Successes of Stewardship Weeks


Retreat and Vacation
During the weekdays of the last two weeks of October it has been my custom to take five days of vacation and make my five day canonically required retreat. I go to the campground during that time, enjoying the cooler and beautiful autumn weather, taking lots of walks, getting rest and preparing camp for the winter. I will be back for a few important meetings over the course of the two weeks and I’ll see you on Sunday.

For my retreat this year I will be listening to and meditating on talks by Dominican priest Donald Goergen in his compilation of retreat talks entitled “A Retreat with Four Spiritual Masters.” The four spiritual masters are Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Merton, St. Mother Theresa and St. Pope John Paul II. What I don’t finish on retreat, I’ll listen to on days off. I will be praying for you, the good people of Incarnation and St. Francis Parishes, remembering you especially at Mass. Please pray for me and our parishes!

Kittens on Board
There are three more kittens being fostered in the rectory sunroom! Recall, I fostered a litter over the summer, surrendering them to SICSA. Our new little visitors are from the same feral mother, who is operating with the same MO (mode of operation) as before: drop the kittens at a friend of mine’s mother’s window well. My friend, Rachel, will take the kittens so that they don’t become feral, adding to the cat population. She will shuffle them to a vet; heal their ills and tame them up. Finally she suckers me into fostering them until they are surrendered. If anyone wants a free kitten before they go up for adoption at SICSA, give me a call.

The Paschal Mystery’s Service and Beacons of Light
Last Sunday my homily focused on Beacons of Light and Jesus’ Paschal Mystery. That Gospel pericope (pronounced “pericopee” short “i” and long “o,” meaning
short passage) found Jesus instructing James and John and all the apostles that true greatness is service and suffering. James and John wanted Jesus to promise that they would sit on his right and left in glory. They seemed to have missed the point of what Jesus had just said in his third prediction of the Passion: that he would go to Jerusalem, suffer, die…and rise again. That is the path to true and lasting glory. Could James and John drink the cup of suffering and be baptized by the cross of death as Jesus would, to realize true glory? James and John tell Jesus they can. Wonderfully, Jesus knows they will…and then, be in glory with him. However, it won’t be a walk in the park. This is the story of Beacons of Light. Over the next months, our Beacons of Light sister parish match, St. Francis, will be confirmed. At that time we will begin a several year process of living the paschal mystery as sister parishes. We will share, plan, dream and vision. We will be carrying the cross and experience change. Yes, we will suffer in some ways. Most importantly, we will realize the greater presence and glory of Jesus and more vibrant parish life. Please join me in praying for Beacons of Light in the entire archdiocese. May we begin to learn more about St. Francis, for example by reading their bulletin.

Stewardship Card Results
I asked Debbie Field, our engagement coordinator, to offer us periodic bulletin reflections that tell about the success of Stewardship Weeks. Please see her first
contribution below, and thanks Debbie and so many generous parishioners!

Sincerely and with Love,
Fr. Pat

Stewardship weeks for 2021 were a success! A heartfelt thanks to all who completed Stewardship cards. So many jumped in with both feet, not only indicating
interest in various ministries, but also reporting on those areas where they were already contributing. So, here’s the scoop. This year a total of 841 stewardship cards for TIME, TALENT and TREASURE were completed. Comparing the TIME and TALENT cards, we recognized a 95% increase in participation from 2020.
Seven hundred forty eight (748) times someone checked a line requesting they be contacted about a specific ministry activity. That’s 748 opportunities for

As regards the TALENT CARDS:
67% are already involved in some ministry/activity.
101 people expressed a desire to volunteer as a greeter/usher/Eucharistic minister/mass coordinator.
Parish Life and Outreach: 324 indicated they were interested in volunteering. 46 people indicated an interest in Parish Leadership.

There are so many good works happening here at our Parish, and there are so many good people who are making those good works happen each day. Bless you!
Every effort is being made by the pastoral staff and the lead volunteers of the various ministries and activities to ensure everyone who asked to be contacted IS contacted. It is a commitment we made to everyone. If you’ve not been contacted yet, PLEASE contact Debbie Field at the Parish Office (937-433-1188 Ext. 209). We will continue to share more information about the stewardship cards over the next weeks and months. Again, thanks to all who participated in making stewardship a way of serving Jesus.

Debbie Field, Parish Engagement Coordinator