Saints Alive

A forum for the exchange of opinions and information about the life of St. Joseph Ctholic Church in Plain City, Ohio.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stewardship Notes

Stewardship is changing the way we think.  The present calls us to new ways to minister and new thinking to support those efforts.

Bishop Campbell is initiating some new procedures to address the shortage of priests in the diocese.  In the next seven years we will continue the decline in number of priests available to serve our parishes.  This affects our institutions:  hospitals, prisons, schools as well.  Once upon a time we had priests serving in all those institutions and associate pastors in many of our parishes.  He is prepared to start assigning Deacon Administrators to parishes and Priest Moderators to serve one or more parishes and institutions.

What does that mean?  While the concept will develop and be applied differently in each situation, it might be something like this:
A Deacon Administrator is appointed.  The Priest Moderator would provide sacramental and pastoral ministry to the parish and perhaps a hospital several days a week; maybe chaplaincy or teaching at a high school.  In an area with several small parishes, they would be consolidated with a Deacon Administrator and a Priest Moderator would replace several pastors.  

Mass schedules will be changed to allow time for Priest Moderator to travel to other responsibilities.  We can expect a reduction in  number of masses in an area so neighboring priests can cover in times of need.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Shelves have been installed in the library thanks to Boyd Smith and Gene VanHoose. Bob Hess is organizing the books on the shelves. The computer index is ready. Come and check it out.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Continuing progress

St. Joseph parish is a work in process. Thanks to the efforts of parish committees and the Parish Activity Council, there are some exciting things in the works. It still goes back to the importance of our volunteers and the need for new people to come forward. The recent canceling of a Family Night because of lack of leadership is an example.

The plan for Family Nights is simple. One Sunday evening a quarter, we gather families together for an appropriate activity. Food has been a part of that and potlucks don't require a lot of work. The theme is seasonal. The Movie Night was a great success and there are lots of good movies available. For November, we had hoped to do something for Advent. We have amterials available but need an event coordinator.

Volunteers can be for a single Family Night. It can be a team of several families that organizes the evening. We are dependent upon volunteers. If the Offertory were doubled, we could hire someone to do it, but there is no reason we can't keep it simple and do it the old fashioned way.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stewardship Thoughts

The visit by Fr. Bonaventure reminded me of the importance of a continuing missionary spirit. One or two times a year we host missionaries with appeals. The response is always very generous. We gave Fr. Bonaventure $1400 for his work.

It has been suggested we tithe as a parish part of the Offertory for mission work. There are home missions in Ohio, in the US, as well as in underdeveloped countries overseas. There are parishes with financial burdens greater than ours.

To take a step in that direction we have to think beyond "giving to need". Catholics have a history of generous "giving to need" but that only brings you up to the minimum. I have never been in a parish that has taken stewardship serious and the families gave a generous percent of their income in thanksgiving. If every family gave 5% of their income, we'd have a surplus that could be used in mission work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Building Updates

New Stained Glass windows have been installed in the vestibule of the Parish Activity Center. The windows were designed and crafted by Rob Loula, a parishioner. If we find benefactors, he has designs for the windows in Carpenter Hall. If you are interested in stained glass windows for your house or office, he is available and reasonable.

Blacktop parking lots at Parish Activity Center and Church are complete. Please remember we had not budgeted for the $50,000 and appreciate any extra you can give in the Offertory.

New (to us) deep fryers have been donated by David Harris and installed in the kitchen.

David Harig is beginning work to create pantry space in the storeroom. We will be changing the doors and putting in shelves.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stewardship Thoughts

Correctly and fully understood, Christian Stewardship holds every individual accountable to God for the personal care of the universe.

The point of the parable Jesus told about the steward who misused his masters property for his own benefit was: be faithful in small matters and you can be trusted with larger matters.

Everything we do or fail to do matters. The good we do leaves behind a legacy. For example building St. Joseph Church was a matter of great sacrifice in 1900 and we enjoy it today for many years to come. The failure to do good leaves a void.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Building Committee

Discussion at Building Committee focused on "let's build a new church first." The focus of the Bishops Stewardship letter is on using our resources to build up the kingdom of God with a reminder that we look beyond our own needs to reach out to others.

1. Building a new church is not an immediate priority. Many people worship in buildings far less comfortable than our Parish Activity Center. We are blessed with a beautiful church and a building that will allow us to grow. We should not be selfish and think of what we want first.
2. Developing a spirit of generosity is the first step in good stewardship. We count our blessings and return a portion to God to be used for His work. A generous parish will have the resources to take care of the needy and to build a church that gives glory to God.