This weekend we will hear testimonies regarding the Annual Catholic Appeal. Joe Keppler will speak at the English Masses (5 p.m, 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.) and Luis Carlos Mendez at the Spanish Masses (7 p.m., 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). I ask you to give them your complete attention because the Appeal is very important this year for our Archdiocese and for Holy Family Parish.

On the archdiocesan level the Annual Catholic Appeal 2000 climaxes the Gift of Faith Campaign. You might remember that Archbishop Murphy inagurated this campaign several years back to raise $25 million for various needs: Catholic schools, priest and sister retirement programs, seminarians, social services to the needy, etc. Most of this amount has been already raised through major donations. Each parish has also been asked to contribute (above its ordinary ACA target) to realizing the Gift of Faith goal. A dozen Holy Family parishioners have already given about $31,000 to the Gift of Faith. We have another $56,000 remaining, but due to our immediate building needs the archdiocese has given us a deferral till 2001 & 2002 so that we can concentrate on using the rebate for funding our school renovation project.

I know all this is a little complicated. What I most want to communicate to you this Sunday is our in-parish goal for this year which we have set at $76,000. Given our pledges of over $75 thousand last year this did not seem like an unreasonable target. It will enable us to meet our ACA goal for this year ($47,901) and have a good rebate for our parish building project. My hope is that, given the work to be done replacing our school porch this summer and the other seismic repair needs, we will even go beyond the $76 thousand goal so that we can have an even larger rebate for the coming year.

In some ways even more important than the financial goal is our participation goal: 950 parishioners to fill out the Annual Catholic Appeal envelope. Even if you are not giving (for whatever reason) we ask you to please write your name, address, and simply put "0" in the pledge box. If you are contributing you may do so by cash, check, credit card or electronic funds transfer. The last option is actually the most cost effective. It involves writing "void" on a check, then filling out the electronic funds transfer information.

I thank you for your support of our Archdiocese and Holy Family Parish. May God bless you.

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On May 4 (first Thursday of the month) there will be Confessions for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Holy Family Church.

Dr. Jan Hemstad, M.D. and his wife Darcy Hemstad, R.N. will be here on Saturday morning, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to assist couples in reviewing their Billings Natural Family Planning Charts.