Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
This weekend, we will be kicking off our parish stewardship program: Live Courageously, Love Heroically. Stewardship, for many, is simply associated with a sense of burden, compelling us to give of our resources (typically the biblical tithe of 10%). But stewardship is so much more. It means first acknowledging our deepest identity as God’s children and trusting in His providence, recognizing that everything we have is a gift from Him. Consequently, we are lead to a deep sense of gratitude and strive to use God’s gifts well by living a life of courageous and heroic love. The biblical tithe is a way that the Lord directs us to recognize that we ought to give Him our “first fruits” in gratitude — not because He needs anything from us, but rather, we need to give back to Him for all the gifts He has given to us.
To be able to truly recognize God’s gifts, however, we need to understand who God is, how He has worked throughout history, and how He is working in our lives right now. This requires a commitment to continue to deepen our knowledge of our faith as well as a commitment to a regular prayer life. Consequently, as part of our stewardship campaign, the weekend of August 25/26, we will be inviting our parishioners to consider making a commitment to participate in our faith formation and education programs, as well as committing to offer the Lord times of substantial prayer throughout the week through personal devotions and participation in the sacramental and liturgical life of the parish.
As we come to an even deeper knowledge of God and encounter His love and mercy though study and prayer, we are led to a deeper desire to want to serve Him by sharing the many gifts and talents He has blessed us with. The weekend of September 14/15, we will be inviting our parishioners to consider a commitment to participate in the various ministries in our parish, particularly those ministries that serve to build the community of our parish and also those that serve the poor and vulnerable in our world.
In addition to sharing our gifts and talents, we know the Lord is calling us to recognize the material blessings we have received and to give generously to support the needs of others, and in a particular way, to recognize the importance of caring for His body, the Church. The weekend of October 19/20, we will be inviting our parishioners to consider making a commitment to give generously to our regular parish offertory this year, which allows us to continue to carry out the Church’s mission effectively.
Finally, as we strive to give glory to God in all we do, we recognize that our very lives are a gift from God. Whether we are called to give our lives to a vocation of marriage, priesthood, religious life, or some other life of service to the Lord, we recognize the importance for everyone to encourage faithfulness and generosity in living out these vocations. The weekend of November 3/4, we will be inviting our parishioners to consider a commitment to praying for and participating in ministries that promote and support vocations.
I want to thank all of you for your generous stewardship of our parish over the years, and I ask you to please keep our program this year in your prayers.