On behalf of Fr. Ron and all of our One in Christ staffs, we offer our sincere thanks to all of you for your participation in the life of these parish communities in our Area Catholic Community. At this time of year, every parish is in the process of preparing the annual parish report, based on the report sent to the Chancery. It is produced each year to let parishioners know how their community is doing in the areas of finances, sacramental life, and demographics.
While the numbers are always interesting, we know with profound gratitude that there is so much more to parish life than figures can show. The statistics cannot indicate the depth of faith, prayer, commitment and generosity of so many who give of their time and talent:
• those who sing in our choirs and accompany our worship
• those who teach our children and young adults about the faith and study Scripture
• those who so faithfully serve families and their guests at the time of funerals, weddings, Baptisms, and other unique moments of faith in the lives of one another
• those who maintain our grounds and buildings and all that is in them
• those who count the collections and assist our staffs with projects
• those who proclaim the Word, minister the Eucharist, offer hospitality, serve at the altar, maintain and prepare things for Mass and other services
• those who serve those in need in the larger community in programs and efforts that go beyond the bounds of any parish community
• those who serve on councils, committees, and in various groups, large and small, in our parishes and across existing parish lines
• those who may no longer be able to volunteer but offer prayers and support for our parish and our world
• those who foster the faith in your homes and daily routines, providing for your families and giving witness each day to your belief in Christ
We also want to say a word of thanks again also to families who worship together at Mass. Especially those who have young children. I know it cannot be easy to get everyone up, ready, organized, and in place. And sometimes, as you have perhaps noticed, children are unpredictable! But your presence is a great witness to all of us. Teaching your children to know the Lord and be at home praying at the Church’s liturgy is a lifelong gift. The Eucharistic Revival Parish Year
In the Diocese of Saint Cloud, the Parish Year of the Eucharistic Revival will begin with the feast of our diocesan patron, St. Cloud, on September 7. All are invited to join in the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, September 7-9. The theme, “Becoming Eucharist,” is taken from a quote by St. Augustine (354-430) who said: “Behold who you are, become what you receive.” In the Eucharist, we receive the Body of Christ and so become the Body of Christ in the world to continue the mission of the Gospel.
Each parish will offer a variety of activities for the Revival year. Some will be in common, others unique to each community. We are working on a calendar of events and opportunities for the year. In addition to opportunities for prayer, adoration, education and study, we are planning some service and outreach events as well, since the Christ we receive in the Eucharist is the Christ who tells us:
“Whatever you do to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me”; and “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
One outreach project we are planning is to invite your free will offerings towards the purchase of a tabernacle (or perhaps more than one, depending on the response) to be placed in a church across the globe where we have connections through our diocesan Mission Office. Details are being worked out, but it will be a beautiful and ongoing connection in the Body of Christ, reminding us that we are part of one Church centered on our faith, hope, and love in Jesus. Please watch for more details on this witness to our Communion in the Lord.