Stewardship

STEWARDSHIP | Right here, right now

Time is one of those gifts most of us take for granted. We don't give a second thought that we may not be here tomorrow. This, in turn, leads to many excuses for not starting something today and waiting for "tomorrow" before we begin. Each of us at some point in our lives has said some version of "I'll wait until I have all my ducks in a row before I start."

Matthew Kelly stated:"Time is a precious gift. It is so precious that God dispenses it to you one second at a time. Do not waste time."

STEWARDSHIP | The best of both worlds

Many of us probably don't need more evidence that God exists, but in case you do, take a trip to Italy. My wife and I just returned from a two-week vacation there. Venice, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, Assisi, Rome and Vatican City, the best of both worlds, a little taste of heaven here on earth.

I had no idea what was in store for us. What I thought was going to be a sightseeing trip quickly developed into a religious pilgrimage.

Two things have stuck with me from the trip. First, the beauty of God's creation. Second, the beauty of man's creativity inspired by God.

St. Raphael’s Lenten project becomes an answer to prayers for Puerto Rican parish recovering from hurricane

San José Chapel, one of eight chapels under the pastoral care of Parroquia San Rafael in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, suffered the most extensive damage of all the chapels. Located close to the sea, a hurricane Sept. 20 ripped off material that covered the roof, flooding the inside of the chapel. The chapel’s padded chairs were damaged and several doors also needed repair.

More than four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, Father Jorge Virella was feeling stressed as he worried about how his parish, San Rafael in Quebradillas, was going to come up with the funding to restore several chapels.

At the same time, about 2,000 miles away in St. Louis, Father Bob Reiker had cracked open the Official Catholic Directory, looking for a church in Puerto Rico where his parishioners at St. Raphael the Archangel could send donations from their recent Lenten project.

St. Justin Martyr Parish puts faith into action

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Liz Golomski easily could have remained at home, supervising an outdoor service project for her and her husband, Steve.

But there was absolutely no way she would do that. She has received too many benefits from being served that it was only natural for her to give back in service to others, to live the words of Jesus Christ as quoted by St. Luke in Acts 20:35.

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

STEWARDSHIP | Financial peace starts with putting God first

For many people, God and money run "neck and neck" as the top priority. Ashamedly, for part of my adult life, money was a bigger priority for me than God. "No one can serve two masters. He will hate the one and love the other... You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth)" (Matthew 6:24).

In working with many St. Louis parishes over the past several years, a few things have become clear:

• People absolutely crave God, but are unsure or tentative on how to start the relationship.

Stewardship: Endurance – Character – Hope

We like to see immediate results. We like success. But success is a process, and part of the process is failure. We tend to learn more from failure than success: "For the just man falls seven times and rises again..." (Proverbs 24:16).

Many of us have seen success and failure over the years, and from this we learn that building a stewardship culture takes time — you won't necessarily see immediate results.

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