“I believe in . . . and apostolic church.” We believe that we are continuing the living tradition of the Apostles. Part of that tradition includes works of service, apostolic works. Jesus said “I have come not to be served, but to serve.” We need to be ready to minister to varied needs of our own parish family as well as the needs of the wider community and Church. A stewardship parish family serves those who are hurting or in need; doubting or seeking salvation. Like a blood family, the parish family stands ready and eager collectively to wrap their arms around their brothers and sisters when they suffer in trial and/or celebrate special events in their lives. St. Paul says, “God so constructed the body, that there may be no dissension in the body, but that all the members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy.” (1 Cor. 12: 24b, 25-26)
Parishioners seek the parish family as a primary community to serve and to be served—to give and to receive. If a parishioner finds they can serve and be ministered to, they have little need to search elsewhere for this fulfillment. Likewise, they have recognized a place where their service is appreciated and utilized for the good of the Church.
But the members of a stewardship parish recognize that they also have a need to give beyond their own members only. They have a need to serve and to give in the diocese, the community and the Universal Church. Fully embracing and committing to this need leads a parish to the stewardship way of life within the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. This is the challenge to us parishioners. Are we willing to serve our own St. Regis parish and outsiders? Interestingly, if this true of our parish, chances also exist that St. Regis embraces fully the first pillar of a stewardship parish – namely, hospitality.
During next week’s Ministry Fair, you will find information for over 20 service ministries that need your time, talent and/or treasure. Service provides opportunities for us to put into concrete practice the other three pillars, hospitality, prayer and formation. A true stewardship parish practices all four of these pillars, with Jesus Christ as the model and the foundation from which the pillar arise.
Stop by the Gathering Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our 4th and last Ministry Fair.
The 3rd Pillar of Stewardship: Formation
The third Pillar of the Stewardship Way of Life is Formation. Faith formation is a lifelong journey of conversion; a formidable task, involving education of the mind and the conversion of the heart for all ages. Ongoing education for children and adults is important if we are to grow in our lives as stewards – you never graduate from formation. The Evangelization and Parish Life Council (EPL) is the key organization at St. Regis that provides opportunities for parishioners to deepen their faith and knowledge through studies and presentations on scripture, Church teachings and other topics of interest. Opportunities are also provided for learning how to share one’s faith.
The goal of the EPL council and at least ten of our ministries is to educate, form and sustain the stewardship way of life for all ages through faith formation opportunities in the parish and school. We strive to be disciple stewards and give good example as we participate in parish life in ministries and on parish leadership teams. We are open to the continuous conversion to a life of stewardship – to sharing what one has with a loving, generous and grateful heart.
How important is it to properly form one’s faith and understand Christ’s teachings? Jesus explains to us in MT 13:19 that “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.” It’s important to hear the Word, but equally important to understand it.
We are each given a role to play in building up God’s kingdom. We are each given gifts of time and talent by God to complete our mission. Do you know what your gifts are? If your gift is helping in our Formation ministries or you want to be better informed about your Catholic faith, then consider joining one of the following ministries:
The key ministries tied to Formation include; EPL, scripture study, Mary’s Room library, Catholic teachings/history presentations, special topical presentations, parish missions, the Immaculata Militia, RCIA, School of Religion, Book Club, Sacrament/Marriage Prep and Serra Club. Other groups such as Parish/School Development Councils and the Stewardship Council support the Formation Pillar by providing various funding opportunities to carry out the vision and mission.
Stop by the Gathering Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our Third Ministry Fair.
2nd Pillar of Stewardship: Prayer
A stewardship parish strives to nourish the soul through prayer. Prayer is as necessary to our souls as food is to our bodies. Prayer and the sacraments dispose a soul to receive God’s abundant graces, which are necessary to grow in holiness. That is why the Second Pillar- Prayer is related to the Second Mark of the Church - Holy. Holiness is accomplished through liturgy and Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), the witness of saints and martyrs, the proclamation of Scripture, adherences to Sacred Tradition, teaching and preaching and much more. To grow in holiness is the ultimate desire of our prayer life.
