Dear Brothers and Sisters,
May the grace of God abound and lead us to living a fuller relationship with him each day! Indeed it is by the grace of God of which St. Paul reminds us that God gives us all we need and entrusts it to us as stewards to use and to share. But do we think of ourselves as stewards or as owners of that which we possess?
The first step to becoming a Good Steward and a full Stewardship Parish is to THANK GOD for all we are and have! In this act of gratitude, we learn to trust him more completely and to trust in Divine Providence. The God who loves us has spoken through his Son, our Savior, and said “I will not leave you orphaned and will not abandon you”. (John 14:18) Take a moment now and thank him for his loving generosity and his manifold gifts to you and to your family.
The second step calls for us to be intentional disciples – committing our entire lives to Jesus through prayer, service and financial support of his mission. Examine your life – take a spiritual inventory now. How much time do you pray weekly? Do we make going to Sunday Mass the highest priority of our weekly activities?
Do you serve the Lord in a parish ministry – remembering Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28) Go to our website at www.shconroe.org and search for ministries to peruse them and to sign up to be an active disciple.
Do you tithe giving 5 to 8% of your family income to the parish to support our efforts locally to build up his kingdom as asked of us in the Precepts of our Catholic faith? Begin to give this amount realizing it is both a responsibility given to us by God and a lesson in learning to trust him while offering to him our first fruits.
Precepts of the Catholic Church1
- To attend Mass on Sundays and holy days while resting from servile labor (CCC 1388-9, 2042, 2043, 2177, 2180, 2185; 2187-8; 2192-3).
- To receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year (CCC 1457; 2042).
- To receive the Eucharist at least once a year, during the Easter Season (CCC 1389; 2042).
- To observe the days of fasting and abstinence (CCC 2043; 2177).
- To help to provide for the needs of the Church according to one’s abilities (CCC 1351; 1387; 1438; 2043). CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church
Yes, all of these go together in step two and are the daily invitation from our Lord so that we may say with St. Paul that it is Christ living in us! Step two requires us to develop our discipleship with the Lord and to mature in living our faith.
The third step is to share generously with others and especially with the poor and less fortunate. This sharing is meant to be of ourselves – not just our material blessings. We are called to encounter Jesus in our brother and sister in need and to be his presence to them. What a unique and marvelous opportunity!
As we strive to live the call of discipleship, we are also obliged by Jesus to teach our children and to bring them to the Lord as intentional disciples and good stewards who are generously living and serving him.
Again, among our many ministries, we have the joyful ministry of our parish Catholic school to educate as many children as we can for Jesus. Parents, please prayerfully consider investing in your children through a Catholic Education. Tour our school this week and check out our new Pilot program of the Stewardship Ministry Covenant. Visit our school website at www.shcstx.org and give your children the best Catholic education available.
May we seek to do his will more completely in all that we say and do!
In His love,
Fr. Philip Wilhite, Pastor
Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School