Stewardship in the Year of the Eucharist

“I have called a Holy Year of the Eucharist in the Diocese of Rapid City.”

Bishop Robert Gruss, Proclamation of the Year of the Eucharist

In a little over a week, we will enter into the Year of the Eucharist.  It is an exciting time for the Diocese, an opportunity to foster a greater love for Jesus and His gift of Himself in the Eucharist.  The many activities encouraged for the Year of the Eucharist are great ways to foster Lively Faith in a parish committed to living the pillars of our Stewardship initiative.  Many of them are found in the Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish.  For instance:  

  • Our parish fosters regular devotions outside of Mass.  How about Exposition and Adoration for the Year of the Eucharist?
  • Our parishioners participate in the larger diocesan community events.  Like the Year of the Eucharist? 
  • Our parish leaders and parishioners regularly discuss virtue, set forth examples of heroic virtue, and evaluate programs and policies in light of how they foster virtue.  How about the Eucharistic Saints suggested in the Year of the Eucharist materials?
  • Our parish has a vibrant, planned, inter-generational and well-communicated formation program.  The many resources available to parishes can help!
  • Our parish fosters a thirst for life-long learning.  Check out all of the Adult Education options suggested for the Year of the Eucharist!
  • Our parish fosters increasing attendance at both daily and Sunday Mass consistent with the demographics of the community we serve. What a great goal for the Year of the Eucharist!
  • Our pastor leads people to a deep intimacy with the Trinity, parishioners pray daily for at least fifteen minutes and faithfully participate in the sacraments, and where parents teach their children how to pray. Another great goal for this year.

The success of your parish’s efforts to draw people into a deeper love of Jesus and His presence in the Eucharist can also be helped by close attention to Generous Hospitality.  How might your parish employ the many facets of Generous Hospitality to welcome and invite people to participate in this year?

The Office of Stewardship would like to assist in any way we can in helping to make this a wonderful year in your parish.  What a gift it will be for all of us!

 

We’re here to help

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

 

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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

Experiencing the Story

Experiencing the Story

“Not having any righteousness of my own… but that which comes through faith in Christ… depending on faith to know
him and the power of His resurrection.”


Phil 3: 9-10

I have been thinking this week about the biblical understanding of “knowing”. The quote above comes from the 2nd reading of the 5th Sunday of Lent and a commentator on the reading reminded me that in the Scripture the word “know” typically does not mean simply knowledge of a person or idea. Rather it implies an intimacy, a deep knowledge; a very close relationship with. In today’s terms we might say it doesn’t mean to know about, but to know.

For the past week I have had the privilege of caring for my 3-year old grandson. His parents came from Minnesota a week and a half ago to see my youngest son perform in St. Thomas More’s Spring Musical and to celebrate with him his last production (he graduates in May!). They went home the following Monday and we offered to keep Tomás for a few days until my husband traveled to Minnesota on Thursday. The unexpected snowstorm has delayed that trip and we have found ourselves with almost an extra week with a lively little 3-year old. I am a mother of five so I spent a lot of years with toddlers in my house and so it is fair to say that I know what it is like to care for them. But this week, I have realized that remembering the joys and challenges is not the same as living through them and I think it is fair to say my memory could be likened to knowing about and my past week could be described as biblical knowing! In reality, how soon we forget.

The same could be said for the remembering we do each year as we enter into the holiest time in the Liturgical Calendar, the Triduum. The desire of Jesus is that we would truly enter into the experience of His passion, death and resurrection in these next three days. All of us know the story. But do we know it? Do we take the time and make the effort to truly enter into the drama and experience it alongside our Lord and Savior rather than just passively sitting by and half listening to a story about a guy we only know about? I feel challenged to enter into the story more deeply; to allow it to soak deeply into my heart; to be more receptive to the transforming grace of our redemption made truly and really present every time the Mass is celebrated.

I wish you all a holy Triduum and Easter! The Alleluias are just around the corner!

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 + 6 =

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

Jesus Will Always Come Only In the Measure to Which He Is Invited

Jesus Will Always Come Only In the Measure to Which He Is Invited

Recently, I received this short note from Fr. Michel Mulloy, the Director of Worship, for our Diocese:

“Shawna,               
I am looking at the Norms for the Distribution of communion under both forms… I found this statement which is a beautiful way of talking about Stewardship in the context of the Eucharist.               
(The priest) receives gifts of bread and wine from the faithful, offers the sacrifice to God and returns to them the very Body and Blood of Christ, as from the hands of Christ himself. #26       
I read this and thought of …receiving gifts from God ….using them (sacrificing) with generosity  …giving them back with an increase               
As I remember, this is the language of the Stewardship document.”

Fr. Mike is correct.  The Bishop’s pastoral letter on stewardship defines the Christian steward as one who, “receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others and returns them with increase to the Lord.”   Stewardship and our celebration of the Eucharist are intimately tied.

A Disciple’s Response asks: “What do Christians bring to the Eucharistic celebration and join there with Jesus’ offering?  Their lives as Christian disciples; their personal vocations and the stewardship they have exercised regarding them; their individual contributions to the great work of restoring all things in Christ.”

We are called to offer, along with the bread and wine, our very lives to God.

