A Unique Stewardship for a Unique Place

A Unique Stewardship for a Unique Place

 For many years, stewardship in the Catholic Church was often distilled into three words: time, talent and treasure. It was a catchy alliteration and it had value. It very concisely categorized the many good gifts given to us by God. It allowed us to look at three distinct areas of our lives and ask, “When I look at how I spend my money, my time and what I do with my talent, what does it say about what I believe? What does it say about what I value most?”

But these three words don’t give us too much help when we are striving to be parishes that are vibrant, growing and inspirational and are truly places where people come to know Jesus in a deeply personal way and are formed into mature disciples of Jesus Christ. I believe Bishop Gruss’ deepest desire is for the people of South Dakota to encounter the Lord and this is at the heart of why he has given us a vision of Stewardship that is uniquely our own.

In the Diocese of Rapid City, stewardship is defined as Living a Catholic Way of Life through Generous Hospitality, Lively Faith and Dedicated Discipleship.

We live Generous Hospitality through:

  • Welcome: welcoming both visitors and parishioners as if they were Christ
  • Invitation: developing a spirituality of invitation where one begins to practice regularly and consistently inviting others into closer union with Jesus and to journey with you in life and in faith.
  • Fellowship: valuing time spent with Jesus and others above other interests and providing space and opportunity for people to develop friendships and foster a sense of belonging.

We live Lively Faith through:

  • Prayer: being communities of prayer and being people of prayer. Prayer is our first and most important priority both as individuals, as families and as parishes.
  • Study: Being life-long learners. We commit to participating in ongoing study of scripture, the teachings of the church and the lives of the saints.
  • Formation: Being people of virtue. We strive for excellence in all areas of life. We commit to helping each other grow in holiness and in wholeness through human, spiritual, pastoral and intellectual formation.

We live Dedicated Discipleship through:

  • Intentional Love of God: Loving God above all things, to serve Him unreservedly and to desire to do His will in all things.
  • Intentional Love of Neighbor: Loving others as we love ourselves. To lay down our lives for others in imitation of Jesus. To see Christ in others and to love them as He loves.

In all times and in all places Jesus is inviting us into His life and love. He is inviting us to be holy. He is inviting us to participate in His mission to bring salvation to all humankind. In this time and in this place, he is inviting us to do so through these lenses.

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

14 + 9 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

“See I Make All Things New”

“See I Make All Things New”

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a new commandment:  love one another.  As I have loved you, so also you should love one another. (cf John 13:34)  The commandment to love others is not really new.  In the Old Testament, God asked that we, “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Lev. 19:18).  However, Jesus has certainly stepped up the game, so to speak, to move us from loving someone else as much as we love ourselves to loving the other the way Jesus loves.  He is inviting us into a sacrificial love; one that always seeks the good of the other despite the cost to us. 

In reflecting on this statement of Jesus’, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “It is impossible to keep the Lord’s commandment by imitating the divine model from outside; there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make “ours” the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. ” (2842)  In other words, we can’t keep this commandment by ourselves, by “watching” Jesus and then by our own efforts attempting to imitate him.  We can only love in this way by loving others from inside the heart of Jesus, by being incorporated into His life and love, and living and loving through and with Him. 

How can we do this?  In the second reading (Rev. 21:1-5), we have the image of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.  The new heavens and the new earth, the Holy City are not something we create or can bring about.  They come to us from heaven, gifts from the hand of a loving God.  Gifts can only be received or refused.  As St. James reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” (James 1:17)  God gives and we receive and in doing so, we begin to live more and more within him.  “In him we live and move and  have our being.” (Acts 17:28)  

It is important to note that even as we are more and more incorporated into His love and life, we do not cease to be ourselves.  We need not fear that in striving to be receptive and receive this love from God, that it will cost us the loss of our independence or our uniqueness. For the One sitting on the throne says, “Behold I make all things new.”  God is not making new things, but making all things new.  This is a work of renovation and the result of the work will be that we will be made whole, we will become as Matthew Kelly often says, “the best version of ourselves.”   

Allowing our work to be God’s work, opening ourselves up to be more and more receptive to His love and His grace not only allows us to participate in the renewing of the world but we become fully alive and fully ourselves in the process.  Who wouldn’t want that?!  

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

10 + 3 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

A Christian Steward Trusts

A Christian Steward Trusts

Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday and I have my Divine Mercy image in a prominent place with it’s gentle reminder, “Jesus, I trust in You” both challenging and comforting me this week. The day before yesterday the talented team assisting my office with the update to our web page and the creation of a new set of education resources were discussing some of the core attitudes of a Steward. I mentioned trust. A Christian Steward receives God’s gifts gratefully and in order to be open to receiving gifts one has to trust the Giver. Therefore, trust is fundamental. This was my argument.. A team member said, “It seems to me that trust comes more on the back end than on the front end. I would say that trust is an attribute of a Dedicated Disciple.” So the interesting question raised is:

Do we become Dedicated Disciples and then grow in our trust of the Lord?

— OR —

Do we trust in God and then grow to become his Dedicated Disciples?

And to that I would say, “Yes.” The answer to both questions is “Yes.” It isn’t really an either/or question. Rather, like so many other things in Christianity, it is a both/and. One of the fundamental effects of Original Sin is an almost innate mistrust of God. Like Eve, we hear the whisper of the Evil One saying, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the Garden?” (Gen 3:1) In other words, “God can’t be trusted. He isn’t telling you the truth. He’s holding out on you.” We are all subject to this whisper. And I believe the enemy is persistent, both at the beginning of our journey of faith and later. The whisper continues. And so does our battle against it.

The beautiful message of Divine Mercy is necessary, good, and true both at the beginning, , and as we grow in stewardship; both a necessary belief at the outset that gives us a reason to yes to Jesus’ invitation to be his disciple and a virtue we deepen and strengthen as our experience of the great love of God grows with the passage of time. “Jesus I trust in You!” is a good message for beginners and dedicated disciples alike.

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

15 + 14 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Memento Mori! *

Memento Mori! *

Memento Mori! *

“Remember you will die!*

Just after Terra Sancta Retreat Center opened, I was asked to be part of a committee charged with brainstorming ideas for events that could be held there.  As people talked, some members suggested a series of educational workshops that could be held 4, 5 or 6 years into the future.  Another member exclaimed, “I can’t think that far into the future.  I don’t even buy green bananas for fear I might not live long enough to eat them!”  We all chuckled at the time, and I was reminded of it again this past week when I had the opportunity to visit with Deacon Sass.  He shared with me that more and more he finds himself emphasizing in homilies and in conversations the importance of looking towards eternity, of re-focusing ourselves on what lies ahead and making decisions for today based on that long-term thinking.  

The line from the popular Michael W. Smith song “Above All” also ran through my mind with Good Friday so recently passed:  “He lived to die.”  Sometimes, I think we hear or read this line with the sense that if Jesus just lived to die, his time here on earth was somehow less worthwhile.  However, doesn’t it make more sense to think that because Jesus always had his eyes fixed on eternity, that each moment of his life in time took on a sense of the eternal and therefore becomes infinitely valuable? Not only did he, in some sense, bring eternity into time because he was fully God, but even in his humanity, he perfectly lived the virtue of doing all things with the eternal consequences in mind.  With clarity he could measure the worth of his actions in the light of eternity.  

As his disciples, we are invited to follow in His footsteps, not just gaining knowledge from Him, but imitating him in all ways.  In this Octave, when we celebrate the Risen Lord, let us imitate his vision, always looking towards our final destination–heaven –evaluating our choices today in light of eternity. 

The question I am challenged to ask is, “If I die tomorrow, will I regret the choices I made today?”

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

9 + 1 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Love Should Be Our Primary Motivation

Love Should Be Our Primary Motivation

“Don’t push where the Holy Spirit is leading.”

Fr. Charles Lachowitzer

On Monday and Tuesday the Bishop, the Chancery staff, most of our priests and many of those who work in parishes were here at Terra Sancta for Pastoral Ministry Days.  Our speaker, Fr. Charles Lachowitzer is the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.  He is a man of great wisdom and many of the things he said have me thinking.  There were several times over the course of the two days when I thought to myself, “This echoes our Stewardship initiative!”  For example, Fr. Charles often spoke of the importance of face-to-face invitations in the life of the parish.  In today’s world, the amount of messages we receive can be overwhelming and the face-to-face communications with others becomes even more important (and harder to come by!).  He also spoke highly of our Diocesan pastoral plan and of pastoral planning in general.  He said that parish leadership should have meaningful work that leads toward a vision that has been laid out in a pastoral plan and that a plan can be viewed like a “job listing”; a means by which we can call the gifts of the people forward and facilitate their participation in the mission of Jesus.  But there are two comments he made that stand out to me particularly:

“The people of God have the right to participate in the mission of Jesus and the structures of the church should serve that purpose.” 

Most often I hear pastors and parish leaders express a desire for more “volunteers”, more help in doing the work of the Church.  Often times we lament the lack of catechists in a parish, the reality that “too few people are doing too much of the work”.  But never have I heard someone speak of the right to participate.  What would happen in a parish or school if people stopped viewing requests from others in the parish as unpleasant obligations and instead began asking for the opportunity to exercise a right to participate?  That would be quite a paradigm shift.  And as Fr. Charles said, if all the people in a parish did that, would we be able to handle it?  I don’t know about you, but I would love to see us try!

Fr. Charles also said several times, “Don’t push where the Holy Spirit is leading.”  Hmmm.  Patience, I suppose, is what he is calling for here.  It reminds me of Jesus admonishing St. Peter, “Get behind me Satan!”.  I have often found myself in Peter’s position — I have grasped some truth, glimpsed clearly some part of Jesus’ mission.  Excitedly, I run full speed ahead with my new found knowledge or insight, only to be brought up short when Jesus gently reminds me that I have “run” right past Him and am no longer following the One for whom I am supposed to be working for.  More often than not, this happens when I become too focused on “doing something” to the neglect of loving and serving others.  Fr. Charles very wisely reminded us that often to slow down, to plan well, to take the time to make sure our plans are well communicated with everyone involved, saves a lot of conflict, tension, and chaos later. 

It was a good reminder to me that love should always be our primary motivation in all of our actions.  There is a great deal of satisfaction to be found in being efficient, in checking tasks off of a list; but if in the process we step on toes, ignore people, or exclude those who God may be calling to help, we have not served the mission of Jesus.  The most important “work” that is done in the midst of our “work” is to give and receive the love of God.  St. Teresa of Calcutta used to challenge her sisters to make sure that every person they encountered in the course of their day was better off for having seen or talked with them.  If we were able to do this well, we would surely be serving in the Lord’s vineyard no matter what other tasks and projects were filling up our time.  This seems to me to be the main thing.  And as Stephen Covey says, “the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  That is my challenge.  Perhaps it is yours as well.

 

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

7 + 10 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

Finding Ourselves the Outsider

Finding Ourselves the Outsider

“My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”

Luke 15: 31

I know it was last Sunday’s gospel, but the story of the Prodigal Son is just one of those that stick with you!  It is such a rich story and I think every time I hear it in the liturgy, it touches my heart in a different way.  This story and I go way back.  When I was in high school, we had a guest priest at my parish for a weekend and this was the Gospel.  This priest had a gift for preaching and I still remember how he broke open this story and shared with us the deeper significance of the Father asking for a ring, sandals, and a robe for the younger son; namely that these items symbolized the restoration of the son as a son. For me it was the first “Aha moment” with the Scriptures, realizing that they contain much more than meets the eye.  

This year, it is the plight of the older son that has my attention.  Fr. Pablo Gadenz pointed out to me that the elder son never calls his father, Father.  He also doesn’t call the younger son his brother, rather he calls him your son.  He doesn’t have a desire to celebrate with his family, instead complains that he has never been given a young goat to celebrate with his friends.  Lastly, he says, “all these years I have served you . .” which could also be translated, “slaved for you . .”  All of these things lead me to ponder.  Even though the older son has never left his father in a literal sense, it seems that he has departed from his father in a very real way.  He has removed himself from the family and sees himself as “slaving” for his father.  He, too, needs his sonship restored.  It reminds me of the line, “This people’s hearts are far from me.” (cf. Is. 29:15, Matt. 15:8)

The difficult question is, does he realize his plight?  Does he know the reason for his anger, his resentment, his feelings of unjust treatment?  Has he slowly drifted into this sense of isolation and the feeling of not belonging, not being loved?  Does he realize his choices led him there and he has the power to come back into the embrace of the Father? And the even more challenging question is, do I? 

The Father’s love, mercy, and forgiveness are constant.  He goes out to meet both sons.  The younger son, having realized his plight, receives the Father’s mercy and forgiveness and is restored.  We all can find ourselves in the positions of the older and younger sons at different times in life.  But I think the place of the older son can be more challenging.  The renouncing of the Father’s love is more subtle.  The outward behavior seems exemplary.  He has followed all “the rules”.  And yet, he still finds himself an outsider. 


“Every day of this holy season of Lent cries out God’s love to us, and for us.  Are we going to begin to cry out our love back to him?  Or are we going to hem ourselves into a sort of deadly prison, by deadly words . . . Christ says, ‘Do you love me?’ and we do not answer directly like St. Peter did, ‘Yes, I love you, Lord.’ . . . We say ‘Maybe; perhaps I will start loving you a little later.’ This is the season when we hear the nails being put into his hands because he loved us.  He did not say, ‘Maybe, perhaps.’ He just said, “I love you, and the proof is that I am dying for you.’ That is all.”  Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty  

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

8 + 3 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418