Sunday, July 10, 2016

Parish Bulletin Article: Neighbors (7-10-16)

This weekend I would like to write to our brothers and sisters that do not live here.  I have met many of you and have listened to some great conversations.  It is joyfully to hear some comments like these:
·      “I always come back to International Falls and I come to St. Thomas Aquinas for Mass...”
·      “I loved St. Columban and enjoy coming home”
·      “We have generations of our family that went to St. Thomas Aquinas School…”
·      “I never lived here, but now we visit each year to this beautiful place…”.
            Praise God for your relationship and know of our prayer, love and friendship.
            In the last couple of years I have preached and wrote about stewardship: time, talent and treasure.  Our parishes has used these gifts in history, present and to the future.  It is amazing to watch our parishioners (or those I don’t even see!) how they open their own calendars to serve others, share talents to help our churches, buildings and needs, and offer their own money.  To me, this is a new family in my own life!
To brothers and sisters in different locations, I would share about treasure.
In a simple quote: “We have less jobs, less families, and less money.”
A few thoughts…
First, thank you so much for those gifts you have already given!  Know of our gratitude to our parishes, as well as our community when you enjoy this place.
Second, I know that God’s Country is challenged in our economy.  This effects our churches and our whole community.  A simple quote: “Our area has less families, less children, less jobs and less money.” 
Third, as Jesus taught about money over and over in the Gospels, he showed us how to serve others through treasure.  Today some small gifts through your treasure could really assist our churches and school.  Here are a few:
·      Could you offer a small “plate offering” while living somewhere else?  Through ACH or checks (to our churches or school) whether small or big, can support our operations.
·      We will be focusing some goals to see our growth in our churches (ex. our refurbished stations), buildings (ex. a new roof, better heat/air conditions), education, faith formation and others.  Check our webpage, facebook (Parishes and School).  Do you see anything that you would like to help?
·      Could you relieve families to allow their children to our school?  Through scholarships and tuition assistance can support our children.
Fourth, please give a call, send a letter or write an email (see our numbers and addresses on our bulletin).  I would like to grow the relationships of brothers and sisters through different areas and it is cool to talk, share or support each other through our Catholic family.
Thank you for your presence in God’s House and pray for ways your stewardship could mean much for us!
God Bless!

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