Depending on your age, this column is either a walk down memory lane or a “history” lesson — 50 years in the making. So, if you look over at someone reading this column and nodding their head up and down in phantom agreement, you can take a guess at their age.
The Year 1968 was a year in which a manned spacecraft first orbited the moon, the Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight, average monthly house rent was $130, gas was $0.34/gallon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, Intel Corporation was founded, the Beatles released the “White Album,” the first Big Mac went on sale (…for $0.49), Ziplock sandwich bags were introduced, the “hip” products of the year were bean-bag chairs and lava lamps, and you will want to burn any remaining Polaroid pictures of what you thought was high fashion.
But 1968 was also the year in which the Diocese of St. Petersburg was formed from areas of the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Archdiocese of Miami. Happy Anniversary!
The Diocese of St. Petersburg has grown and prospered, now serving more than 400,000 Catholics in 80 parishes and missions — as well as serving our fellow Floridians — not because they are Catholic but because we are Catholic. With gratitude, joy, and hope we as a diocese will continue to grow in faith and live out the commands of Jesus Christ to love God and one another as we love ourselves. With your support of the 2018 Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) the growth will be a little more secure.
Maybe we should honor this golden occasion with a special 50th Anniversary gift program. Here are some options:
Nostalgia aside, consider this year’s APA theme: “Blessed are we…” Indeed, all we have and are, we receive from God. We are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, co-heirs to the Kingdom. This is who we are and whose we are. Each year, we receive gifts from God to help support our own parish — as well as diocesan — operations, services, and ministries that in turn meet the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of Sacred Heart parishioners and thousands of people throughout our larger community of faith. We recognize that all we have and are is a gift. And in our sacrificial offering to the Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA), we return to God what was God’s gift to us.