Old Man Winter has another blast of arctic air on the way.
Br. Mike, who’s living in our largest retirement facility up north, emailed me a funny photograph of himself. In the picture, he’s wearing a very, very long winter scarf wrapped so many times around his neck that his face barely peeks out. The scarf was a gift from his grandniece — her first try at knitting and apparently she just didn’t know when to stop! Even though Br. Mike’s face is almost hidden under the scarf, you can still see that he’s beaming with pride. What an image! And it did make me chuckle…but just for a fleeting moment, because the email included a quick note: “I’m ready for winter’s early arrival!”
He was referring, of course, to the unseasonably cold weather already hitting parts of our country, and his comment shook me back to reality. Several Marist Brothers’ retirement facilities have turned on the heat much sooner than expected — and with winter’s most brutal months yet to come, our heating oil budget will never hold
out until spring. It’s only December, and I’m already dipping into January’s budget.
Today I reach out to you and ask for your support.
To keep my elderly and disabled Brothers warm and safe this winter I urgently need to increase the total heating budget by $28,640.
Without your help there’s no way I can keep the heat going.
If $28,640 sounds high, remember…we have several Marist Brothers’ retirement facilities to heat during the long, cold, upcoming winter season.
Of course, we’re also doing our part to cut back on heating costs. The directors of all our retirement facilities have agreed to hold the thermostat at no more than 70°F during the day and 66°F at night. We’re ready with heavy sweaters and extra-warm blankets, too.
I certainly cannot — must not — ask my Brothers to dial back the thermostat even more. That could snowball into new problems. Many of the Brothers in our retirement facilities suffer chronic high blood pressure, severe arthritis, and respiratory diseases, all of which can be aggravated if they catch a chill.
Making matters worse, weather predictions for the Northeast and Midwest have me frozen with fear. Forecasts call for another winter like last year’s, plagued with temperatures well below average and snowstorms well above average.
I hope you see why I urgently need your financial help as soon as possible.
With the season of Advent upon us, I ask you to look within your heart and remember that this is a time of renewed hope and anticipation, and it is also a time to show our compassion by helping those less fortunate.
Even if you can only spare $25, your support will mean so much.
To prove how powerful your support is, consider the two nickels traveling with this note. It’s my way of saying that support adds up so quickly. If every Marist Brothers’ friend donates just $25, or whatever you can afford, amazing things happen. Soon enough, we’ll have the $28,640 needed to cover heating oil costs for our retirement facilities. Your generosity will fill the Marist Brothers’ homes with warmth this Christmas season — and throughout the long, cold upcoming winter, too!
Can you help? Won’t you please send your contribution today in the enclosed envelope?
And when your gift arrives, every Marist Brother will want to thank God for your support. This is something we look forward to doing, so please write your prayer intentions on the enclosed donation response slip and send the slip back to me along with your gift. If your envelope arrives in time, the Brothers and I will include your personal intentions in our special Christmas Novena.
Before I sign off, I want to send you a special wish for a truly joyous Christmas. As you celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that His abundant love brings the many blessings you so richly deserve.
God bless you for caring so deeply,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development