Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,
Back on Sept. 7 th , 2008 , I penned my first pastor’s message
in the bulletin, promising to hopefully “keep you abreast” of the latest
developments in the parish – and I look back over these four years and
discovered that I was relatively faithful to the promise. I often shared
my personal views, extended invitations and even issued challenges…
I actually wish to re-address an important topic that I shared with you in the Oct. 19 th
bulletin of that year. I boldly approached the subject by saying: “ Please let us never take our
blessings for granted; let us daily express our “Attitude of Gratitude” by truly acknowledging
our sincere and heartfelt thanks for every gift from God.”
Now may I summarize what I wrote back then? As a parish, we wished to express
our Thank You to a lovely and generous parishioner Minnie Morse who was called into the
Heavenly Kingdom on 08/08/08. She kindly and gratefully chose in her Last Will and
Testament to appoint St. Joseph’s as the major beneficiary of her Estate. As Pastor and the
Executor, I can testify she generously left $57,000.00 for our parish. We placed this great gift,
not in Maintenance, but in the Church Decorating Fund and to be honest, this gave us the
needed impetus to finally commence our dreamed-of stained glass and iconostas enhancement.
We then turned to you, the parishioners, to generously donate towards these projects and how
very quickly and generously you responded! What a more beautified church we now have!
I continued to write that it always disturbed me, wherever I have served as Pastor, to
discover that so many of our Ukrainian citizens do not have a Last Will and Testament (almost
50%). It’s almost as if we have convinced ourselves that we will die very quickly if we make a
Will. The reality is I, as your pastor, am preparing for this final day and so must YOU!
You have worked so very hard to provide for yourself and your family and it only
makes good sense that YOU choose what happens to your inheritance. Without a Will and Last
Testament, our government will gladly dispose of your hard-earned savings. (or lawyers will
have to choose for you!)
One of the great joys of writing a Last Will is that YOU personally choose to whom
you offer your riches and possessions (no matter how large or small!) We all have heard horror
stories of families destroying themselves after a funeral by actually fighting over the ‘deceased
‘possessions’. What a sad and piteful sight – and this could be the result of people not taking
time to make these important decisions during their life time.
Following Minnie Morse’s good example, we gently encourage all parishioners to also
consider making provision in your Will for the continuing support of St. Joe’s Parish. This is a
wonderful way to, not only thank God for the blessings we all have received, but also to ensure
our church continues to serve future generations. A Gift that “keeps on giving.. is a living
testimony to your generosity and thoughtfulness!
And then I wrote: Whoops! Was this too heavy? I realize it is – but my job as your
pastor is to challenge you in all aspects of your life – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and
even financially. I pray you don’t mind too much, but in the meantime,
I wish you a beautiful, peaceful, joyful and loveful week… Father Bohdan