Good morning everyone, my name is Mike Nuzzo. My wife, Anna, and I have been members of St Anne since 2005. I have been asked to share some of my experiences with you, and reflect on our current efforts towards the Flowers of the Field campaign, which I am blessed to serve as part of the committee.
Over the past several years, I have grown significantly in my faith, in large part due to this parish. This has helped my life at home and at work, giving me guidance and inspiration to do the right thing, and find peace when times are difficult. At home I have had more patience with my two boys, and at work I am able to trust in God’s will and not constantly worry about the future. This in turn makes me more pleasant to be around at home. It is the little moments that have made this change, interactions with different members and ministries.
I think the best summary of this journey is when we went to the movies with several families from our parish. When one of the younger children was told about it, she asked “will our whole family be there?” Her mom said yes, mommy, daddy and all of us are going, and she said, “No, I mean our WHOLE family” …meaning all of the families that were coming. I thought about this a lot afterwards, and it came to me that this is the same thing I have experienced: St. Anne is my family, and this parish is our home.
So with that thought, I would like to say “Welcome Home”.
I was reflecting on the goals of this campaign, and as a business owner, I tend to start looking at things with a business perspective. But then it hit me, these aren’t business type goals: Human Concerns, Outreach, Music Ministry, etc. These are the goals of a Family! Yes, we have to view them with a financial perspective, but isn’t that true of any family planning?
Take music for example. Most of you have probably decorated for the season. When I was a boy, one of my fondest memories was listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” while decorating the tree. I still remember walking around the living room banging on my imaginary drum. I’m sure all of you have a similar memory, or there is a special song that really brings the Holy Spirit into your heart, especially this time of year.
The same is true for Human Concerns and Outreach: reaching out to the needs of our parish and the community, inviting people to our church, and strengthening the relationships within our parish. Is this really much different than what we do with our own families every day?
Or how about the gathering area remodeling? At home, I like to think of myself as a fairly handy person, and regularly dive into different home improvement projects. One year, I installed Pergo flooring in our kitchen. After a hard weekend of work, the floor was done, but I didn’t have the energy to finish the trim. I thought the floor looked good, and gave myself a nice pat on the back, saying I would finish the trim…”tomorrow”. Well, it was quite a while before I finished that trim, and every day I got more used to the floor without it. Finally I got it done, after some “friendly urging” from Anna. I was shocked at how much better it looked now!
Friends and neighbors probably weren’t as impressed with my flooring project as I was, until the trim was done. We have a similar “unfinished project” at our home here. While many of us are used to the concrete block and exposed steel, it is very noticeable to visitors and newcomers. I think we will all be surprised at how much impact a finished gathering area will have.
Now we get to the part everyone loves to talk about, our mortgage… Every January my family sits down and puts together a budget for the coming year, and reviews what we did the year before. A key focus of this is looking at additional needs of the family, and sacrifices we need to make. We recently refinanced our home mortgage to take advantage of a lower rate. In the near future, our St Anne Family would like to refinance our mortgage to more favorable terms, but to do this we have to reduce our debt ratio for the banks. This is the primary goal of our campaign, and is a major step towards making room in our monthly budget for the future needs of this family.
St Anne Church is where your family in Christ gathers. As you can see, our family has some things to do, and we need everyone to pitch in. At the presentation of this campaign to the leadership of the parish, there was a strong positive response that we are running this campaign In House, and I think you will agree that this is due to the sense of Family this parish has.
So again I say to you “Welcome Home.'” You will soon see a garden growing in our gathering area, with a flower representing each $1,000 pledged. We ask your help in planting our garden.
Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas!