The Pillars of Parish Stewardship (Part VI of VII)

12-27-2015Pastor's LetterMsgr. P. James Costigan

Come to Know the Lord Through Prayer

In the fourth installment in my series on The Pillars of Parish Stewardship — the 2004 document published by the stewardship office of the Diocese of Wichita — we take an in-depth look at the third pillar: prayer.

Along with the Four Pillars of Stewardship, we also make constant reference to the three Ts of stewardship, recognizing that to truly live as a stewardship people we must give God the first fruits of our Time, our Talent, and our Treasure. It is easy for us to see the concrete reality of the latter two. To give God our Talents, we must first recognize with what talents He has blessed us, and then use those talents for His greater glory. On the same token, our money is something concrete, and when we recognize it as a gift from God, we are to give a certain amount back to Him. For many of us, it is easy to understand what it means to give God our talent and our treasure. But what does it mean to give God a portion of our time? This idea is much harder to grasp, and, yet, giving to God the first fruits of our time is just as important as the other two. In fact, if we understand and implement it properly, our stewardship of time will serve as the very foundation from which our stewardship of talent and stewardship of treasure bear fruit.


His Mercy Endures Forever!

12-20-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father.” ~ Pope Francis.

As most of us know by now, Pope Francis convened a Holy Year of Mercy on Tuesday December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. When the Holy Father introduced the Holy Year, he encouraged us to begin by going to confession. It seems obvious that if this Holy Year is to include expressions of mercy to a world in need, it should begin with receiving God’s mercy in the Sacrament. The Pope will certainly be confessing his sins as will your pastor!In a special way, the Holy Father reached out to post-abortive men and women who often endure years, even decades, of pain and guilt over a decision that was made in an altered value system whereby they were told that what was wrong was right and vice-versa. It simply derails the lives of so many who believe that God will never forgive them. God’s mercy is greater than your greatest sin!


The Jubilee of Mercy

12-13-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Bothers and Sisters,

On March 13, 2015, the second anniversary of his election as the Successor of Peter, Pope Francis announced the Extraor- dinary Holy Year. This is the first Holy Year to celebrate not an anniversary of some kind, but the attribute of God the Father which is most exalted in both the Old and the New Testaments: His Mercy. Pope Francis has also given the world a theme song for the Year of Mercy. He asks that we learn and sing this hymn throughout the coming Year of Mercy during Mass.


Jubilee of Mercy

12-06-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The popular Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, illustrates, in a beautiful way, part of God's plan for each one of us. It is also a clear example of God’s mercy.


The Pillars of Parish Stewardship (part V of VII)

11-29-2015Pastor's LetterMsgr. P. James Costigan

Formation — Transformed Through Christ
For my latest in this series on The Pillars of Parish Stewardship, we take a closer look at the second pillar: formation. Formation is the process of studying Christ’s teachings and incorporating them deeply into our lives. It is a lifelong effort by which we “put on Christ” (Rom 13:14) and are “transformed by the renewal of our minds” (Rom 12:2).


Happy Thanksgiving!

11-22-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I really enjoy this time of the year in Phoenix and in our parish. The weather is beautiful; our programs are in full swing; and people just seem to be more pleasant. It is a great time to stop, rest, and focus on our gratitude! Thanksgiving Day is all about giving thanks to God for His countless blessings in our life.


The Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship (part IV of VII)

11-15-2015Pastor's LetterMsgr. P. James Costigan

Hospitality — The Cornerstone of Stewardship The dictionary defines “hospitality” as: “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” From the standpoint of a Christian worldview, hospitality can be referred to as Christian kindness. In terms of stewardship, hospitality is an immensely important concept. Remember the “three Ts” of stewardship: time, talent and treasure? Well, there are also “four Ps,” the four pillars of stewardship – hospitality, prayer, formation and service. Interestingly enough, hospitality is mentioned first. Why? Because without hospitality, none of the other pillars will ever take hold. Hospitality is the cornerstone of stewardship because it opens the door to a person’s heart and allows them to receive joy, grace and love.


The Pillars of Parish Stewardship (part III of VII)

11-08-2015Pastor's LetterMsgr. P. James Costigan

Service – Love in Action

"Amen I say to you, whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40). This scripture was one of Mother Teresa's favorites. Each time she picked up a poor and hungry child, she knew she was ministering to Christ. While we may not view ourselves as saints, we too are called to such heroic service right within our own community. As Mother Teresa said, "To be a saint is not the privilege of a few, but the duty of everyone."

We have many service opportunities right here within our own parish. If you have the willingness to serve and take the initiative to find where you are needed, you'll find that there is no end to the families and individuals who truly need help. How can you reach out to them in love?

I look forward to my next post here at The Catholic Steward, when I will go into more detail on the first of our Four Pillars – Hospitality.

To be continued…


The Pillars of Parish Stewardship (part II of VII)

11-01-2015Pastor's LetterMsgr. P. James Costigan

Prayer – A Heart-to-Heart with God

"Do not become so involved in the work of the Lord that you forget the Lord of the work," a seminary professor once taught. In other words, don't get so caught up with parish projects and outreach efforts that you forget to draw aside to spend time with God in prayer. Every great saint has taught that prayer is the most essential component in the life of the Christian. Through prayer, we nurture our most important relationship — the one that will last for all eternity.


The Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship (part I of VII)

10-25-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is a real gem. Msgr. P. James Costigan offers a very insightful reflection that is certainly worth your attention. Don’t worry... their will not be a quiz... yet!

Msgr. Costigan addresses what it means to be an intentional disciple of Our Lord. He reminds us what it mean to follow Our Lord by using the gifts and particular charisms that God has already given to us. Over the next several weeks, I would like to share with you his profound wisdom in the hopes that you will be nourished by his words and be encouraged to seek first the Kingdom of God trusting that all things will be given to you by Our Loving God who never leaves us and always loves us.


Into the Breach

10-18-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to share excerpts of Bishop Olmsted’s Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men called “Into the Breach”. As he begins the letter, he challenges men with “a clarion call and clear charge...” He continues, “Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men.”


Encountering the Love of Christ

10-11-2015Pastor's LetterBishop Thomas J. Olmsted

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Every year we remember in a special way our Baptismal call to mission as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, this year on October 18. On this Sunday, we will gather at the Eucharist, as will Catholics throughout the world, in a spirit of love for Evangelization so that, through our prayers and concrete acts of solidarity, the gift of faith may be shared with all. This year's celebration is further enriched as we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) which proclaims, "The pilgrim Church on earth is missionary by its very nature," reminding us that all of us are called to be on mission.


Pope Francis

10-04-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you had a chance to experience of bit of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.! I was amazed at his genuine love for all God’s people. He was gentle and loving when he needed to be and firm and strong at just the right moments. The huge crowds and the positive press that he received was refreshing. It was certainly a good week to be Catholic!