STEWARDSHIP: WAY OF BEING CHURCH
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Pt 4:10)
“Once one chooses to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, stewardship is not an option”
“Jesus not only calls people to Him but also forms them and sends them out in his service”.
Stewardship is how to be Church!. By that what I mean is that I want to call the attention of all the parishioners to this statement: Our Lady of Lourdes will be as generous and active in evangelization and ministry as her members are! The life of the Parish is the life of her members, the generosity of the Parish is the generosity of their members and I will contribute to Our Lady of Lourdes depending on how I value it: If Our Lady of Lourdes is important in my life of faith, I will contribute open-heartily. If I am Our Lady of Lourdes, I will invest in it, with my time, talent and my money.
The document from the US bishops “Coworkers in the vineyards of the Lord” states: In parishes especially lay women and men generously and extensively cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community. This is a sign of the Holy Spirit’s movement in the lives of our sisters and brothers. We are in this together. Out of our Baptism the responsibility of building up a Community of Faith, is every single parishioner´s; sustaining Our Lady of Lourdes with our money, time and talent is the compass that is to guide our parish life. Stewardship is the name of the game!
Paraphrasing the famous sentence of president Kennedy, ask not what the Parish is to do for you, but what you can do for the Parish. We are in this together and so that the Parish Community is a resemblance of the Kingdom, a place where we live out the values of the Beatitudes, the spirit of the Works of Mercy, I –and that is YOU- need to be actively involved. Nobody is indispensable and everyone is needed.
There is an old Latin saying attributed to St. Augustine: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas or “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” What do you think of that as our motto?
Fray Luis Gerardo
STEWARDSHIP: A CATHOLIC STAPLE
I want to believe that by now, terms like “Adult Faith Formation”, “RCIA”, “Missionary Disciple”, “Stewardship”… are becoming familiar to this Community of faith. Spectators of our life of faith we are not! Actors, doers, collaborators with the spirit of this quote from the gospel of John 5: 17 is our vocation: "My Father is always working, and so am I."
From the beginning of my arrival in this Community I believed and so I said it aloud, that “the Parish of OL of Lourdes will be as generous, life-giving, as the person in the pew is”. We are going to have the 4th Stewardship Sunday, on September 23rd, or another annual reminder that we are embarked on this issue of the Kingdom of God together and the Parish and me the pastor, expect your active involvement, active participation and generous donation with your time and money.
You can see that from the Finance Council we have used the money you donate wisely. The Parish has embarked in many “material” and “spiritual” works –they go hand-in-hand, I believe – in the last years and the latest are not exception: the parking areas are much nicer and safer!, the parish offices are totally redone and they are more welcoming towards the parishioners and the different groups that use them week after week. The south side stain glass window is also finally renovated. I believe we have closed the folder of “big necessary projects” in the Parish.
The main reason why we were able to do all this is because we tapped into the savings of the Parish. Many people before us, our fathers, our abuelitos, with their faith and dedication donated faithfully to the Parish years back. We need to continue in their footsteps and keep giving generously not only for us, nowadays but also for generations to come.
The parking area, the renovation of the interior of the offices, the new furniture has cost us around $650,000.00. To give you a brief break down:
- all the new parking area is cement, not asphalt, more expensive but more durable;
- we replaced the sewer lines in the parking areas and fixed some leaks;
- removal of the old fence and installment of new chain link fence in the Cursillo parking,
- laying down of a power line in the parking in front of the church with four power outlets for future Parish Festivals,
- new flooring in the parish office, some walls knocked down, new lighting, painting…
- new furniture: tables and chairs for the meeting rooms.
In addition to that, we take pride in the fact that almost 40 members of our Parish will go to the University of Dallas thanks to the scholarships offered by the Parish and the same thing is to happen with the upcoming UD Ministry Conference.
So, please, keep giving generously to your Parish, get involved in the life of the Community, in a group, liturgy, catechesis, Adult Faith Formation …
And as usual, if you have any question or concerns about the Parish finances, do not keep it to you and address it with any of the Finance Council members or myself. Thanks!
Luis Gerardo, Capuchin