What is Your “Just One Thing “?

Autumn is the season for harvesting and sharing the fruits of our labors. This week’s scriptures use images of the harvest, family life, pregnancy, and investment to describe the abundant harvest in the reign of God. We discover that sharing the gifts we have been given brings eternal rewards for everyone.

In the Gospel parable a master entrusts his possessions to three servants before going on a journey. Each is given some talents. What they do with those talents determines what the master will do with them when he returns. How about us? What are we doing with our talents? How will our Master treat us when he returns?

We are all part of God’s Plan.  Every one of us has a gift that God has given us to share.  Let’s all take that first step together.  While it may be a little intimidating to jump off the edge into the deep end of the pool, it would be easy to put just your toes in first.

Think about it.  What ONE THING can you do to honor God while benefitting our faith community?

Do you sew?  Do you bake?  Can you make a main dish or pan of lasagna for a special function?

Are you a painter who could do touch-up painting in our facilities to keep them looking fresh and clean?

Do you have a trade to share?  Are you a landscaper who could offer 2 hours a week to keep up the grounds of the parish?

Are you available to help with small Honey-Do jobs?

Are you able to pick up a fellow parishioner who needs a ride to Mass?

Are you available to set up tables and chairs on either a periodic or regular basis?

Extra hands and hearts are welcome in our Youth Faith Formation program.  Are you available?

Are you able to make sandwiches one day a week and be part of our Feed My People Ministry?

Are you comfortable with money?  Would you be willing to serve on the Collection Counting Team once a week?

Will you visit the sick of our parish at their homes or in the hospital?

 

While it is very important in our faith life to attend Mass each week, it is also critical to our faith journey to be engaged with our parish.   Are you willing to be part of the Liturgical Ministries once a month?

Can you share a welcoming smile with visitors and “regulars” at Sunday Mass (be a Greeter)?

Can you proclaim the Word of God during Mass as a Lector?

Will you consider helping people find a seat, taking up the collection, being an Usher?

Do you play an instrument (including voice)?  Are you willing to be part of one of our choirs?  (We have special occasion choirs if you’re not available on a regular basis.)

Are you good with young children?  Would you be willing to be a catechist once a month for the Children’s Ministry during the 10 a.m. Mass?

 

Please prayerfully consider putting that first toe in the water.  For more information, call Debbie at 760.722.1688 or email her at dshapiro.stmarys@gmail.com.

 

 

Amazon Smile – A New Way to Support St. Mary’s!

Do you shop on Amazon? We sure do! Did you know you can support St. Mary’s Parish with every purchase you make? Amazon donates a portion of every sale, at no cost to you, to any non-profit organization that you designate. CLICK HERE to set St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish as your preferred charity/non-profit. Then, the next time you shop, start at http://smile.amazon.com and know that (at no cost to you) .5% of your purchase is going to support St. Mary’s Parish! What could be easier?

Collection for National Needs

The weekend of November 18-19 has been designated for the 2017 Collection for National Needs. Special envelopes will be available for the collection, which supports the Black and Indian Missions, the Catholic Home Missions, the Catholic Communication Campaign, the Catholic Campaign  for Human Development, and the Catholic University of America. Bring your donation to Mass or donate online!

Cub Scouts Christmas Tree Sales

Our St. Mary, Star of the Sea Cub Scout Pack is selling Christmas tree and wreath as part of a fundraiser! These beautiful, fresh cut Christmas trees and handmade wreaths, swags and garland are available for pre-sale through November 14th.

These trees are amazing and come directly from a farm in Oregon. The trees are so fresh that sometimes they are delivered with snow still on the branches! These trees are different than what you find at the tree lots in town or the store. They are nursery quality, premium trees, hand selected, cut, loaded and delivered within a few days and not sitting in storage for weeks before purchase.

Already have an artificial tree, cannot pick up the tree, or you live out of the area? No worries, you can help support us and a military family! The Trees for Troops program gives a donated tree to a military family and we keep a portion for our fundraising efforts, it is a win-win for everyone. There are even wreaths and swag available for purchase should you not want a tree.

If you plan to purchase a tree this year, please consider purchasing one to support our Scouts. Not only will you receive an awesome tree for your family to gather this Christmas, you are supporting our programs.

Please view the attached flyer for information on trees, wreaths, and purchase details. Thank you!!

STEWARDSHIP SAINT FOR OCTOBER

Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez Alphonsus Rodriguez was a Spanish Jesuit lay brother whose assignment for 45 years was being a doorkeeper at one of   its colleges. One observer noted that Alphonsus carried out this simple task with such loving hospitality that the act of opening the college door became a “sacramental gesture.”

Born in Segovia, Spain in 1533, Alphonsus was the child of a prosperous wool merchant. His father died when he was 14 and he left school to help his mother run the family business. He inherited the business when he was only 23 years old and at the age of 26 he married María Suarez, with whom he had three children. By the time he was 31, though, he found himself a widower who had not only lost his wife, but his mother and two of his children as well. Alphonsus sold his business and began living a life of prayer and simplicity. When his third child died, his thoughts turned to living in a religious community. He wanted to become a Jesuit but was rejected for his lack of formal education.

