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Good Afternoon Father-

First of all, thank you for the $100 gift during the 8am mass yesterday.  I have to say I was quite surprised when I opened the envelope! When you asked for volunteers I know there was a lot of reluctance from all of us to get out of our seats.  What were you going to “make” us do?  Recite the Creed, yikes!  But, I volunteer for a lot of organizations so I put on my big girl pants and got out of my seat.  

I loved the message of giving that you had for the sermon.  Time and again I have found that by giving you feel so good, and it always comes back to you in some wonderful way that continues that good feeling.  It makes you want to do more and more giving to keep the good vibes coming.

Again, as I said, opening the envelope I was quite surprised to see Benjamin Franklin staring at me.  I have to admit that I figured it might be some sort of monetary gift, but was expecting something more in line with $5 – $10, not $100.  Initially as I sat in the pew and listened to your message my mind went to what organization might have good use for a $5 – $10 donation.  I was heading to the pet store later, they always ask for a small donation at check out, so I thought I would turn it around and pay it forward there…my animals have given me and many others great joy.  

As the mass went on, I put my first donation of the year into the basket, $100, actually.  Whenever I am in town and at mass or online at mass I make a $100 donation.  The church provides such a sense of community to me that I feel giving back to help the ministries in whatever small way that I can makes sense.  Who knew I was giving back what I received already!?

When I got home and opened the envelope I had to rethink my donation ideas.  I had already gone to the pet store and made a donation there to support animals in need.  Again, giving that makes you feel good by helping those less fortunate.  As I looked at the $100 on my counter I was reviewing some texts that I had received.  I had gotten one from one of my close college roommates, her mother had passed away that night before.  Wow!  I had just looked at her Mom’s Christmas card and note the night before, maybe even as she was transitioning.  Linda Nelson had always been such a kind, and understated woman.  She suffered over the last year and a half with a Leukemia diagnosis.  She learned of this disease at about the same time as her daughter, my roommate, Lori, was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer.  The faith that Linda and Lori had throughout their battles was incredible.  Quotes from the bible often accompanied their updates and messages.  It was really so amazing.  So, on learning that Linda had passed away peacefully, I knew that that was where my Benjamin Franklin needed to go, to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to help in finding cures for this disease.

So, thank you again for the lovely surprising gift.  It gave me a chance to honor the passing of a really lovely woman and to support my college roommate, who, by the way has been cancer free for almost a year!!!  The Gift of Giving keeps on giving and your words were very inspirational on Sunday morning.  Oh, and thanks for not having us recite the Creed!

Mary Jo Ferris

© 2016 St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church San Ramon

2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon CA 94583

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