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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
I asked the question in last week’s bulletin, “Where do we experience Church?” Where is the Church most real for us? The obvious answer is that it is most real in the parish community to which we belong. It is here that we worship together. It is here that our children are formed as Christians and where we deepen our faith as adults. It is here where we support one another in good times (weddings, baptisms, the Block Party, the Christmas Concert)) and in bad (funerals, sickness, tragedies like 9/11). Here in this parish community we call Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

Each year, we spend a few weeks in early fall to renew our commitment to STEWARDSHIP, A WAY OF LIFE here at Mount Carmel. The life and vibrancy of the parish community is a direct result of our commitment to Stewardship. It is the animating force behind our life together. To recap – stewardship is simply a disciple’s response to the Lord’s call to a life of faith. It is a response motivated by a sense of gratitude to the Lord for the blessings He has given us in our lives and our response is a way of giving back some of those blessings for the building up of His Kingdom. One response to the call to faith is to obey the commandments. This is an ethical response and we are all called to this. Another is to share the Eucharist (come to Mass). This is, of course, the properly religious response. But the practice of Stewardship, the giving of our Time, Talent and Treasure, to carry on the work of the Gospel, to announce Jesus as Lord and, thus, to change the face of the world – this is the truest and deepest response of that call to be a follower of the Lord. And it brings the Lord into every aspect of our daily living.

Today, we focus on the Stewardship of Talent, with the accompanying Ministry Fair. Our parish engages, touches, its members, and the larger community, in many different ways. We do it through the formation of our young people (religious education) and our families (When Families Gather). We do it through our worship and liturgy (lectors, Eucharistic ministers). We do it through faith sharing. We do it through service to others (Career Resource Ministry, Knights of Columbus, ministry to the sick and elderly). And all the other ministries that are outlined and mentioned on our website or in the brochure that’s been in all the bookracks at all the doors of the church.

And all of these are offered because faith-filled members of our parish community commit their talents and energies to carrying on this work in and for the Lord. In today’s Gospel, Jesus hints at His expectation that His followers will carry on His work when He admonishes John that “no one who performs a mighty deed in my name… can at the same time speak ill of me.” What mighty deeds do you do in the Lord’s name? What deeds of any kind do you do in the Lord’s name?

If you look around our parish today, and deep into its life, you will notice so many people doing so many things. Engaged couples are prepared for marriage because married couples have offered to share their own stories as part of Pre-Cana. The homebound receive Holy Communion because a Eucharistic Minister takes it to them. Others who are more mobile, but can’t get to church, are driven by someone who cares. Those who are grieving the loss of a loved one are consoled because they can arrange the funeral service, working with one of our funeral planners and the service, itself, is celebrated respectfully because adults offer their time as altar servers. So many different ministries, each one as important to the life of this community as the other; no one ministry more important than the other. Each ministry calling for the talent of someone sitting in the pew right now, who can help continue to build us up as Christ’s presence in this corner of the world.

The Stewardship of Talent Weekend invites you to ask what talents do I have and how can I offer them and use them for the continued building up of this community. And the Ministry Fair offers you the chance to stop by and ask what’s entailed in the work of these ministries.

A couple of weeks ago, a parishioner passed away. He had been very active in veteran’s affairs. The State Chaplain came to celebrate the funeral. He came to the parish the previous day and stayed over. He asked, “Did the family pick the readings?” Done. Did they pick the music? Done. Would family members be doing the readings and bringing up the gifts? Done. Would the family be doing Words of Remembrance? DONE. Would there be servers? DONE. He was amazed. In so many places where he celebrates such funerals, many of these things are left for him to do. Not here at Mount Carmel. Because parishioners have accepted Jesus’ invitation to build His Kingdom (in this case of consolation) by offering their gifts and talents through STEWARDSHIP, the parish could comfort them by being present to them in their time of need. And this is only one example.

I invite you to take the next step in your life of faith, deepen it by living it in service and you will find yourself closer to the Lord and the Lord closer to you. Please take the time to walk around the Ministry Fair to see how you can build His Kingdom.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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