Our journey towards holiness also requires a lifetime of daily conversion. Prayer helps us to see ourselves as God sees us and to see who God calls us to become. Without the desire for conversion to become faithful stewards, our spiritual blindness lead to selfishness and pride.
Through faithful lives of prayer, we grow in virtue. Our prayer takes deep root when we practice the theological virtues, (faith, hope and charity); the cardinal virtues, (prudence justice, temperance and fortitude); and seek to live the fruits of the Holy Spirt, (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). We grow in virtue when we pray. A steward is a person of virtue.
A deep sense of gratitude fills the heart of a steward. The steward understands that everything they are and have that is good comes from God. The recognition of the gifts received daily from God makes us consciously aware of God’s Presence among His People. Our desire to thank Good is His gift. As disciples, we are called to response by using these gifts of our time, talent and treasure. Gratitude in our heats cultivates our prayer.
Our Parish strives to make PRAYER a greater priority through the following Ministries and Councils: sacristans, Worship Council, Rosary & Adoration, Alter servers, Sacristans, Extraordinary ministers, Lectors, Music ministry, Children’s liturgy and Serra Club.
Stop by the Gather Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our Second Ministry Fair.
1st Pillar of Stewardship: Hospitality
A stewardship parish is a welcoming parish regardless of its
demographics: large or small - urban, suburban or rural. With
special vigilance, parishioners must seek out and welcome new
members to the parish family. “When I was a stranger, you
welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35). Jesus Christ teaches that whenever
we welcome one of the least of our sisters and brothers, we
welcome Christ Himself. The Pillar of Hospitality teaches us that even though we are unique individuals we are all part of the One Church working together to continue the mission of the Lord.
God is love and He gives His love to each one of us. As God loves us,
He calls us to love one another. This Divine Love flows through
the heart of the faithful steward to love others. When we are
recipients of such love from others, we are attracted to follow this
example. This desire to welcome others is yet another gift of God.
Our parish strives to be hospitable through the following ministries:
Welcoming Committee, Ushers and Greeters, Events Committee,
Scouting Programs, Sports and Athletics, the Youth Group and the
Art and Environment Committee. If you have a talent in any of these
areas please consider joining one of these groups. We can all support
the pillar of hospitality by welcoming everyone that visits our parish.
You can also support the hospitality pillar by having an attractive and comfortable Church, School, ECC , meeting facilities and programs for parishioners of all ages. To continue the Parish mission, St. Regis needs your continued support of Time, Talent and Treasure.
St. Regis 2017 Ministry Fair and Annual Appeal
“I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.” Many clerical authorities have historically considered these distinctive adjectives to be the most important affirmation of the Christian faith. They are the marks or pillars of our faith. We’ve professed that we believe but how do we practice those beliefs? Over 10 years ago, the Diocese of Wichita Kansas asked the same question and this was their answer. They identified four pillars of a stewardship way of life and associated them with the pillars of faith:
one = hospitality
holy = prayer
catholic = formation
apostolic = service
To further help understand and implement the 4 Pillars of Hospitality, Prayer, Formation and Service, the St. Regis Stewardship Council has identified the Ministries and Councils that best represent each of the 4 Pillars and will be introducing over the next four weeks in this column. Next weekend we will review Hospitality and the following weekend the ministries related to Hospitality will have information tables in the Gathering Space to highlight their activities and answer any questions you may have. This schedule will continue throughout each weekend in October concluding with families making their Time, Talent and Treasure commitments on October 28-29th.
As you read about the 4 Pillars and review the information provided, ask yourself this question; WHERE DO YOU FIT IN THE 4 PILLARS OF STEWARDSHIP? You may already be involved in one or more of our 50+ ministries which is fantastic. If you are not involved in any ministries, prayerfully consider getting involved and signing up.
We are called… In the end everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts! – Pope Francis