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Seeking your Talent

Two weeks ago, I wrote a bit about the universal call that is innate in our Christ-founded faith; the call for us to be
generous stewards of our time, talent and worldly blessings. And I recalled that our parish motto is not to “keep up with the
Joneses” in the amount we give of ourselves, but rather that we should all strive for our charity to involve some similar degree of
sacrifice. That obviously means that our discipleship, and the witness we provide to our Father in Heaven in our prayer and our
actions, will be conveyed in private… as Our Lord requested. A genuine sacrifice needs to entail a bit of discomfort, a bit of
self-lessness, whether we are blessed with abundance, or barely getting by.

In our First Reading for this 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, the prophet Ezekiel tells of how Ezekiel was “Called by God”.
The Lord speaks to him and says, “Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.” God knew He was not
giving Ezekiel an easy task, but that is part of what “being called” by the Lord sometimes involves. Being “called” is something to
which we often make reference, as every one of us is “called” at our Baptism. St. Paul once wrote that we are “Called to belong to
Jesus Christ.” The United States Bishops issued a document a few years ago titled “Disciples Called to Witness”. And that, my
brothers and sisters, is exactly what we are all to do as baptized Catholics. We are called to witness!

In their discourse, “Disciples Called to Witness”, the Bishops relate: “To create a culture of witness, we must live explicit
lives of discipleship. Being a disciple is a challenge. Fortunately, one does not become a disciple of Christ on his or her own
initiative. The work of the Holy Spirit within the Christian community forms the person as a disciple of Christ.” God does not
forsake us when we are called, just as He did not abandon Ezekiel. He is with us, through the Holy Spirit, to strengthen us and assist
us. And we must allow the Lord to help us. At the same time, we must strive to be Disciples of the Lord. And, yes, we are called to
spread the light of the Gospel in everything we do.

I would like to ask all parishioners to consider, based on your health and ability, to consider the “Talent” aspect of our
‘tri-part” call to Stewardship. I am not speaking to the many loyal volunteers and current members of ministries, guilds, and
councils. But I am earnestly requesting the many new families that have joined the parish, as well as the many long-time
parishioners that have, here-to-fore, been unable to contribute their time and talent to give prayerful thought to where they might
contribute their talent. We have just printed up a revised ‘Ministry Booklet’ listing the many ministries, all of which can use
additional members. None of them are labor or time intensive, but all will provide an opportunity to meet new friends who share a
common concern for maintaining a vibrant, friendly and successful parish. We are still in need of two more people (which could be
two more couples) to rebuild our Stewardship Ministry. The same is true for our Respect Life Ministry…we are still in need of a
third person (or couple) to run this critical ministry effectively, along with Dan Siecker and Beth Dickie. Also extremely important
is our “Welcoming Ministry” which has been running leader-less for the past several years, with less than a handful of volunteers.
Please consider whether you could join with a friend(s) and bring new life to this highly important parish ministry. There is a great
need for your time and talent wherever you may turn. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in making a decision.

We have made tremendous strides, in growing our 24-Hour Eucharistic Adoration Days to include the first four Fridays of
every month. This has been accomplished through the fine leadership and hard work of Carole Borz and her very small team. The
“template” for a Successful Perpetual Adoration Parish Program, is to have many more team members so as to divide the
responsibility for assuring coverage and substitutions so that no one has more than 6 persons on their team for coverage oversight. I
believe that this “Adoration Guild” ministry could well be the most peace-evoking and enjoyable of all the Parish Stewardship
opportunities.

Not nearly as important (but I would dearly love to restart it) is our Sunday evening “Catholic Movie Night”. I have a
library of over 50 hi-quality movies, to which I am continually adding. I have classic big-screen Bible titles from decades ago, the
lives of many, many Saints, the most recent of which is the brand new… “Paul…Apostle of Christ”. We have a new “Old
Fashioned” Popcorn Machine, soft drinks, milk duds, and the like. A volunteer team is all it takes. I’ll be there to help (and watch)
whenever I am free to do so.

Please ask for an updated Ministry Booklet, peruse the many opportunities, and then take a moment and
pray over where you can apply the gift of your talents and precious time to benefit the growth of God’s Holy
Church and the families within.

May God richly bless your sincere sacrifices,