Dear Friends in Christ,

This past week the Priests of the Diocese of Orlando met for our annual Clergy Convocation.  During these days we have the opportunity to participate in communal prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist, attend conferences and enjoy fellowship.  Each year the subject matter varies… the topics this Convocation included:  a presentation on the Papal document Verbum Domini – the emergence of New Evangelization and preaching the Word of God, information about Stewardship as a Way of Life including a summary of the Compass Ministries Bible Study (we have a new group starting this week at our parish!), an update on the ten-year plan for the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, and words of inspiration, encouragement and gratitude from Bishop Noonan.  (On a side note- Bishop Dorsey, our Bishop Emeritus, visited with us one evening for dinner.  Please keep him your prayers as he manages multiple health issues.)  The Diocese of Orlando includes a large area of nine counties in Central Florida.  The Clergy Convocation affords us the opportunity to visit with our brother Priests who serve in other parts of the Diocese.  Please know that we pray for you during these days too and give thanks for your support, witness of faith and dedication to our parish communities.

This weekend at all of our Masses we are inviting everyone to consider assisting at the 2012 Fall Festival.  The Fall Festival is always a great celebration of community and caring as the proceeds assist local charities and those in need.  I appreciate your positive response to this invitation and your prayers for those who will benefit from the proceeds.

Finally, Bishop Noonan has asked Fr. Mark Wajda to take a temporary assignment from now until the end of November as Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Catholic Church in Leesburg.  I know that we will all miss Fr. Mark during this time and we look forward to his return home to Annunciation. Whenever there are updates or news from Fr. Mark while he is away I will share them with you.

Know that we, your Priests, are especially appreciative of your prayers.  We make a commitment to ask for the Lord to bless you each day as well.  May we meet each day in our prayers!

In Christ,
Very Rev. Stephen D. Parkes, V.F.