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!


A New American Saint! Fr. Junipero Serra

09-27-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Over the years, millions of Catholics have visited the 36 missions on the California coast. Very popular missions include San Luís Obispo, San Juan Caistrano and San Luís Rey. The history of the California Missions are connected to a Spanish Franciscan Missionary priest named Fr. Junípero Serra. Serra was canonized by Pope Francis last Wednesday in Washington D.C. as our 11th American saint!

It is interesting that when Father Serra founded California's first mission in 1769, he wasn’t exactly a robust figure. He was 56 years old and an asthmatic with a chronic sore on his leg, the result of a bug bite. Fr. Serra was small in stature, a mere 5 feet, 2 inches. But despite his small frame, Fr. Serra, was a spiritual giant known as the Apostle of California.


Adoration and Sanctification

09-20-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Pope St. John Paul II, of blessed memory, has left us a beautiful opportunity to grow in our love for Jesus Christ Our Eucharistic King. During his time as our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II blessed a number of Eucharistic Thrones (monstrances) that are to be used around the world for the faithful people of God. These monstrances that are circulating around the world are sent to various parishes for a short span of time to be used for adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.


That Man is YOU!

09-13-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to invite the men of our parish to prayerfully consider becoming a part of a wonderful men’s group called “That Man is You!” Last year, 30 to 40 men gathered in Santa Maria Hall every Saturday morning at 6:45-8:15am to learn how to be real men in the modern world. Our first session is September 19th. They were exposed to some amazing research from science and the teachings of the Catholic faith. They learned about the wisdom of the Saints. They were able to develop a vision of authentic men who are now capable of transforming themselves, their families and greater society.


Back to School

09-06-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been an interesting August. Many families and students have kept me apprised of their return to school on all levels—grade school, high school and college. Some students asked for special blessings for safe travels and a good year. Let us pray for all our students in school and in religious educa- tion. May they make holy decisions that will help them grow closer to Jesus.

As we begin this new school year, I have been thinking about education and catholic education in particular. In general, my thoughts return that baptismal rite of children in the Catholic Church when parents commit to the Christian education of their children. The rite reminds parents of their duty to bring their children up by teaching them the law of Christ and His Church.