This weekend, we offered our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Giving thanks is what we Catholics do. The word in Greek is the same word we use for Eucharist. So, we share our common thanksgiving for what Christ gave us in his Body and Blood as well as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the lay ministries of the Church.
Last week, we heard about how the disciples gathered together to listen to the teachings of the Apostles, share in fellowship, broke bread (think the Eucharist), and lived a common life helping each other. They didn’t do this because they believed in Socialism. They lived this way because of their shared experience of the crucified and risen Lord. Out of that experience came their desire to serve and give instead of being served and hoarding. We can all learn from their example.
In our situation, we have much for which to be thankful. Indeed, without our volunteers participating in the many, many ministries of our parish, there simply would be no outreach beyond Mass. It isn’t a matter of ownership and territory (these are antagonistic to the Gospel), but one of responsible stewardship, of recognizing one’s need to give, of making commitments and following through, of tending, and of responding in gratitude for all that God has given us. So, if you are involved in any ministry and were not able to make it to our gathering, please know of our deep appreciation for your faithful response to God’s calling in your life. I am a proud papa, or pastor! I am so grateful for all those things our parishioners do, those visible and invisible. You know who you are.
May God continue to pour out on you all his grace upon you all, and thank you so much for giving of your time, talent, treasure, and tradition to our community!
Fr. William Holtzinger