In 1571 he applied a second time and was accepted as a lay brother. At age 40 he was sent to the recently established college on Spain’s Mediterranean island of Majorca and was assigned the humble position of porter, a doorkeeper. His daily responsibilities for the next 45 years included receiving visitors who came to the college, searching for the college staff or students who were wanted in the parlor, delivering messages, running errands and distributing alms to the needy.

He would, however, transform this humble station into a ministry of hospitality and spiritual guidance. Alphonsus exercised a marvelous influence not only on the members of the college community, but upon a great number of people who came to him for advice. His reputation for holiness grew and people began going to him for spiritual direction. Saint Peter Claver, while a student at the college, was one of them. It was Alphonsus who inspired Claver to become a missionary in the New World.

Alphonsus once wrote that each time the bell at the front door rang he looked at the door and envisioned that it was God who was standing outside seeking admittance.

He died on October 31, 1617 and in 1633 local officials declared him patron saint of Majorca. In 1888 he was canonized a saint and the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins memorialized him in a sonnet. His feast day is October 31.

 

Join Our New Bereavement Ministry

The Bereavement Ministry is here to guide families in planning the Vigil, Funeral Mass, Reception and Committal Services upon the death of their loved one. Call Dottie Greene at 760.941.3697 or Kim Mikulka at 760.271.8759 for more information. Individual training will be available.

Feed My People

Thank you for your generosity to our community in need of food.

Thank you especially to our sponsors of the SPARKLETTS WATER. Our call for help was met with much generosity.

This month, the church pantry is in need of jelly, 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce, and dried pasta (of any variety).

Please call Kim at 760.271.8759 to inquire about any details you may need in order to donate.

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 machines to all their customers to do weekend business.
  • Downtown street parking has a well- enforced two hour limit.

A Letter from Our Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

From time to time, I would like to use this page to express the vision (short term and long term) that I have for our parish.

Since my arrival in July, I have been able to see what our bishops of San Diego had been talking about when they mentioned the many challenges I would face when arriving here and which I have been trying to prioritize with God’s help.

My first priority was to get to know you: my parishioners, my staff, other parish groups and their families, your customs and needs.

There are three dimensions that a Pastor must develop:  the one of Christ as Priest, the Sanctification of the people through the sacraments, and Christ as prophet.  May the Word of the Lord come to all through Evangelization and Catechesis and that you may receive Christ the King who governs through the proper guidelines and norms of our Catholic Church.

During the month of August, I started to reorganize these three dimensions, the first one is the one to govern.  I am slowly giving direction to my staff on where and how we will move on.

It is difficult at this time to have a clear plan but I believe that with good communication and order we will have a good start.

While the parish offices were recently remodeled for a more inviting and efficient use of space, I made a few additional modifications to the space to allow a more adequate office for the pastoral works of the pastor.   I will be very accessible to staff and parishioners alike.

During these coming months I will continue reorganizing the parish offices and staff to better meet our pastoral needs.

While preparing for this assignment, I studied the financial statements of the parish.  It worried me that the expenses exceed the income.  I am not saying that our parishioners are not generous, because I know you are.  With the help of the Finance Council, I am committed to reorganize our budget so that it will be in good accordance to our income.

I am also looking forward to a new school year as well as another year for our religious education program.

Later this month we will celebrate the 90th year of the dedication of our church and I would like to restore some things to their original place.

I will start by moving the wooden statues of Our Lady and Sacred Heart of Jesus to their original places in the side altars.   At this moment they are somewhat hidden behind our baptismal font.

We will be moving the statue of Majogorie and the tapestry of the Baptism of the Lord to another place in the church.  I will also be removing the black arch that is in front of the Sanctuary.  If for some reason removing it might damage the wall, we will paint it the same color as the wall.

I am also working with the Altar Society to buy a statue of the Holy Family with the intention of consecrating each one of our parish families during the new liturgical year.  It will be similar in design to main statues in the sanctuary area.  It will  be placed on the east side wall near the piano.

Finally, if someone has an objection with any of the changes that I have been sharing with you, I would like to hear from you.  Please send me an email (fatherg.stmarys@gmail.com) or call the parish office at your convenience.

Thank you to each and every one of you for all the kind attention you’ve had with me since I became pastor of St. Mary’s Parish  and please continue praying so that I may guide you to a safe place and you may always have the peace of our God.

In Christ, Father Gerardo Fernandez “Father G”

 

Fr. G at Convocation

Tuesday-Friday, Sept 26-29 FR. G will be at Convocation

This week, all Diocesan priests will be attending the annual Convocation with our Bishops. Fr. Jim Fry will celebrate Mass on Monday, and our Seminarian, Manny, will conduct a Communion Service Tuesday through Friday.