One priest encourages us, “As the priest is setting up the chalice, simply think or pray onto that altar every part of your life:  every hope, every dream, every disappointment, every friend, every family member, every enemy, every act of love, every betrayal, every son, every daughter, every neighbor, everyone in prison, every Christian in Syria, everyone in ISIS, everyone working on Sundays, everyone who cut you off in traffic, everyone you learned about on the news, every circumstance at work, every medical problem, every financial problem, every mission, every marriage, every upcoming dentist appointment, every fearful anticipation, every hopeful anticipation, every physical suffering, every psychological suffering, everything you have, everything you are, everything you’re called to be, everyone you want to follow Christ.  Think big.”

Catalina, a visionary from Mexico has said that our Guardian Angel carries our offerings and petitions before the Altar of the Lord.  She reports that she has been told to, “Offer yourselves at this moment; offer your sorrows, your pains, your hopes, your sadness, your joys, your petitions. Remember that the Mass has infinite value. Therefore, be generous in offering and in asking.”

Many years ago, someone counseled me to see in the drop of water that the priest adds to the wine my petitions, my needs and concerns, indeed my whole life offered to God.  St. Cyprian said, “The water is understood as the people while the wine shows forth the blood of Christ.  When the water is mingled in the cup with wine, the people are united with Christ . . . . Once the water and wine are mingled in the Lord’s cup, the mixture cannot anymore be separated.” Author Mike Aquilina notes, “there is something exact about the symbol:  Christ is the wine; we are the bit of water.  The main part of the sacrament is Christ really present, but communion does not happen without our willing participation.”

Lastly, our financial contributions serve as our sacrificial prayer offered to the Lord.  Tony Brandt of Casting Nets ministries shared with us, “this check is our sacrifice.  This check, this sacrifice is my spiritual worship.  It is my worship.  In the memo line, I put who I am offering this up for. . .  This is not a bill to be paid, but instead is an offering to God.  This check, my tithe, says, ‘Lord I love you more than  money.’  I add a name to the memo line and then I say, ‘Please bless my mother who is sick, please bless my son who is away from the church’ . . . whatever it is that you are praying for. This is my prayer.”

St Irenaeus said, “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.” The Eucharist is at the center of our lives as faithful Catholics, and our stewardship, along with everything else flows from this, the Source and the Summit of our faith.  If we give of ourselves generously in the Mass, we will receive from Him generously.  God desires to be one with us, to fill us with His life and love; but he will always come only in the measure to which he is invited.  This week, let’s be both intentional and generous!

 

We’re here to help

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

 

1 + 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

What’s a Novena? And praying the Mass prayers . .

Last week, in my musings I shared about praying Lectio Divina with the ninth grade class at St. Thomas More using the fourth Eucharistic prayer. Angela Weber, who is the Vocal Director at St. Thomas More, shared with me her experience of praying and celebrating the Mass when the Church was transitioning from Latin to English in the liturgy and how she has come to appreciate so much more by intentionally praying the prayers that the priest recites:

“I remember it was right at the time when celebrating Mass switched from Latin to English in the liturgies, that I first discovered the beauty and richness of the texts of the Eucharistic Prayers at Mass.  Because we were hearing it all for the first time in English, our missalettes included a section that had the text of the prayers written out.  As a young girl, excited to know what all those prayers we had previously only heard in Latin were saying, I would follow along. I found the beauty of the prayers to be so striking.  It brought me to a very deep experience of prayer during the Mass at an early age, and I was determined to keep that kind of awareness of the prayers always.  I wanted to stay engaged in them, even as one who is only listening, to let them transform me into all that God calls me to.  It is easy to let my mind wander as the priest prays the prayers that are only his part, but if I am intentional about listening to those prayers, and praying along with all my heart, the Mass comes alive and inspires how I live my life and forms my way of thinking about the world we live in.”

On another note, I wanted to encourage you to pray the Nine Day Novena to the Holy Spirit as a preparation for Pentecost. The Nine Day Novena begins tomorrow, Friday, May 11th and runs through next Saturday, May 19th.

Bishop Robert Gruss would like the whole diocese to join together in praying for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit all across our land – we pray that the Holy Spirit would inflame our hearts with his power and grace.

Bishop Gruss said recently, “The Holy Spirit is the unseen moving force of God in the world — unseen but not unheard. It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophets of the Old Testament to lead the people to God. It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the evangelists to write the Gospels and Epistles. It is today the Holy Spirit who guides the faithful, “and I will send the Holy Spirit to inspire you.

What is a Novena? The word Novena means nine. The practice of the Christian Novena was established by Jesus in preparation for the tremendous grace of Pentecost!  We now pray novenas to prepare for solemn feasts, or in petition for some special grace. Jesus commanded this first novena both as a period of preparation (since the feast of Pentecost was approaching) and also as an act of petition (for the Apostles, together with Mary, were looking forward to the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit).

Why a Novena to prepare for Pentecost?  In 1897, Pope Leo XIII asked the whole church to renew its devotion by praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit in the nine days leading up to Pentecost (Divinum Illud Munus). He asked that this novena be done every year in every parish throughout the world. In our day, we renew this quest in a special way for the sake of the New Evangelization. The Holy Spirit is “the principle agent of evangelization”. When his power is released in us, our lives are refreshed, our sense of purpose is renewed, our parishes are re-vitalized, and our mission is more effective than ever. (from: Archdiocese of Oklahoma City).

A copy of the nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit can be found here: http://ww.spiritans.com/holy_spirit_novena.html

Or if you prefer to have it delivered to your email each day, you can sign up for that at:http://www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-to-the-holy-spirit