For many, a new year signifies a new beginning and the opportunity to make resolutions to live or act differently. As we celebrate the new year at St. Francis Xavier, we are looking ahead to another great year of growth and stewardship.
“We are in growth mode,” Fr. O’Brien says. “People are moving to Payne County, people are having babies, and we’re making converts.”
This year, we have several events and projects we can anticipate in the months ahead. Parishioners can look forward to the Lent season and our Lenten Parish Mission, the Summer Spanish Parish Mission, ACTS Retreats, and our 2024 Stewardship Renewal.
Perhaps this year is the time to consider getting involved in a new way, through service and ministry, or to revisit the various ways in which we are already involved.
“I encourage everyone to look at what they’re involved in,” Fr. O’Brien says. “Is this something you’re called to? Maybe it’s time for a new ministry. I can’t say, but ask God to guide you and follow His lead. I’d encourage every man and woman to consider the ACTS Retreat.”
With stewardship at the very heart of our efforts here at St. Francis Xavier, we will continue to move forward by encouraging all parishioners to live out stewardship in their daily lives, both personally and in their ministry participation.
“We will continue to do all we can to live a stewardship way of life,” Fr. O’Brien says. “In our time (life of prayer), our talent (ministries and outreach), and treasure, we want to do God’s will and be as generous as possible in everything. It’s my hope that every ministry will double down on efforts to include more people and really see every ministry as a way to care for our people and evangelize others.”
Participating in ministries and giving of our time, talent, and treasure can help with our own spiritual growth, as well.
“We have to be active in our faith,” Fr. O’Brien says. “Prayer leads to action. When we’re involved in service and ministries, we’re helping others, meeting others, and drawing others into a relationship with Christ and His Church. This, in turn, strengthens our faith.”
Looking ahead, there are some big projects our parish will be undertaking. We are continuing the discussion about a future school, and considering how to handle the old church and property. Fr. O’Brien says we’ll also be moving forward with the stained glass window project in the nave of the church, and he hopes we can pay off our debt. Overall, Fr. O’Brien believes our parishioners are striving for holiness and exhorts us to keep going.
“We have good momentum right now, but we can always do better,” he says. “There’s always more people to reach. It starts with us. We have to be people of prayer since we cannot give what we don’t have. I hope every individual will continue to draw closer to Jesus and that will, in turn, help our parish grow.”