Call to Give – Intention Weekend Recap

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

They say when the concept of stewardship is embraced, lives can be transformed.  Can you guess which of the following actually occurred at parishes where stewardship became a way of life?

1) A free elementary school education is provided for all its students.

2) Upon completing 8th Grade, the parish pays the tuition at a Catholic high school of the student’s choosing.

3) Mass attendance is at least 85% on Saturday and Sundays.

4) Hundreds of people attend weekday Mass.

5) After Mass, no one leaves their seats until the alter server blows out the last candle.

6) There are no second collections or fundraisers, but the parish still has plenty of resources to help their parishioners in need, as well as those from other parishes.

7) As one of its ministries, medical care is offered to underserved members of the community.

8) After developing a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, 800 parishioners signed up to pray with the Eucharist.

9) After developing a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, 10 priests and 8 men and women professed vows to a religious life.

See the answers below!

If you’re inspired to take your next step into discipleship, please review content from last weekend’s Call to Give intention weekend, followed by a link to the Call to Give Intention Card:

Living our lives as disciples begins with the renewal of our hearts and minds – a new way of thinking and change in attitude. The Call to Give  phase of the 2016 Call to Discipleship series reminds us that Jesus calls us to give back to God in thanksgiving for all our financial and other resources we were blessed with.  This is a hard concept to digest – especially with the cost of living, a significant pay cut or job loss.
However, we should remember that we are actually giving back something that wasn’t ours to begin with.  Just as the Bible teaches us about tithing, it also reminds us that when we do, we’ll end up with more than what we started with.’

 

The following was adapted from St. Mary Magdalene Parish’s Sacrificial Giving literature.

If we truly believe that God gives us all that we have, gratitude is one response. Trust is another. When we realize that God has provided for us and will continue to do so, we recognize that our real security lies in God. Our God, who has given us all, will take care of our future.

 

Giving is Planned:  The decision to give is just that—a decision. It requires thought and time, so that it is integrated with other financial decisions as part of a careful, intentional response to God’s generosity.  For most of us, unless we plan something, it doesn’t happen. Unless we consciously incorporate the amount of our giving into our regular budget, it becomes an optional expense and may be lost in the financial shuffle.  Planning our giving enables us to give of the first fruits rather than some amount left over after “more important” obligations have been satisfied. The planning process itself can be a spiritual exercise, focusing our attention on our values and priorities.

 

Giving is Proportionate:  Our giving is proportionate to what God has given us – a proportion of our resources.  How much should you give? Start with an assessment of your level of giving now. It is certainly a proportion of your resources but is it a proportion which adequately reflects your gratitude for God’s generosity?  There is no magic number that represents the “right” amount. Although many people use the biblical concept of the tithe, a tenth, as a guide, that can seem daunting for many reasons. The proportion you choose should be sacrificial and truly commensurate to what God has given you. In many instances, it is a goal we have to work toward, recognizing that it takes time to re-orient our priorities. We can begin today by taking a small step, even 1/10 of a tithe if you have never given, or a 1/10 increase if you are already giving regularly.  There is no “right” answer, either, to the calculation of income upon which the proportion is figured. Your pledge isn’t your tax return. It is your return to God of a proportion of the gifts God has given you, which you choose to share with your parish and other charities.

 

Giving is Sacrificial:  Our giving is one way we have of walking in the footsteps of our Lord, who sacrificed everything so that we might have life. We give up something of ourselves so that life can flourish. When we give that way, we are changed. When giving becomes sacrificial, it focuses our attention on the true source of our security. When we give away something we think we need to survive, we are saying, “money won’t take care of us, possessions won’t save us.” Sacrificial giving bears witness to the reality that God alone will make us safe. Recognizing that reality and living it out constitute a tremendous change in our lives.  And this can make an equally tremendous difference to the lives of others. The sacrifice we make by doing without some portion of our substance is just that—doing without so that life for others may flourish.

 

Giving is a Prayer of Thanksgiving:  There is no better time to fulfill our commitment to give than in the atmosphere of prayer and thanksgiving.  The celebration of Christ’s sacrifice is a fitting context for our own offerings which is a grateful response to the unfathomable love God has shown for us.  Too often, we want to separate the issue of giving, particularly the giving of money, from those more “spiritual” aspects of our faith life.  Yet, the commitment to give is one of the most important expressions of what our faith means to us. Through our financial offerings, we can express our joy in having received and in being able to give. We are able to say, “Thanks be to God!” We can give back some portion of the tremendous gifts that have been given to us, the most important of which we celebrate at the Eucharist.       

 

We remember, too, that this commitment is one of personal as well as communal prayer and part of a lifelong process of turning toward God. Just as our giving forms an integral part of the ritualized expression of our faith—the Mass—so is it woven into struggles and joys we experience on our personal faith journey.

 

Place God First in All Things

This means making God’s priorities our priorities. When we place our loving Creator at the center of our life, we become more prayerful, more focused on loving and caring for our families and our neighbor in need and less preoccupied with material things. In short, we find the true source of happiness and fulfillment that we all seek and that the Lord alone can provide. It’s been said that:  “People make the time and find the money for what they value most.” We must challenge each other, as disciples of Jesus Christ, to value God above all else. This belief will lead us to put our faith in action by finding the time and money to promote God’s priorities because we have made them our priorities as well.

