PASTOR’S MESSAGE—UNITED IN GOD’S LOVE
A cross etched in the center of the 1896 cornerstone of our original church proclaims St. Ann’s Parish as a community “with Christ as the cornerstone”(Ephesians 2:20), a people “united in God’s love.” We rejoice in a distinguished history of 125 years. With our offertory commitment program, which I will address today, we pledge our stewardship to carry on this legacy.
We are a community of believers, united in God’s love, who are striving to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. When we keep this mission at the forefront of our thoughts, words and actions, everything falls in place. There is so much to be done to serve our own parish community and to keep us moving forward: celebrating the sacraments, offering faith formation in a full service school and in religious education programs, in various retreats and scripture studies, encouraging marriage and family life, tending the sick and dying, and caring for our buildings and property. And we also have a mission directed outside of ourselves to others: serving the poor, working with our partners in Honduras, evangelizing through the Guadalupe Radio Network, supporting pro-life causes, giving witness to Christ in the Midland community–in so many things we reach out to others to spread the Kingdom of God.
You make this possible. You are very generous in the offertory collection and in your support of the parish in general. You also respond to special needs as they arise. And even in the midst of a pandemic, we have been able to build a beautiful Youth Activity Center to engage the youth of our parish in the life of the Church, in a marvelous facility with great programs. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you!
None of us can do this alone. But “united in God’s love” we each do our part, offering time, talent and treasure to build up the Kingdom of God. In order to live our mission, we invite all parishioners to join together. The basic stewardship message is this: Everything we have is a gift from God, so we are grateful and we support God’s work by offering a percentage of our income to the parish. This is love in action.
In a few days, you will receive information in your regular mail about the offertory. Please check your mailbox, study the brochure, pray about your response and bring the Commitment Card with you to Mass on November 13 & 14. If you don’t receive a Commitment Card in the mail, you can pick one up in the church that weekend. And if you won’t be present that weekend, you can always return it to the Parish Office.
As you fill out your commitment card, you might reflect on your current level of donations and then decide on your commitment for the next twelve months. If an increase is possible, that will be welcomed. If your income has decreased, perhaps your commitment will be less. Another way to calculate a commitment to the offertory and general parish support would be to figure out a percentage of your income, say 5%, and commit to that.
We use the phrase “offertory collection” which is the way most people donate, using the weekly envelopes. However, we do encourage on-line giving for this purpose. These days, fewer people carry cash and write checks. You can call our parish office about on-line giving or automatic bank withdrawals, or just follow the instructions on the brochure.
The commitment we are making when filling out the Commitment Card does not include special collections taken up after Holy Communion. The commitment does not include payments on pledges for the Youth Activity Center. We still encourage you to fulfill your pledges to that or even to make new gifts for the Youth Activity Center. Our parish has a debt of just under half a million dollars to pay back.
One new feature that is on the Commitment Card this year is a place to note a one-time gift to be given with the Commitment Card. Maybe you missed opportunities to give during the Covid shutdown over the past year and this could help fill that gap.
Our offertory gift at Mass is a sacrifice of praise to God. We thank Him for our life, our families and our faith. And so, we give to God some of the first fruits of our income, to express thanksgiving and to support His work in the Church to carry out our mission.
United in God’s love, we pledge our stewardship to carry on the wonderful legacy of St. Ann’s Parish. So please pray about these things and formulate a plan to give a certain percentage of your income for the next twelve months. Then come to Mass on November 13 or 14 with your Commitment Card.
–Msgr. Larry J. Droll, pastor