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The Fund-raiser

To the Editor:

Recently, I attended a fund-raiser. I went up to the bar to buy a few drinks for friends at my table. As I approached the counter, I noticed a basket with a small sign that read “TIPS.” The basket was loaded with one-dollar bills. I placed my tip in the basket, took my drinks and did not think anything of it.

The next morning, I went to church for Sunday Mass. As they started the collection, I took out my envelopes and was ready to make my weekly contribution. As the basket passed me I saw it again, a basket with one-dollar bills (and not even as full as the basket of tips at the bar).

Something everyone has in common is that we all spend our money based on our priorities in life. Everyone has different priorities but, I began thinking, do we equally value someone opening a bottle of beer with a church and priest who is providing us with a path to Heaven?

This began to bother me. I started thinking that when I went to church at St. Anne’s in the 1960s my mother would give me a quarter to put in the basket. I browsed the Internet and found a purchase power calculator. Guess what the quarter is equal to in today’s dollars, $1.94! Now, I was a kid and my mother put in her own envelope. Minimum wage at that time was $1.25, so I was contributing 20 percent of the hourly minimum wage. Today minimum wage is $11 per hour, so giving 20 percent of one hour at minimum wage is equal to $2.20! 

The point that I want make is that when we regularly throw a buck in the basket, we are saying that we value our Church community equally with a bartender pouring us a drink. When a priest asks us to give as much as we can comfortably, he is not asking to give an amount that has absolutely no effect on our lives. One of the tenets of our faith is sacrifice. If we give one dollar, are we really sacrificing in good faith?

These are just some of my thoughts, but I bet if we could all give our fair share in the weekly basket we would surely begin to see a turn-a-round for our parishes. The next round is on you!

Bob Gauvin
Parishioner
St. Anne’s Church
Fall River




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