How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? -Psalm 116:12
Stewardship is acknowledging God as Creator and Giver of all gifts. Stewardship is living each day in gratitude for all the blessings that God has given to us. As Catholics, we are called to understand and recognize that we do not own the gifts God gives to us but rather we are only the earthly stewards of those gifts. We receive them so that we can do God's work here on earth. Stewardship is the responsible management of our God-given resources of time, talent, and treasure.
Stewardship is being a disciple of Jesus who "Receives God's gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others and returns them with increase to the Lord." As true disciples of the Lord, we are motivated to share our time, talent and treasure with the Church and with other worthy causes from a deep sense of gratitude and in a planned, proportionate and sacrificial manner.
Stewardship is not a new parish initiative or program that will soon be replaced with something else. Stewardship is a way of life that enhances our relationship with God and with one another.
Take a moment to reflect and thank our Lord for the many blessings in your life. Ask and seek the guidance from the Holy Spirit as you consider how you might return to God by increasing your gifts of time, talent and treasure.
The Gift of Time:
How do I spend my time? Do I use my time in a way that enables me to have a closer relationship with the Lord and with others? Time should be spent with God in prayer and Sacrament; then time spent in service to others - the Church, our community, volunteering at school, in religious education or ministries. It could involve time spent in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, attending daily mass, praying the rosary as a family - whatever form of prayer is most comfortable - we must reserve time each and every day for it in order to be a living disciple, a steward of the Lord.
The Gift of Talent:
What talents or skills has God given me to offer for the good of others? Do I have a career or occupational skill or even a hobby that might benefit the parish, school or others? We have all been blessed by God with unique, individual talents that we are called upon to share with God and with others. In sharing our God-given talents, we serve God, strengthen our parish and school and help one another as we build up God's Church and each other in Christ. Gifts are never meant for oneself, they are meant for the good of all.
The Gift of Treasure:
Do I really want this? Do I even need this? Am I using this gift in a way that is pleasing to God? Is there a better way I can be using my treasure in service to the Lord and my neighbor? The gift of our treasure may be the most challenging for us to share; perhaps even testing our faith. Our culture holds wealth and possessions as symbols of our independence, power, and success yet fails to recognize or measure our spiritual growth and effort. As disciples of the Lord, we are called to prayerfully consider what God is calling us to give and to realize that we are only returning to Him what He has given to us. Remember, "Not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice."
Eucharistic Ministers assist the priest in administering Holy Communion, the consecrated bread and wine. Often times, Eucharistic Ministers also bring Communion to parishioners who are ill, homebound, or in nursing homes/assisted living residences. Parishioners who are over the age of 16 and who have been confirmed are invited to participate in this ministry. Fr. Michal plans to host a training for new Eucharistic Ministers in February of 2017. Contact us at 217.347.7177 for more information.
Altar servers assist the priest and deacon during the celebration of Mass. Servers must be in the 4th grade and have received their First Holy Communion. SHS student servers are trained during the school day by a priest or deacon, usually in the beginning of 4th grade. They serve at our school Masses through the year, until they are ready to begin serving the weekend Masses. PSR students are trained by a priest or deacon during regular PSR class times. After proper training, the student servers are typically scheduled for one weekend Mass per month. Adult servers are also needed to assist the priest during funeral Masses. This is a perfect ministry for retired persons who desire to give back to the church in this way.
Ushers are not only responsible for welcoming and greeting members and visitors, but they also assist them in finding a seat, pointing them to the nearest restroom facility, or helping them in any way needed during the Mass. The ushers also collect the offering during the Mass. Our ushers are scheduled for a period of one month (4-5 Sundays), for one particular Mass time, and are typically scheduled every 2-3 months.
If you would like more information on becoming an Mass server or usher, please contact the Parish Office at 217.347.7177. We'd love to have you join our many ministries!
A lector is the person who proclaims the first or second reading at Mass, and may also lead the Prayers of the Faithful. (This ministry may also be called reader or proclaimer of the word.) The Sacred Scriptures are an essential part of the liturgy. In proclaiming the Scripture readings at Mass, the lector carries the Word of God to the people with reverence and conviction. Members of Sacred Heart Parish are invited to participate as an adult lector (age 14+) while students at SHS and in PSR students who are in grades 4-8 are invited to participate as a student lector. Lectors are typically scheduled for one to two weekend Masses per month. Please contact us at 217.347.7177 for more information.