Small Deeds

The concept of stewardship is an ancient tradition in the Church but is often rarely mentioned beyond the context of
tithing and parish finances. The USCCB begins their page on stewardship with this passage from I Peter: “As each one
has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” We, as Catholics, have a
history and a tradition of prayer, of calling upon God for guidance and caring for those in the margins of society. We
have a community that encourages us to live out the love of Christ for our neighbors. As Catholics we are called to lead the way in helping those in need.

Our Father in heaven is a good father who cares for his children. It is through his people, the Church that he acts. As
a servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?”

I know we live in what feels like a deeply troubled time in our country and world, but if we let fear rule us, we have no
room for love. Is it really the large institutions that determine our national fate, or the many actions or inactions of
everyday people in ordinary situations? In the Hobbit, J. R.R. had Gandalf remind us, “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love.” Let us continue to go forth in prayer, with Christ the Servant in our hearts, and love our neighbors as He taught us.
Love, Deacon John

Stewardship and Forgiveness

 

When we think of stewardship our thoughts gravitate to the areas of time, talent, and treasure but, have you ever thought of the stewardship responsibility we have when it comes to forgiveness?

Our heavenly Father invites us to experience forgiveness. What a blessing this is! What peace, joy, and sweet relief we receive as we accept His gracious offer of reconciliation. There is no doubt God offers His forgiveness to be a blessing to us. But is it only for us or does He give it, like all other gifts, not only to bless us, but also for us to bless others through forgiveness to them? I believe forgiveness is given to be given.

In my lifetime, I have heard too many sad stories of unforgiveness and the bitterness that results from it. Families have been torn apart. Relationships have been tarnished. Parishes have been divided because of lack of forgiveness. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray these words, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are stewards of all the gifts God has given us, which includes his unconditional love and forgiveness. May we continue to pass this love and forgiveness forward in all our relationships.

Peace and love,
Deacon John

 

Fathers Day

Monsignor Cyril Adamko was a dear friend of our family. He was a part of our family’s lives, always present when in need. He was the steady pitcher at our St. Elizabeth Parish picnic softball game every year. He was the pastor that officiated Karen’s  and my wedding. I will always be grateful to him because I believe his words led me to the Diaconate. One day during our conversation, I kept calling him Monsignor out of respect to him. To my surprise he requested that I please call him Father. In a light-hearted way I asked him, “Why should I call you Father?” He told me in his soft spoken and humble way that being called “Father” is the greatest honor a man can receive. He further explained that the reason for this is because we call God, “Our Father.”

What a beautiful insight to the honor of being called a father as we celebrate “Father’s Day”. We as fathers accept an enormous responsibility in the raising of our children – clothes, food, school, sports activities, and so much more. The list is endless. In a world filled with so many things to do we can not forget the greatest of all responsibilities …to make sure we do everything we can to equip our children to get to heaven.

May we continue to model our lives prompted by the example of Saint Joseph and lead our sons and daughters by our example of faith. May God bless all the fathers of our parish on this special day.

Love,
Deacon John

“Thank You”

When Karen and I are with our grandchildren we always make sure they say, “Thank you” whenever anyone
compliments them or gives them a gift. The words, “Thank you” express their appreciation for whatever they have
received and of course it makes the giver of the gift feel respected and appreciated. When Fr. Mike appointed me as Director of Stewardship, my first inclination was to wonder if I would be qualified or able to effectively assume this important role in our parish. I soon came to realize that my mission to encourage a spirituality of stewardship within our parish was made quite easy because of all of you. Thank you for supporting our parish financially through these most difficult times. Thank you for endless hours of time you spend in making all our parish events beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your multitude of talents with all of us. Thank you for being my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Love,
Deacon John