STEWARDSHIP 101

The article that follows was written by our Diocesan Director of Stewardship, Manny Aguilar,  and is published in the September issue of our Diocesan newspaper, The Southern Cross.

How do we define stewardship?  What is it?  What does it mean in our lives?  How does it change us, motivate us or inspire us?  Unfortunately, many of us may not have an answer for these questions.  That’s okay, but is is difficult to teach or encourage stewardship unless one has a clear understanding of what the Church really means when it uses the term.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship.  So, perhaps this is an appropriate time to reflect on this important aspect of our faith.

Misconceptions about stewardship abound: Some people think it is all about money, some think it is all about service, some think it is an environmental issue.  What identifies a steward?  Well, conserving material and human resources and using them responsibly is certainly one answer; so is generously giving of time, talent and treasure.

But being a Christian steward mean much more than that. It means receiving God’s gifts gratefully, cultivating them responsibly, sharing them lovingly in justice with others, and returning them with increase to the Lord.  “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)

Stewardship isn’t always a popular word.  Many think it is just an appeal for more time, talent or treasure.  However, true stewardship is not a fundraising or volunteer recruitment program.  True stewardship is a commitment of mind and heart to the Lord; a way of life that needs constant renewal and transformation.  Stewardship is truly a multi-faceted concept that addresses all aspects of our faith and spirituality.

The bishops’ 1992 Pastoral Letter on Stewardship is a call to all of us to deepen our relationship with God, truly live the Gospel, and realign the priorities of our lives.  True stewardship is exactly  the sort of faith-in-action that St. James wrote about (in James 2:17) and that Pope Francis has invited us to embrace.

In their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, the bishops asked us to be mature disciples who make a conscious decision to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost.  Christian disciples experience conversion—life-shaping changes of mind and heart—and commit their very selves to the Lord.   Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to discipleship.  Stewardship has the power to shape and mold the way in which we live.

How can we apply these insights from the bishops’ pastoral letter in a practical way in our lives?  What does conversion mean to you?  Literally, it means “turning towards” God. How can we look at our faith and convert more deeply?  What are we willing to do to have a deeper relationship with God?  What does discipleship mean to us?  How do we follow Jesus, no matter what the cost?

Our faith and our stewardship actions cannot be made to fit into a checklist.  It is certainly a life’s journey.  If you haven’t already, let’s begin to look more deeply at our faith in terms of stewardship to deepen our relationship with Christ.

 

 

 

Liturgy of the Word for Children (Age 3-10)

The children of the parish are invited to join the Children’s Liturgy of the Word each Sunday at the 10:00 a.m. Mass. We sing, dance, listen and reflect on the readings at a level that children can appreciate. Come have fun and learn something that you can take home each week!

The Sacrament of Baptism

St. Mary’s baptizes children in English on the fourth Sunday of the month. The first step in planning a baptism is to call Patty at 760-722-1688 to set up a registration appointment and to learn about our requirements. One of these is attendance at two baptism classes that are typically offered on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Both sessions are required for parents and god- parents. The classes in September will be on September 13 & 20 with the baptisms on September 24.

Religious Ed Registration Should Be Complete This Week

Registration forms have been sent out by email and they should be returned to Patty Mann by Sept 6th to confirm a spot for your child. If you did not receive these forms by email, please call Patty at the parish office, (760)722-1688.

The first day of class is a Generations of Faith on Sunday, September 10, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Dear Parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish

We are one of the rare parishes in our Diocese that continues the Tradition of having a Choir in the Loft accompanied by Organ. Under the Direction of Mr. John Nettles and co-director Ms. Amy Nelson, our Choir Sings at our 8 AM Mass every Sunday morning. The Choir is also responsible for singing at special services throughout the year, such as the Christmas Midnight Mass and Easter Sunday Morning.

If you have a singing voice to share in Music Ministry, please join our Choir. To become a part of our Choir, please come and participate in our rehearsal. You will have the opportunity to learn the music and to get to know the other members of the choir.

We will rehearse in the choir loft in Sep- tember on Wednesdays September 6, 20, 27. NO REHEARSAL SEPTEMBER 13.

If you would like more information, please contact Amy Nelson at the Parish Office at 760-722-1688.

THE GRAND PRIZE

We talk about being on a Faith Journey.  That may sometimes sound vague and abstract.  Where exactly is this journey taking us?  What is our final destination?  What’s the point?

You may have a different answer than I, but to me, my faith journey is leading me to an eternity in Heaven with the God who knows me and loves me.

Along the way, if done well and with intention, my journey will allow me to become the best version of myself that I can possibly be.  That’s who I hope to be when I present myself on that final day.

To reach that end, I need to put a great amount of conscious effort in coming to know myself, others, and of course, The Lord.

I’m pretty confident that you are striving for the same goal—the same Grand Prize—that I am.  We are called to have faith that God exists, that He knows and loves each and every one of us and that He wants us to spend all of eternity in His presence.    In every thing that you do, Keep Your Eye on the Prize!