 

How Will You Respond?

Every year you will have the opportunity to reflect on and re-evaluate your giving in light of your commitment to your faith. Our giving is a necessary expression of our faith, of what we say we believe. We channel a portion of our giving through our parish because it is the body which most clearly bears witness to the meaning and values we find at the center of our lives.

 

To submit a Call to Give intention card, please click here:

2016 Call to Give Intention Card

 

TRUE OR FALSE ANSWER:

They are ALL true!  St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita, Kansas is a testament that all of the above can be true for a parish who adopts stewardship as a way of life.  Father Thomas McGread brought the stewardship message to St. Francis Parish when he was appointed Pastor in 1968. He brought with him a vision from the words of St. Peter: “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)

 

Leave a comment

Spiritual Meaning of Money

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

 

The following article was reprinted with permission from Father Andrew Kemberling. It can be found at: http://saintvincents.org /2016/10/08/spiritual-meaning-of-money/

Continue reading »

Leave a comment

St. Pius X Receives International Recognition

icsc

Schuyler Kleinpeter, Stewardship & Advancement Director, accepts award on behalf of St. Pius X from Mike Murphy, ICSC Executive Director.

 

A concerted effort between the pastors, parishioners, leadership team and staff of St. Pius X Catholic Church received international recognition at the International Catholic Stewardship Council’s (ICSC) 2016 Annual Conference. The effort began in 2015 as a result of St. Pius’ inaugural Call to Discipleship series – an initiative that began once plans were underway to build a new church and St. Pius’ leadership determined the next logical step would be to build the spiritual development of its members. Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Call to Give – Wealth and the Spirituality of Solidarity

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

 

The following article, Wealth and the Spirituality of Social Solidarity, was reprinted with permission from the author,
Dawn Carpenter and Catholic Stand. It can be found here: http://www.catholicstand.com/wealth-spirituality-social-solidarity/

Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Call to Serve – Intention Weekend

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

Living our lives as disciples begins with the renewal of our hearts and minds – a new way of thinking and change in attitude. The Call to Serve phase of the 2016 Call to Discipleship series reminds us that everything we have is a gift from God, even our talents. Therefore, the abilities that we have can be considered a reflection of who God is in us. Since our talents are not our own, we should steward them by using them for the benefit of God and His Kingdom. Doing so allows us to give back to God in thanksgiving for all of our God-given skills and abilities that he has blessed us with.

Continue reading »

Leave a comment

St. Pius Elementary School

ministry-marketing-logo-spes

 

In the year 2000, Monsignor Richard von Paul Mouton, then pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church, noted the number of churches burying time capsules.  He reflected on the mission of St. Pius X Church which states: Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Parish Pastoral Council

ministry-marketing-logo-parish-council

 

Through Baptism and Confirmation, all are called to exercise both their right and responsibility to participate fully in the life and mission of the Parish and the universal Catholic Church.  The Parish Pastoral Council carries out this role by serving as the official advisory council providing knowledge and expertise on issues related to the pastoral operations of the Parish.  Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Spreading the Cure for Discouragement

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

 

Father Bartunek concluded his Cure for Discouragement Retreat Guide with the parable about Lazarus, which is timely to this Sunday’s Gospel.  More of Father Bartunek’s retreat quides can be found at: http://rcspirituality.org/retreat-guides/

We all remember the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.  Lazarus was a homeless man, covered with sores, who lay at the gate of a rich man’s estate, hoping that the rich man would give him some leftovers from his sumptuous table. He was so wretched that dogs would come and lick his sores. But he waited in vain. The rich man never paid any attention to him, and continued to enjoy his wealth without any thought for the beggar at his door. When they both died, the rich man went to a place of suffering, and poor Lazarus went to a place of comfort. Abraham appears to the rich man in his suffering state, and explains: Continue reading »

Leave a comment

9 Ways to Open God’s Will for You

2016 C2D - FB Thumbnail2

 

The following article by Father Michael Scanlan is

reprinted with permission from www.vocationnetwork.org

 

After meeting regularly with people of all ages and walks of life and understanding that every person and situation is different, I’ve discovered nine basic steps that can keep us moving toward positive and faithful life decisions.  I try to assure people who bring a difficult decision to me that they will be able to know, in their deepest being, in their heart of hearts, what God is calling them to do. Many people are not sure they will ever know God’s will or, if they do, that this knowledge will necessarily bring them peace. We can begin by praying to the Holy Spirit asking him to inspire us and lead us to true wisdom. Continue reading »

Leave a comment

Eucharistic Ministers (Homebound, Hospitals, Nursing Homes)

ministry-marketing-logo-eucharistic-ministers-home-hospital-nursing-homes

 

St. Pius X Catholic Church’s Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers continue Jesus’ mission to love and care for the sick by bringing the Eucharist, embodying His redeeming love and healing, to parishioners right where they are.  Whether at home, at a hospital or nursing home, Eucharistic Ministers bring Christ to those who wouldn’t be able to receive the Eucharist otherwise.  Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper before his death and resurrection to remind us of His everlasting love, our salvation and our eternal life with Him. Continue reading »

Leave a comment