I just returned from my winter vacation last night, and now I wanted to send you an e-mail about our upcoming trip to the Jessie Brown Veterans Hospital. As you recall, we had to reschedule our original visit because of snow. So we will be going there next Saturday, Feb. 16th. I am hoping all of you will be able to attend. If you can e-mail me to let me know that you can make it, I would deeply appreciate it! I also am in need of volunteer parents to drive on that day, so please ask your parents if they can assist us. We will be distributing gift bags to all the veterans we visit that day, as we thank them for their wonderful service to our country! Also, all of the extra donated items from our Christmas Care Packages for the military will be given to the hospital to pass out to veterans. This trip is open to anyone, so feel free to invite your friends or family members. The director of volunteers at the hospital (Mr. Pat Gleason) usually gives a talk about the good work being done there for the veterans, and then we will divide up into groups of about 8 to visit the patients. You will never forget this powerful, uplifting experience! Visiting the sick is one of the Catholic Church’s Corporal Works of Mercy. I am asking everyone who will be attending to gather at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16th in the school hall. We will be at the hospital from 9:00 a.m. until about 10:45 a.m. Looking forward to seeing all of you there!
     I also wanted to share a nice letter I received from one of the military people we sent a Christmas Care Package recently. It reads:
To: St. Gabriel Youth Group,
     Greetings from Gardez District, Paktiya Province, Afghanistan. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for the Care Package I received today. The idea of you caring for us at this time of the year helps us get through the season, even though we are separated from our families and loved ones. All of the items donated have gone to good use and are appreciated by many.
     Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.
David M. Clarke
Major, United States Army
     Know that our Youth Group is truly carrying out our motto – “Making A Difference!”

Fr. Rich