 

Mary Chapin Carpenter, a folk singer, has a beautiful song she calls “My Heaven”.  When I listen to her song, I am filled with joy to think that my eternity could be so beautiful.  And, with the faith I have, I know without doubt that this beautiful version of heaven will come nowhere close to the reality I will experience.

Nothing shatters, nothing breaks, nothing hurts and nothing aches.

We’ve got ourselves one heck of a place—in my heaven.

Looking down at the world below: a bunch of whining, fighting schmos.

Up here we’ve got none of those—in my heaven.

There’s pools and lakes and hills and mountains, music, art and lighted fountains.

Who needs bucks here?; no one’s counting—in my heaven.

No one works, we all just play.  You can pick the weather every day.

If you change your mind, that’s okay—in my heaven.

Grandma’s up here, Grandpa too in a condo with to-die-for views.

There’s presidents and movie stars.  Just come as you are.

No one’s lost and no one’s missing.  No more parting, just hugs and kissing.

And all these stars are just for wishing—in my heaven.

There’s little white lights everywhere, your childhood dog in dad’s old chair,

And more memories than my heart can hold when Eva’s singing “Fields of Gold”.

There’s neighbors, thieves and long lost lovers, villains, poets, kings and mothers.

Up here we forgive each other—in my heaven.

For every soul that’s down there waiting, holding on, still hesitating,

We say a prayer of levitating—in my heaven.

You can look back on your life and lot, but it can’t matter what you’re not.

By the time you’re here, we’re all we’ve got—in my heaven.

From the Diocesan Office for Social Ministry

Anyone seeking the service of a Licensed Mental Health Professional affiliated with the San Diego Diocesan Mental Health Ministry Network can visit: eTherapyFinder.com/osm.

Once on the website, click on “Find Affiliated Therapists”.

Therapists interested in affiliating with the San Diego Diocesan mental Health Ministry Network may visit eTherapyFinder.com and click on “Clinicians Click Here” to register for a free profile.

Once the profile has been acknowledged by eTherapyFinder, visit the site to view and accept the diocesan pledge.

Nothing to Fear

A rabbi was asked why God sends trials and troubles into human lives. “Because God gets lonely for his people” was the reply. There is some resonance with this wisdom in today’s Gospel, as Jesus makes his disciples get into a boat without him and goes off alone while they venture into stormy waters. Of course, neither Jews nor Christians believe that the Almighty plays this sort of whimsical game with them, but there is some truth in the statement that we

don’t turn to God for saving help until we’re in a bind. Peter’s role today, as it is throughout the New Testament, is to be a sign or to represent each member of the church and the whole church. Our story is the tale told about Peter’s faith today. What can bolster our faith is that even when Christ calls us to face bravely the tempests of life, if we are walking through them with our eyes fixed on him in faith, we have nothing to fear. Even when we falter or sink, simply crying “Lord, save me!” is enough to help us know the steady grasp of God’s hand. Then, sheltered inside the walls of faith, the storms we endure lose their power over us.

Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.

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 corn and flour tortillas, jelly, and LARGE paper lunch bags.

We are also in need of people to help make the daily lunches. Please call Kim at 760.271.8759 to inquire as to the days and times.

May God bless your for your generosity.

Cultivating Good Stewardship in Farmers’ Markets

Of all of summer’s pleasures, few can top that early morning trip to the farmers’ market. And nothing can top the farmers’ market for health, nutrition, freshness and taste. National Farmers’ Market Week was last week, but Oceanside hosts a Farmers Market in front of our church every Thursday morning.

Let’s celebrate by counting all the great reasons to grab a reusable cloth bag and head to the market.

Nutrition is high on the list. Fresh produce that makes its way from the field to the table in short order means more vitamins and minerals for your family.

And of course, freshness means better taste, the tastiest produce of the year. Farmers’ markets are said to promote child health and reduce childhood obesity by increasing children’s access to affordable and convenient fruits and vegetables.

And farmers’ markets increasingly support anti-hunger initiatives through donations of unsold food to feeding programs for those in need.

There are also great ecological reasons to shop the farmers’ market. Today, food at the grocery averages about 1,500 miles to get from the producer to your plate. Transportation of food contributes to our carbon footprint in a huge way. Buying from the producer in your local area cuts down on transportation drastically. Moreover, these local producers play a key role in developing regional foodsheds which also benefits the environment.

Here’s something else: sometimes we forget about the cycles of growth and production when we visit a supermarket in snowy February to buy an eggplant.

The farmers’ market restores your connection to the natural cycles in your area. You will also be surprised by the variety of produce at the market. Maybe you’ll try a vegetable you’ve never tasted before.

And the meat and eggs you purchase are produced in environments that treat animals humanely.

And let’s face it: what is more energizing than walking through your local market, meeting area farmers, greeting your neighbors, maybe picking up a locally grown bouquet of flowers or a fresh muffin and feeling like you are part of a vibrant community.

Farmers’ markets are as old and as American as apple pie. And the apple in that pie is locally sourced, higher in nutrition and great for small business. Make the farmers’ market a weekly summer adventure and be a steward of good food, nutrition, health and the community.