Packers stock on the rise

By | December 7, 2011

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, within the first 11 minutes of kickoff to the stock sale, 1,600 orders were already placed. While the stock shares hold more value as souvenirs than investments, it is likely the available shares will be sold before the Feb. 29, 2012, deadline.

Whether planned or simply coincidence, timing of the sale, a few weeks before Christmas, definitely makes the purchase of shares more enticing. Who wouldn’t want a piece of the Packers as a stocking stuffer?

But at a whopping $250 a share, not everyone is able to fork out the cash for a certificate whose value is more sentimental than practical. Those who can afford the hefty price tag can also justify it as a way to help the Green Bay Packers continue their stronghold in the National Football League, while at the same time supporting a vital economic player in the region.

While we wish the Packers success in their stock sale, we should remember those Packer fans in our communities who are struggling financially due to unemployment, cutbacks in pay or work hours or other family emergencies. Instead of buying Packers stock, they are simply hoping to put a Christmas meal on the table and a few gifts under the Christmas tree.

Poverty is real, even in our middle-class neighborhoods. That is why the De Pere Christian Outreach, a coalition of nine churches – including three Catholic parishes from the Green Bay area – broke ground for a new food pantry on Dec. 1. “We have seen an amazing jump of people who need our help and they are right here in De Pere,” Mary Kay Dodson, one of the food pantry organizers, told The Compass. The food pantry, located at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, helps an average of about 34 familes each week, up from six families some seven years ago.

Add this neighborhood food pantry to the many other ones operated around the Green Bay Diocese and it’s obvious that hunger and poverty are as real as a sell-out crowd at Lambeau Field.

If you’re fortunate enough to buy one or more shares of Packers stock this Christmas season, why not show your gratitude by contributing to one of the many organizations around the diocese that offer food and other assistance to people facing economic challenges? And if your schedule permits, spend some time volunteering at a soup kitchen, food pantry or homeless shelter. This experience just may provide greater satisfaction than owning a piece of the Green Bay Packers.

And with your spirit, continued

Now that we’ve experienced the changes in prayers at Mass for a few weeks, people are beginning to get the hang of it. However, it will take some time to feel comfortable enough to recite the Nicene Creed without the assistance of a pew card.

In a few weeks, as crowds fill our churches for Christmas Masses, confusion may again reign, as strangers will experience the changes for the first time. Let us remember to be patient with them and welcome them back to church.

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