My Dear Friends in Christ,
If your calendar looks like mine, we all know everything is shifting back into high gear this month. Vacations are over, schools are back in session, and clubs, organizations, and ministries are back at work full-time. Life is suddenly even more hectic. As I looked at the calendar for September, I remembered some of the important feast days coming up this month and noticed several connections to living stewardship as a way of life.
First, let’s consider the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Calcutta on Sept. 5. Small in stature but so very Catholic in everything she represented and did, Mother Teresa was an important part of my perception of what it means to be Catholic and Christian. It is difficult to believe that she has been gone for 26 years. She was the absolute epitome of what it means to be Catholic, to love, and to serve. She represented a living example of stewardship in our lifetimes. What she had to say about our lives and how we should live them became some of the more quotable illustrations of living stewardship that we reflect upon today. For example, she said, “It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Our challenge as we begin the busy part of our year is to do everything we do with love.
On Sept. 14, we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Cross has enormous meaning to us as Catholics. How many times do we make the Sign of the Cross to signify the Holy Trinity and to remember that the Cross represents so much to us? It is a renewal of our Baptism every time we make the Sign of the Cross. More than 1,700 years ago, St. Helen discovered the true cross in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was built on that spot and was dedicated in September 335: thus, our veneration of the Cross on Sept. 14.
When we make the Sign of the Cross, we are also indicating our discipleship, our pledge to be good stewards. Whether it is in our labors that we glorify God, in serving the Lord and others with love, or constantly reminding ourselves of Christ’s salvation of us on the Cross, we need to continually rededicate ourselves to service and stewardship. This month — when we revive so much in our parish — is a good time to do that. St. Teresa of Calcutta also said, “The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
This month, we welcome St. Canice parishioners to enjoy our stewardship journey with us. At St. Patrick, we have been working to intentionally develop stewardship for the last several years. We have seen many parishioners grow as disciples as a result of these efforts. We hope to share that gift with all of the parishioners in our parish communities.
Sincerely yours in Christ,