During the Easter season, we invited everyone in the parish into three conversations. The first was a conversation of prayer, to ask the other what they need prayer for and then praying for them at that moment. The second conversation was taking time to share our faith stories, how the Lord Jesus has touched our lives. This may have been a specific moment or the realization of Christ’s presence throughout our lives. The third conversation was sharing how what we do in our everyday lives advances the mission of Jesus Christ to go, make disciples.
For the last couple of days, I have been asking people to pray that I have a deeper sense of gratitude in my life, that I see every event, interaction, conversation, email, etc. through the lens of gratitude. To be grateful for everything. Though I am far from this goal, I am grateful for the prayers that keep reminding me of my desire to be ever thankful.
I am grateful for everyone who contributed either financially or assisted in any way to the success of the walk to defeat ALS on September 25. We raised more than $18,072 this year for research and assistance. The Evergreen Chapter of the ALS Association expresses their gratitude, as do I.
I am also grateful to Dr. Feldman who, together with his wife, volunteer at St. Michael Catholic School. Dr. Feldman has been an extremely important colleague with our principal, Connor Gerahty, in dealing with all the statewide Covid protocols that apply to schools. In addition, if there is any concern of exposure to Covid, he is able to administer a rapid test to any student, faculty or staff. Thus far, we have been able to safely educate our children, allowing them to grow and flourish during these challenging times. Thank you, Dr. Feldman.
I am grateful that after almost two years of dealing with the city of Tumwater we have finally been able to install our new niche walls at Calvary Cemetery. What we thought would be a simple process turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. One of the other things I often ask prayer for is perseverance. I am grateful to Dcn. Rob Rensel our Steward for Facilities and Chris Peterson our Steward for Parish Administration for seeing this project through. I invite everyone to stop by and see the new beautiful niche wall and consider Calvary Cemetery as a place for the burial of your loved ones. I also ask that you please pray for whom God will send to us for our new cemetery director. This is an important position and we have been unable to hire anyone for almost 6 months. Please pray diligently for this need.
I am grateful to everyone who said “yes” to leadership on our various councils and commissions. Their three-year commitment will enable us as a parish community to continue to grow and flourish in spite of all the challenges we face as a Catholic Church in a society and world that wants to undermine and demean our core beliefs. Please pray for your sisters and brothers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as they serve us all.
I am grateful to all of our small group facilitators, Bible and book study leaders, CGS catechists and assistants, Life Teen, EDGE and confirmation core teams and catechists, baptism, wedding and funeral coordinators and all those involved in so many other ministries. Thank you for sharing your time and talent in deepening the faith life of our parish community.
Through stewardship providing access to Catholic education
A major component of our strategic plan 2016–2026 is to provide access to St. Michael Catholic School for any registered stewardship family who chooses. I am grateful for the work of our tuition task force that over the last two years has defined major areas of implementation to reach this goal by 2026. Two years ago we decreased the yearly tuition increase by half. Last year we did not increase tuition—unheard of in most Catholic schools. We will continue this trend as we focus on inviting our entire parish family to increase their financial stewardship to make the school financially accessible for stewardship families of the parish.
What is a stewardship family? They are registered; they spend time in prayer at home and at Sunday Mass; they are involved in one or more ministries in the parish and they have made a financial stewardship commitment and follow through on that commitment.
This description is not merely for school families; it is also a description for all of us. Each of us, every single one of us, is called to stewardship, to recognizing that all we have is a gift from God. Time—each moment of every day is pure gift. Talents—a free gift from God who asks us to develop those talents and then to share them with others. Treasure—our financial resources given to us not to hoard, but to develop and to use wisely on behalf of our families and our family of faith, Saint Michael Parish.
If you did not see the video at Mass a few weeks ago, you can access it on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/RAssDahy69M It will help you understand this powerful initiative. In the coming weeks there will be information in the bulletin
concerning the various aspects of this vision. It is important for everyone to understand why this initiative is so important, why our children need St. Michael Catholic School, why we are all in this together, why all the children in the parish are really our children, all of ours together. “We are one body, one body in Christ.”
Stewardship renewal—November 6/7
I am so grateful for the guidance and gift of the Holy Spirit as manifest in our parish and school staffs as well as our lay leaders. We keep asking, “Where is the Holy Spirit leading us? What is the Holy Spirit asking of us? How is the Holy Spirit asking us to respond to the challenges of our time?”
This powerful stance has led us into a partnership with Catholic Stewardship Consultants to assist us in deepening our understanding and practice of discipleship, following Jesus as faith filled and faithful stewards. A steward is one who is not the owner but rather placed in charge on behalf of others. God is the giver of everything. God asks us to be faithful stewards of the gifts that God has given to us.
In our monthly stewardship newsletter we have endeavored to highlight different ministries of our parish as well as unpack the scriptural meaning of stewardship. All too often when people hear that word they think of money rather than of a disciple’s response, a faith filled “yes” to following Jesus.
This year everyone will receive in the mail a stewardship package. I ask that you please take time to read it thoroughly. Discuss it with your spouse, your family or even members of your small faith sharing group. Then, and most importantly, pray with it. Pray about how the Holy Spirit is asking you to respond as a faithful steward, a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Time, talent and treasure—prayer, service and sharing—these are purposely linked together. You will be asked to make a commitment in each of these areas in order to live more fully your missionary discipleship, to be a member of the Body of Christ. The more we say “yes” to Jesus, the more He is able to do with us, in us and through us for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Let us hold one another in prayer during these coming weeks as we prepare for Stewardship Sunday. Thank you.
With a grateful heart through the intercession of blessed Pier Giorgio, I love you.