Angel) home and has also done a couple of projects for Adult Faith Formation and the Women’s Auxiliary. Josie enjoys working with her hands. It keeps her busy and active when she’s not pet sitting.

One of the many reasons that drew her to St Thomas the Apostle is that the parish is such a diverse community and has so many different programs to offer its parishioners. She remembers having Hospitality Days (pot luck gatherings), Mini-Ministry Fairs, community bonding and just the love being shared throughout the parish. Though it may seem we’re one in Jesus Christ, there’s more she’d like to see improved or explored as a whole church.

With the many friends and extended family Josie has, she still spends quality time with her two adult children (Amy and Angel) enjoying Sunday brunches. Please stop by and say “Hi” to Josie when you attend the 9:30 a.m. Mass during RCIA sessions or at the 11:30 a.m. Mass where you can find her offering her service as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

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Welcome Words from Father Brian

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments
By Yolanda Rodriguez

In his first few weeks as the new Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Father Brian Sheridan has been busy getting to know its people and getting into the rhythm of life in the parish. 
“The most important thing for me is to continue to meet and greet, and to come to know who is here serving the parish,” Father Brian said recently. “I’m coming to know the missions and the mission heads.”
There is always something happening at St. Thomas. Over the course of a week about 300 children had their First Reconciliations. During one weekend there were more than a dozen children were baptized. Nine Masses each weekend is a full schedule.
“I want to listen, listen, listen; watch, watch, watch; learn, learn, learn,” he said. “My first impression is that it’s a beautiful place to serve.”
Before coming to St. Thomas, Father Brian served in Hartford, Conn., Orlando, Fla., Bolivia and Argentina. He was at St. Ann’s parish in east Cobb from 1983 to 1988.
Father Brian studied Spanish while in college. But he was immersed in the language when he was in South America. It was during a return visit to South America in 2001 that Father Brian met our beloved Padre Pancho.
“He was a really impressive, gifted person. It’s fascinating to experience the love he engendered here,” he said.
Father Brian became a priest because “I just really felt at home within the service of the mass. I love to be in worship.”
St. Thomas is similar to his previous parish in Orlando, which was also multi-lingual and multi-cultural.
“I think there is a very beautiful graciousness about the people here,” he said. “I’m looking forward to building a bigger space for worship and meetings to accommodate our needs for years to come. There are many good things happening here.”

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The Giving Tree at St. Thomas the Apostle

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments

By Jerry Sweeney

Once again, the Parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle were very generous in responding to the Giving Tree Program this past Advent. The Giving Tree, a tradition at St. Thomas since 1983, is a Christmas tree set up in the Commons and decorated with paper ornament tags. Each tag bears a gift idea and the name of one of the nine charitable organizations, who will distribute the gifts to the poor, the elderly and the needy in areas of Cobb County. Parishioners “undecorated” the tree, and brought wrapped gifts to be placed underneath or near the tree. The gifts were collected and distributed during the first week of December.
Last year, the Giving Tree campaign, led by Julie Pearson-Clarke, was a huge success, as hundreds and hundreds of wrapped presents were brought into the Commons by the St. Thomas community. Some of the gifts were sweat suits, to be given to elderly residents of the Autumn Breeze Nursing Home in Marietta. Other gifts were shirts, socks, hats and gloves for homeless men at the Central Presbyterian Night Shelter in Atlanta.
Parishioners brought other hats, gloves, and underwear for the Crossroads Community Ministry, which aids thousands of homeless individuals in Atlanta. Packages of toys were left for Cobb Christmas, which distributes them to children in low-income families. Other gifts were destined for the Jamaican Outreach Ministry at St. Thomas, which provides them to the Missionaries of the Poor in the effort to reach out to the needy in Kingston, Jamaica.
Baby blankets, diapers, car seats, and other gifts for infants were left for the St. Thomas Pro-Life Ministry, which helps MUST Ministries assist poor families in the Cobb County area. Gifts of sweaters, blankets, coats and other clothing were provided to the Open Door Community, which seeks to help homeless individuals and inmates in prison. Other clothing was donated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home, for use by patients in need there. Finally, a lot of toys were brought to the Commons for the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Thomas so that underprivileged children in the community could receive presents at Christmas.
The Giving Tree program at St. Thomas is a warm reflection of the generosity and faith of our parish members and a sign of God’s love for those most in need. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this program will continue to give the poor and needy in our community additional comfort and joy during the holy Christmas season.

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Spotlight on the Hospitality Ministry

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments
By Jerry Sweeney

In the Old Testament we see numerous manifestations of hospitality towards others. When three men came to Abraham’s tent on the plains of Terebinth, Abraham duly offered them the best
food and drink that he had. He ordered his servants to clothe them with fine robes. The men, who were actually angels sent by God, told Abraham that despite his old age and the
advanced age of his wife, Sara, that they would be blessed with a child. The child would carry on Abraham’s lineage. Read more »

Veteran’s Day Celebration/Breakfast

Newsletter Winter 2013 Feb 01, 2013 No Comments
By Juan Morales (co-founder of the Remember Their Sacrifice Ministry)

The Veterans Day celebration at St. Thomas Sunday began with a mass in their honor. The choir sang hymns to members of the five branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
The veterans as well as the congregation had the honor of having the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard present during the event. At the conclusion of mass, Matt Adams, U.S. Army veteran from the Iraq War shared a few words of his personal experiences. His story was a very moving moment for everyone. Many of them came to tears when he explained how his dream of seeing his brother, who was also in Iraq, never materialized. His younger brother died during an ambush attack. Read more »