MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY of the week: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (or CGS) is a religious formation process that invites the child into a prepared environment, called an Atrium, to encounter God in a deeply personal way. The hands-on approach, along with a deep respect for the child's own relationship with God, fulfills the child's needs to "help me to know God myself." The adult catechist, formed in the Montessori and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd methodologies becomes a co-listener to God with the child and while the adult presents the presentations, they connect the child with the materials used in the presentation and then get out of the way to allow God to do the work within the child. This fruitful process will be slowly implemented in our parish starting with our youngest members (3 & 4 year olds) next year and eventually serve as the religious formation for our children ages 12 and under. There are various ways to support this ministry (prayer, becoming a catechist, helping build objects for the atrium, etc.). To find out more about this ministry contact Samantha El-Azem, our Director of Formation for Children, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have received a thank you note from Father Diego for our Sister Parish collection which was sent recently. They will use the money to buy materials for a catechetical center in Viucalitz, one of their outstations that is growing and hosting more formation activities. I thank all of you who contributed. PACT!!
Upon the recommendation of our Task Force on Formation and Discipleship, we will be distributing two aids to prayer for the season of Advent. For adults it will be In the Light of Hope, daily reflections by Pope Francis. For children there is an Advent calendar with activities, etc., for each day. Both will be distributed after Mass the weekends of November 25/26 and December 2/3. Advent begins on December 3. Hopefully, these resources will help us enter more fully into the Advent season.
Last week I signed the lease with Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School to start their new school in our building. Beginning in July, 2018, they will lease the first floor of the school. Either one or two years later, they will lease the entire school building. The income from this lease will enable us to attend to some long overdue building maintenance. I thank Dean Weyer, our Director of Administrative Services, for all his hard work in bringing about this joint venture.
Please remember to turn in your pledge card and be as generous as possible. We need increased support from parishioners to be able to cover our ongoing ministerial expenses. Thank you.
In the 25th chapter of Matthew from which our Gospels are taken these last Sundays of the Church year, Jesus moves from the wise and foolish virgins to the rich man who gives five talents to one servant, two to another, and one to a third. The first two double the talents given them, the third one buries the talent. The rich man was not concerned about the money but rather the attitudes of his servants. The two who earned money had learned from him and emulated his practices. The third servant recognized how his master did business but did not follow his example.
The point for us is this: Jesus has given each of us time, talent, and treasure. He has modeled for us in His life how we should live and use the gifts that have been given to us. It doesn’t matter how much or how little we have been given: we are called to use what we have been given as Jesus has modeled for us. If we do that, we will be ready when the Master returns, as were the five wise virgins in our Gospel last week. Let us pray for each other, asking God in these last weeks of the Church year to help us grow in in our ability to share generously.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS