Downtown Parking

Hopefully, now that there is more time between Masses, you are finding it easier to park near the church. Just a reminder about downtown parking:

  • There is an ample amount of free parking just across the street in the City parking garage.
  • Bank of America asks parishioners to park away from their ATM ma- chines to all their customers to do weekend business.
  • Downtown street parking has a well- enforced two hour limit.

Speaker at Mass

Next weekend, August 5-6, 2017, Christine from the Franciscan School of Theology will speak briefly after Communion about the Advanced Degree Programs offered in Theology and Divinity. She will be available after Mass to speak with interested parties.

Franciscan School of Theology

Prayer and Gratitude: Two Virtues of the Christian Steward

Virtues are something we possess. They form a part of who we are and grow when we develop good patterns of behavior we call habits. We are, and become, what we repeatedly do. This is especially important for those who desire to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Making a habit of praying on a daily basis is essential to cultivating a more intimate relationship with the Lord. And the amount of time we give back to the Lord each day in prayer reveals the extent of our gratitude for God’s gift of those 24 hours.

A daily habit of prayer leads us to an acute awareness of God’s blessings in our lives and how we are called to use these blessings, gifts graciously bestowed upon us, in a manner that gives glory to God. There is no better way to discern how God wants us to steward our gifts than through prayer.

There is something else that happens in prayer – because we are awakened to just how generous our God is we naturally grow in the stewardship virtue of gratitude.

What do you think the two stewardship virtues are the most important?   I’m hoping that you’re thinking they may be prayer and gratitude.

The better our life of prayer, the greater our sense of gratitude becomes. And as we grow in gratitude, we are motivated to spend more time in prayer, giving thanks to God.

So prayer and gratitude are both equally important as stewardship virtues.

In fact, St. Paul put the two together in his letter to the Philippians: “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything, with grateful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God” (Phil. 4:6).   Gratitude leads to a greater prayer life and prayer leads to a greater attitude of gratitude.

How do you pray? When and how often do you pray? Do you pray with a grateful heart? These are good stewardship questions. Moreover, they remind us that virtues are developed by learning good habits.

By making a habit of cultivating our prayer life and developing a deeper sense of gratitude we will naturally grow in faith and become the best possible stewards and disciples that God wishes us to be.  Making a habit of praying on a daily basis is essential to cultivating a more intimate relationship with the Lord.

God bless you as you begin your new week in service to the Lord’s mission for His church.

 

 

STEWARDSHIP SAINT FOR JULY

 

Saint James (the Greater), Apostle Saint James the Greater was one of the apostles closest to Jesus; the others being his younger brother, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Peter. He is not to be confused with James the Lesser, another one of the twelve apostles, or with James from the Acts of the Apostles who was the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.

By the Gospels’ accounts, James, born in Galilee, was an ordinary fisherman who showed no signs of being readily able to grasp the genius of his master’s life and ministry. He and his brother were even considered “hotheads” as Jesus gave them the nickname “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17).

On one occasion, when a Samaritan village refused hospitality to Jesus, they urged him to call down fire from heaven to destroy it, which prompted a stern rebuke from their teacher (Luke 9:51-56).

On another occasion, with uncomprehending ambition, James and his brother made a daring request to sit at Jesus’ left and right hands, places of honor in the glory of the kingdom of God. Jesus warns them of the suffering and hardship they will eventually endure in Jesus’ name (Mk 10:35-40).

What makes this ordinary, impulsive man a stewardship saint, however, is that he allowed Jesus’ call to discipleship to cut through his ordinary, everyday life. His response was instant, complete and single-minded.

James and John were working on their boats with their father, Zebedee, when Jesus calls them to follow him. “And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they follow him” (Mt 4:22).

It was a call to share in Jesus’ mission, a call that allowed for no other priority.

James’ response in faith models what the response of each Christian disciple is to be to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

James is also privileged to be one of the apostles chosen by Jesus to witness his most dramatic signs of power: his Transfiguration and the raising to life of Jairus’ daughter.

James was the first of the Twelve to suffer martyrdom. He was beheaded during the persecution of Herod Agrippa I between the years 42 and 44 (Acts 12: 1-3).

Later traditions hold that James actually preached in Spain or that at least his body was transferred from Jerusalem to Compestela in Spain, which, in any case became a major pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. Saint James the Greater is the patron saint of Spain, Chile, Guatemala and Nicaragua. He is also the patron saint of pilgrims, pharmacists, laborers and those suffering from arthritis. His feast is celebrated on July 25.

I hope you are inspired by the story of Saint James the Greater and can follow his example of following Jesus’ call to discipleship.  It’s who we are when we call ourselves Christians.  We need to mindfully act like one.

 

Feed My People

FEED MY PEOPLE

Thank you for your generous response to our plea. The church pantry is still in need of a few specific items.

This week, we are asking for peanut butter, sliced cheese, and LARGE lunch bags.

May God bless your for your generosity!

Feed My People Pantry Ministry

 

Religious Ed Registration is Ongoing

Do you have a child from kindergarten through the eighth grade who does not attend Catholic school? Registration forms for Sunday religious education classes have been emailed to returning students. New students and their families are Invited to meet with Patty Mann to register.

Please call Patty at the parish office (760)722-1688 to make the appropriate arrangements. Classes will begin on September 10.

THANKS BE TO GOD!

 

I’d like you to meet Neal Finnegan McGrane.  He was delivered on Sunday night to my daughter Rachel, her husband Colin, loving grandparents and lots of excited extended family.  Little Neal is the first child of this generation in our family.

Rachel and Colin had a very specific birth plan.  But Neal did not arrive according to plan.  They had all their prenatal appointments with a midwifery in Orange County and planned a very natural and organic birth experience.   Things didn’t go as intended.  After 30 hours of “excruciating back labor”, Rachel asked to forego her original plan and have labor induced.  Eventually, the baby was delivered by caesarean section.

Through it all, they kept an attitude of gratitude, accepting that it is all God’s plan.  Not theirs.  They confidently knew that they had done everything in their power to make it happen.  The midwifery did everything in their power as well.

Several days later, I expressed to my daughter that she was lucky to have several days in the hospital to rest, get pampered, get used to new parenthood, get advice, etc.  She couldn’t have agreed more.

It is my experience that when you humbly let go and accept God’s will, you are rewarded.

EVERY DAY I am reminded that God wants nothing but the best for us.  AND…He knows exactly what we need.    Our only job is to gratefully accept His guidance and do the best we can with all the gifts He has given us.

This has truly been a blessing for my family and I thank you for keeping my family in your prayers.  And…you can call me Nana B.

 

 

Last week, I shared with you a Mid-year Reassessment.   We all tend to make some kind of resolution or commitment at the beginning of the year and then get less focused over time.  It’s human nature.

Can you believe that summer is about half over?  I heard today that one local school is starting on August 14!  Yikes!

School children are asked every year to reaffirm their commitment to education.   They are asked to come back to school ready to hit the ground running.  What I like best is that they must be ready not only to recommit, but to knuckle down and be ready to tackle an even more challenging year than the last.

That is how we grow.  In education, in maturity, in our faith life.  We must recommit on a regular basis and then challenge ourselves to tackle even more.

So, whether you are getting youngsters ready to start a new school year, you’re not yet at the place in your life, or you’re past all that, I challenge you to think about what you can do to recommit yourself for this next phase of the year.  I will close as I do so often:  Ask God for His guidance.  Follow it.

 

 

 

MID-YEAR REASSESSMENT

We all like to make resolutions, having a grand plan for ourselves.  If you’re like me (and most of society), you make them with the very best of intentions.  Sometimes they don’t work out exactly as we had planned.  Early this year, I printed an article entitled “A New Year, New Beginnings for the Christian Steward”.  Maybe you remember reading it. Maybe you even vowed to put a few of the suggestions into action.  I invite you to take a few minutes to reread the suggestions. You will not be graded on your responses.  We’re almost halfway through the year. Now’s as good a time as any to begin.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR PARISH COMMUNITY:  Believe it or not, your parish community can use your talents.  Offering your talents to your faith community is one of the most effective ways to feel useful and connected to others,  and it is a potentially life-changing resolution.

RESIST OVERWORK:  There is a pressure to produce, to meet goals, be successful.  But activities that lead us to overwork, constant fatigue and worry do not give glory to God.   What God calls us to do we can do well.  Be mindful that life requires balance, down time, and letting go of unrealistic goals.

NURTURE FRIENDSHIPS:  Our friends are those with whom we choose to spend our time, with whom we vacation, to whom we go for advice.  Friends are gifts from God who give us a greater appreciation of God’s love for us.  Friends need our time and love.

GIVE MORE:  Good stewards realize that everything they have is entrusted to them as gift to be shared.  There is no better place to begin than sharing with the community that gathers around the Lord’s table at Mass.  Consider what you are giving to your parish (weekly collection /designated gifts) and local diocese (Annual Catholic Appeal) and commit to an even greater contribution as circumstances allow.

LIVE MORE SIMPLY:  We cannot find fulfillment in possessions.  They add nothing to our self-worth.  Jesus blessed the “poor in spirit’ in his Sermon on the Mount; and St. Francis of Assisi urged us to live with only what was necessary, for that is how we begin to find God.

GET HEALTHY:  Are you accelerating your own decline into premature old age, owing to poor diet and lack of physical activity?  Be a good steward of your body.  Plan a complete overhaul of your diet and exercise habits.  Schedule an annual physical.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Cultivating a grateful heart is the hallmark of a Christian steward. Every day, express thankfulness to the Lord and to others.  Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart compassionate and loving.

ENCOUNTER THE LORD EACH DAY:  Find time to be with the Lord each day, whether it be for an hour or ten minutes.  Have a conversation with the Lord.  Give your joys and worries to Him.  Allow God’s love to transform you.  Our regular encounters will keep our eyes and ears open to the presence of Christ in our midst.  Be present to others—there is much celebration and mourning, joy and sorrow in people’s lives.  What a blessing it is to be able to share those times and not let others experience them alone.  The gift of your presence is much more valuable than you probably realize.

DON’T GIVE UP:  People give up their resolutions because of perfectionism and unrealistic expectations.  So take it slowly, be kind to yourself, and keep trying.  Resist the urge to throw up your hands and quit.  You succeed through small, manageable changes over time.

TURN TO THE LORD:  Add some planned daily prayer time to your busy schedule.  Start asking God’s blessing before meals.  Start praying the rosary once a week.  Take time for God.  Ask the Lord for guidance, strength, and perseverance in achieving your resolutions.  In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul writes “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”.  (Phil 4:13)  If God is the center of your resolutions, they have a better chance for success.  With God, all things are possible!