LETTER FROM THE PASTOR
I was ten years a priest before I discovered what “Christian Stewardship” meant. The spirituality of stewardship was never covered in my seminary courses, nor in my first few parishes. But a priest friend invited me to a talk by a wonderful married couple on how stewardship had brought a new freedom, joy, and Catholic depth to their lives. I’ve been practicing stewardship personally since then, always learning a bit more each year.
I discovered then that “life is not about getting; it’s about giving.” If we trust God enough to give freely, always prudently of course, then we will receive more from Him than we had before opening our hearts. This conviction, what St. John Paul called “The Law of the Gift,” drives all the best and brightest of our faith: St. Francis (“It is in giving that we receive”), Mother Teresa (“give until it hurts”), St. Maximilian Kolbe (“I want to love without limits”), etc. I hope we as a parish, and you personally, can enter more deeply into the spirituality of Christian Stewardship year by year.
Yours Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Joseph Illo, Pastor
Stewardship Commitment Campaign
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Stewardship of Time – PRAYER
Have you ever noticed that couples that have recently fallen in love spend every possible minute together? Among the simplest ways to show love is to simply be with a person; to spend time with him or her. Being a good steward for our time means making time for the most important person, and that person is God. Jesus says the first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we truly love the Lord and place Him first in our lives, we will make time to be with him both in the prayer of silence and solitude (adoration) and in the prayer of praise and community (the Holy Mass).
Star of the Sea Parishioners attending the Sunday 9:30am Mass
Stewardship of Talent – SERVICE
While every Catholic needs to receive their weekly spiritual nourishment by attending Mass on Sunday, intuitively, we know that the Gospel preached on Sundays should not be restrained to one day a week, and should be put into action Monday through Saturday. Everyone has different schedules, abilities and interests, but we all share a common responsibility to be active members of the Body of Christ. A good steward is one who takes this responsibility seriously and finds ways to put his or her talent to work. Star of the Sea offers a variety of ministries for you to join –from Bible studies to outreach programs. You don’t need to be an artist or musician to have “talent.” You don’t even need a special hobby or skill. All you need is the conviction that you do, in fact, have a role to play, and the willingness to seek it out.
Car wash for a good cause! a group of children from Star of the Sea Junior Legion of Mary ministry, washing cars at our parish, to raise funds to help support a sister parish in Kenya that is working on building a clinic for their community.
Stewardship of Treasure – FINANCIAL GIFTS
We learn in Romans and Acts that when St. Paul established the first Christian Communities, he took up “collections” to fund the various needs of the Church. Then as now, part of good stewardship is setting aside a generous gift to God each week through the parish offertory. Like our time and our talents, our finances are a gift from God. We unconsciously think the money we earn is “ours,” but who gave you the talents, strengths, and education by which you were able to earn that money? Money plays a very large role in our lives, and precisely because of this, it needs to be aligned with our most deeply held beliefs. Jesus tells us that “where your treasure is, there also lies your heart” (Luke 12:34). How much treasure should we give to God? The Bible instructs us to give a “tithe,” or 10% of one’s harvest or income, back to the Giver of all gifts (see Malachi 3:10). If the goal of giving a tithe seems difficult to attain, consider increasing your annual offertory gift incrementally by 1 or 2% each year until you reach it. It may take some time, but eventually you can reach the point where it is clear both in your finances and in your daily life What and Who is most important. In the meantime, the most important thing is to choose a percentage of your income to give each week or month,and be faithful to it, even when you attend Mass elsewhere.
Volunteer Annual Appreciation dinner. In this picture the Tillman family as well as many of the parish volunteers joined us to celebrate in community a Thank you dinner for all the volunteers that generously offered their time, talent, and treasure to serve God and all people in our Community this past year.
Stewardship is a way of life!