Stewardship To The Next Level

by Oct 3, 2023Pastor's Blog

Again, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that although our structures may change, the mission Christ gave us to go forth and make disciples remains. There is an invitation for all of us to recognize the need for sacrifice and generosity, while working and praying for unity.

On this 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are reminded that we have been given so many gifts and blessings by our Heavenly Father. Yet, in our fallen state it is all too easy to take them for granted. Our readings today teach us that we must live with an intentional awareness of our many blessings and use them gratefully to glorify God.

In the following weeks we will be preparing for a new Preaching Series on Stewardship, discerning how God is calling us to share our time, talents, and treasure to glorify Him. This continues to be a difficult time for many parishioners. What should we expect on November 5th?

As I shared last weekend, with the merging of our parishes into one parish, St. Finnan’s Parish, and the closure of St. Catherine of Sienna church in Greenfield, many are asking what’s next? What happens on November 5th when Archbishop Damphousse will preside the 11am Mass at the Basilica, while Bishop Mathieu will preside the 9:30am Mass at St. James church, and the 11am Mass at St. Anthony’s church? It is to underline the importance of this change to all parishioners of North Glengarry.

We are preparing the parish for the next generation. A new parish means a new Parish Pastoral Council, a new Parish Finance Council, and many new opportunities to serve the mission. We will soon begin discussion on discerning new Sunday Mass times at the Basilica, as well as working to make our liturgies more vibrant and dynamic. I hope to have some of these changes take place in the new liturgical season of Advent, December 3. Let’s continue praying for all our parishioners.

Again, what is really happening on November 5 weekend when we start becoming a new parish, St. Finnan’s Parish? Some parishioners are saying, “we are losing something”, “we are losing our church”, or “we are losing our parish”. Some parishioners will be experiencing the different stages of grieving – similar to a death in the family.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough that although our structures may change, the mission Christ gave us to go forth and make disciples remains. There is an invitation for all of us to recognize the need for sacrifice and generosity, while working and praying for unity.

Why are we doing this? November 5th will be different. Our focus is not our relationship with a building, but with God, and embracing His vision & mission going forward. Let’s work together:

  • to continue improving our vibrant and dynamic liturgies,
  • helping grow our leadership in our councils, and ministry leaders,
  • and, helping us grow stronger in our Christian Catholic Faith.

Again, in the coming weeks we will be taking stewardship to the next level. With the help of Catholic Stewardship Consultants website and resources, as well as help from our ministry leaders, we will discern new ways to share our time, talents, and treasures to make God known and loved by all.

In today’s Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus uses the image of a vineyard to teach the importance of using our blessings well. He tells the story of a landowner who plants a vineyard and leases it to tenants before he goes on a journey. Instead of tending the vineyard, the tenants mistreat the servants in the vineyard and even the son of the landowner, whom they kill. When the landowner realizes what the tenants have done, he puts them to death and leases his vineyard to tenants who “will give him the produce at the proper times.”
 
By Baptism, we have received the gift of salvation and membership in Kingdom of God — we are now “tenants” called to work in  the “vineyard” and produce fruit for its owner, our Heavenly Father. Jesus makes it clear that we if we squander the gift of salvation, we will lose it. It is a sobering truth.
 
So, let us use our intellect to think on these gifts throughout the day and this week, and resolve to use all our gifts for God’s glory. 

Let’s continue praying for one another. Peace.

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