All of us are called to be intentional disciples of Jesus and we do so by living lives of stewardship. As stewards, we first recognize that Jesus has blessed us with redemption. He did this by being born into this world, proclaiming the kingdom of God, suffering, dying, and rising from the dead. He blessed us with the Church through which we enter His divine life through the sacraments and together become the Body of Christ.
In gratitude, as stewards, we give God the first fruits of our time in prayer. This year, I want to invite all of us to a real and personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist as we intentionally engage the National Eucharistic Revival already begun under the leadership of the United States Catholic Bishops. To engage this, we are moving forward with relational ministry to bring families to Jesus in the Eucharist in Mary of Lourdes School, Youth Ministry, religious education, and a new young adult group. We have planned multiple parish retreats, mission trips, youth camps, praise and worship nights with Eucharistic Adoration, and opportunities for small-group faith sharing and formation. As stewards, we recognize that the encounter we have with Jesus in the Eucharist provides the direction and fruitfulness of using our talents and treasure for the glory of God. Will you commit or re-commit to spend time with God in prayer to both encounter Jesus yourself and to intercede for these important events?
As stewards, we give God our talent. Many ministries highlighted in our newsletter each month are a great testament to the generosity of the Holy Spirit in giving us personal gifts and talents. I am proud to be part of such a vibrant community, and I thank God for each of you who puts forth such enormous effort. In gratitude, we have a need to give and have our joy in sharing the talents we have with others. Will you commit or re-commit to donate your talent to God through our parish programs and ministries? As we engage the National Eucharistic Revival, we are also going to need parishioners to accompany families in relational ministry.
I also want to thank those of you who are so consistent in writing your weekly or monthly check to your parish. I know it costs a great deal of money to keep your household afloat or to raise a family — so thank you for making the sacrifice to keep this parish family financially viable.
Many of you have discovered the heart of stewardship — which is to give to God first, out of sheer gratitude, not just because the parish has to pay the light bill. For some of us, it takes time to convert to this way of thinking. But try — just try — to put your offertory envelopes on top of your stack of bills. See what blessings God has in store for you! Will you commit or re-commit to giving back five percent of your income to God through our parish offertory?
In summary, we have an opportunity to be intentional disciples by living a stewardship way of life. We are launching an exciting new chapter in the life of our parishes with our annual Stewardship Renewal this September. This is perhaps the most important step in our quest to become a true stewardship parish. Through the Annual Stewardship Renewal, all Little Falls parishioners will have the opportunity to make their annual commitments of the “Three Ts of Stewardship” — Time, Talent, and Treasure.
You will no doubt be hearing a lot about the upcoming Stewardship Renewal over the next month or so. You can learn more about our Renewal and Commitment Weekend on Sept. 30-Oct. 1 inside this newsletter. You also will be receiving your Stewardship Renewal packet in the mail sometime over the next few weeks.
We are focusing on three specific actions during this Stewardship Renewal: scheduling time for prayer, donating our talent to parish ministries, and budgeting five percent of your income in return to God. But these three are all part of a bigger, more wonderful goal: making intentional disciples by living stewardship and Eucharist-centered lives.
May God bless you as you make your stewardship commitments!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Ben Kociemba,