Deacon John’s Stewardship Blog

Who Am I?

 Who am I? I am a child of God created in the image of God. God did not create out of nothing but created out of love. This self-gift of love is everywhere around us! In creation; in people; in prayer; in worship; in all of life we celebrate God’s gift of love and we in turn become a self-gift of his love to others. We take on the challenge of becoming like Christ. This Trinitarian spirituality of Father, Son & Holy Spirit  entails on-going discipline of cultivating, nurturing, and sustaining a grateful heart.

One way we cultivate and nurture this spirituality is through catechesis. In catechesis we allow ideas to live within our minds and our notions of God continue to grow and develop. Another way we mature in spiritual growth is by service- living the life of the Gospel – ready to give of ourselves to help others in need, especially the last, the littlest, and the least. We continue to develop this attitude of gratitude as we say “Thank you” through the Eucharistic celebration. As the bread and wine are transformed, we too, are transformed and led by the fire of his love – the Holy Spirit who animates our faith.

Our God is a mystery, and we will struggle with this mystery for our entire life. But our faith tells us that God has a plan for the household of this world – a plan that will lead us to the foot of his throne in heaven as his humble servant, in communion with the saints, forever and ever. Amen.

Love,
Deacon John

 

Forget   About   Me.   I   Love   You.

For most of us, nothing is more important than family. At the end of the day, your family is made up of the people who love and support you unconditionally.

God created our families to be a holy unit, one in which He is the priority, in which the husband and wife live out their God given mission. Once we get our own family in alignment with God’s desired order for families, I believe we will see God do mighty acts in our churches, in our nation and around the world. The Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, have given to us the perfect example of the family to emulate.

One of my favorite acronyms that captures the spirituality of Family is:

Forget   About   Me.   I   Love   You.

Our family of St. Patrick Parish, for over the past 150 years, has shared the best and worst of times together. We have given our time, talent, and treasure as an unconditional act of love for God and our parish family. Even as we face these challenging times, our love for God and each other will always keep us focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. We find God’s promise in His Word, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 1:3.

Love,
Deacon John

 

The good stewards of the past, even in the present, are a blessing to all of us.

Some of us might have never considered how our acts of stewardship can have a profound effect in the future life of our parish and its people.

Last Saturday morning I attended our monthly Men’s Group meeting. I always enjoy and take away from the meeting a lot of valuable spiritual and personal insight for the upcoming week. After the meeting I was talking with Tom Libeg and he expressed to me a beautiful insight on how our stewardship spirituality can affect the future in ways we never expected.

I was taken back to the mid 80’s to where a group of people gave of their “time” to share the dream of having a parish center next to the church. They shared their “talents” designing a building that would serve the needs of St. Patrick School, as well as, a multi-purpose hall. This vision was turned into reality by hundreds of people who shared their “treasure” to fund this project. In 1987 The parish center was built, “The Monsignor Hughes Parish Center.” Who would have ever imagined that some thirty-four years later our parish center would become our place of worship! These stewards of some thirty-four years ago made such a great contribution to our parish in 2021. In a beautiful way their giving of their time, talent and treasure has been an immeasurable blessing. The good stewards of the past, even in the present, are a blessing to all of us.

Love,
Deacon John

 

Experiencing the Extraordinary Presence of God

          This week I would like to share a very special experience I had on the day of my ordination into the diaconate. A part of the Ordination Rite is to be vested by your pastor.  Fr. Tim O’Neill walked towards me with my stole and dalmatic in his hands. As he began to vest me a feeling came over me like one that I had never experienced. I felt the presence of God in a way that drew my breath out of my body and left me gasping to regain the rhythm of my breath. I think of that moment often and until a few weeks ago, I thought I might never experience that feeling ever again, but I was wrong.

Since the night of our fire, I have experienced the extraordinary presence of God almost every day. I witness God’s presence in our pastor, Fr. Mike, as he lives the Gospel of Matthew 19:23-30, “With God all things are possible,” as he leads our parish with unshakable faith and courage. I witness God’s presence in our parish staff who live the Word of Isaiah 8:8, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am. Send me!” Most especially I have witnessed God’s extraordinary presence in our wonderful parishioners who are living the Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will give strength to his people. The Lord will bless his people with peace.”

Thank you for allowing me to feel the presence of God in an extraordinary way through all you do. May God’s blessings continue to pour forth upon us.

Love,
Deacon John