“Gratitude is central to our life in Christ. In gratitude, we open our hearts to God’s love and mercy. We allow Him to transform our lives, our families and our relationships. Gratitude is also central to a life of stewardship – recognizing that everything we have and are is a gift from God. We become filled with a joy that radiates God’s love, a joy that cannot be contained or go unnoticed by those around us. As your pastor, I want nothing more than for you to experience the joy that Jesus promises – the joy of placing our complete trust in God and freely sharing our gifts generously with others.”
This is the core of the message on Stewardship from the Archdiocese. We’re now in the thick of what I call the mini- season, Stewardship Awareness. This Sunday I will give the homily at all Masses, reflecting on this gratitude, and our response. This is not about our parish finances of expenses; we did that last week. (It showed we’re in a strong position. Thank you for your attention to that.) These weeks now are about our spiritual response to God’s generosity. Next weekend we’ll hear a message from one of our fine parish families, with four children, about their choices to express gratitude to God. Then you’ll receive a Covenant Card to indicate your gift of time and treasure to God through the parish, to return at Mass Oct. 8. I hope you each take a few minutes in prayer to assess your ability to return to God a portion of your treasure in a new Offertory pledge, and your time in one of our ministries. (You could continue in one, jump into a new one, or get out of one you’ve done for awhile.)
We continue to have steady Baptisms. Msgr. did one last weekend, and this weekend I baptize a family of four children. There more scheduled for weeks ahead, and in fact we priests and deacons have arranged a rotation of months to do the baptisms, while we can vary from the schedule if need be. The drivers of all these Baptisms are, first, the school. All of the older kids we are baptizing, up to 4th Grade, are school students here, and it pulls their sib- lings into it as well. Then we have a stream of newborns from parish families. And in general, we get interest in the parish from young families who have just moved in the area, or just decided to be active.
Another activity going on is fine parent meeting around the kids’ sacraments, Reconciliation and Confirmation. Our Faith Development Director Jen Meehan constructs great programs for the full-time school and PSR parents. It’s a great time for me to meet people, and I love engaging the parents’ minds and hearts in theology proper to them.
It feels very busy around the office for all the staff and clergy, but it’s a joy to see things moving and coming together.