Blessed Sacrament has always been a wonderful parish in which Catholics come together in Faith and mutual support for one another on the pilgrimage through this life to the eternal Kingdom. Yes, our citizenship is in Heaven. But we always have the temporal reality through which we exercise that citizenship. For us, it is this great parish that has been the temporal home to thousands of Catholics for more than six decades. God willing, as we all come together and do our part, this parish will be home to Catholics for many years to come.
Throughout the diocese during the months of October and November, we are asked to reflect on our Stewardship of the many blessings God has bestowed on us, and how we can make a return to God from all we have received. Such reflections are never easy yet are an important part of our spiritual journey. All of us at all times need to be good Stewards of the many gifts God gives us. At the heart of our reflections on the Stewardship of Treasure is the discernment each one of us should make regarding our financial sacrificial gift to the parish. As has been recently noted in this column, our parish has been struggling financially for quite some time and the projections for the coming year are not balanced. These projections are based on the ordinary income generated through the weekly collections. With regard to the Stewardship of Treasure, the particular question we should bring to prayer is, “Should I take a step in my weekly financial gift to the parish?” Obviously, the goal for each one of us should be achieving the Biblical ideal of offering a sacrificial tithe to God. Now is a good time to consider taking a step toward that ideal.
In the world as it is today, many households, like our parish, are struggling financially. While financial giving has a sacrificial aspect, all need to be sensible when evaluating the amount given in charity. That being said, we also need to be sensible in budgeting our finances in such a way that our sacrificial gift is possible without endangering the welfare of the family. In the time I have been here, I am most grateful to the many sacrificial gifts, particularly through the capital campaign, that have helped us preserve our parish for the future. I ask all to recall the good things we accomplished the past two years, and I encourage everyone to continue the good work that we have started.
Ultimately, the important thing for all to focus on today is the regular support of the parish, which is where our regular financial gift makes a difference. All of the recent projects completed and the reduction of the debt have been accomplished through the extraordinary income of the campaign. Those funds are distinct and separate from our ordinary expenses and income. In this regard, it is your regular contributions that make it possible for Blessed Sacrament to be a thriving parish today and for years to come. Trust me when I say, our parish operates at bare bones and there is no room in the budget for further cuts without having a serious impact on the parish. Please continue to pray about your financial support of the parish and consider adding a few dollars to your weekly gift. No increase is ever too small. While all of us have different gifts to offer in differing degrees, there are no “better” or “bigger” gifts, no “smaller” or “insignificant” gifts – every gift given for the Glory of God is a Treasure indeed. Thank you for your ongoing generosity.