Sell ya a pair of sneakers?? This amusing story was the basis for my parish homily on Stewardship last weekend. A teenage boy offered to sell back to his parents, a pair of sneakers they’d given him for Christmas, because they didn’t fit. The folks at Mass gave a good chuckle upon hearing this. But as I said, God may chuckle when He sees us deliberate over how much to “give back” to Him, when God Himself gave us all of it to begin with. When we make an offering to God—hopefully a bit of a stretch, in faith— of our Time, our Talent, or our Treasure, God will recognize our attempt to be generous with Him and will surely outdo us.

For this reason, a commitment to God in Stewardship is not from what’s left over after our needs are cared for. It’s a bit of a dare, an act of faith and sacrifice, recognizing that what we “have” is really an illusion; it was entrusted to us for a time, to use in His honor.

The parish went through reflections and practices on Stewardship in the Spring (this is not the school system of offering support in lieu of tuition). Many filled out a Stewardship Intention Card. The Archdio- cese however has Stewardship Season in the fall, starting late September, and I want to get us onto this schedule for it, because the Review newspaper and a number of other activities are dedicated to it then. If you did fill out a Stewardship Card in March, that’s great. If not, please look for them at the doors of church this week and next. And by next fall I will have had a committee meeting with me through the year to plan some fun activities for the fall Season.

I’m at two months now at St. Monica, and more and more, things are going smoothly. My video this week showed my office, and a peek into the back room I call the Great Room. I have art–my own and others’– set up; musical instruments, spiritual reflection sources by a nice recliner, magazine and movie racks, and my own checkbook software, all of which keep me moving in my own life, spiritually and in leisure.

Besides meeting with the major committees a couple of rounds now, I’ve met with individuals for anointing, confession, or other needs; and I really enjoy saying hello after Sunday Masses. Some faces and names are getting familiar; and even from a safe distance, I feel the warmth of the interactions. One little girl delighted me last week by wearing her dance “tutu” to church. I also go over to school two or three times a week. Recently I interviewed each 8th grader over their Confirmation—even the ones not being confirmed. As always, this was a really enjoyable time.

On a happy note, we’re about to hire a part-time secretary to replace Joan Becker. On a sad note, we grieve with the family of Tabitha Riggle, who died suddenly last weekend. She is the mother of 3 chil- dren in our school from Pre-K to 5th Grade. I met with Kye, her husband, and the children Tuesday night, and I admire their courage going through this. Please pray for them.

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