My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am pleased to introduce our annual parish renewal. For this
year’s stewardship theme, the parish pastoral council has turned to the
Scriptures, specifically 1 Peter 4:13, and chosen: As stewards of God’s
manifold grace, serve one another with the gifts you have received.
In light of this theme, I invite you, and the entire parish community, to renew your commitment to and discipleship of Jesus Christ. May I offer you three concrete suggestions? First, and most especially, be renewed as stewards of the grace God pours out in the sacraments. Catholics are a sacramental people—we wash, anoint, touch, caress, speak, listen,
eat, and drink. Jesus comes to us when we do so sacramentally; he is uniquely present and active in our lives in this way. So we must participate in the sacraments and invite others to do the same. Through this grace Jesus enables every good and beautiful act of true love and sacrifice in our families and community. For this grace we owe our gratitude to Jesus, and the best way to show our gratitude is to continue to receive the grace.
Second, as stewards of that grace be renewed in your family life. God established the family as the “cradle of life and love”—the preeminent place where one learns that Jesus is love and fidelity through the love and fidelity of one’s family. In a family open to the graces of life and love, children learn their first and most important lessons of practical wisdom. Be not
too anxious to leave one’s family, for in doing so one leaves life and love, wisdom and grace.
Third, being stewards of the grace received at baptism, renew your commitment to serve the parish and community. In baptism we were anointed as priests, prophets, and kings.
Through the sacrifices we make, the truth we proclaim and moral lives we live, and the service we give to others, we establish God’s kingdom even here and now on earth.
To accomplish this renewal, I am making available to you this booklet of ministries. I am confident that it will help you in the three-fold renewal I have outlined above. You will see that there are ample opportunities to participate in the sacraments, be renewed in family life, grow in faith, and serve. As stewards of God’s manifold grace, serve one another with the
gifts you have received.
Be assured of my prayers for you and yours. Devotedly yours in Christ,