Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of October 31, 1999

Dear Parishioners,

Next weekend, November 6 and 7, is our Stewardship Intention Weekend. All registered parishioners and T.M.A. members should have received a couple of mailings about our parish Stewardship Program and the United Catholic Appeal. The second mailing included our parish Stewardship/United Catholic Appeal pledge card. It has two sections—parish and archdiocesan. We ask that you return the entire card in the collection basket next week. The parish office will separate them.

We are asking each individual or family to make a commitment of prayer (to pray regularly), presence (to attend Mass regularly), service (volunteering your gifts of time and talent) and financial gifts to our parish and archdiocesan communities. We are hopeful that every household will make some type of commitment and return their card in the collection basket next weekend.

The intention card is confidential and is not legally binding. What the intention card will do is help our parish and archdiocesan communities plan for the future. Also, remember that our parish does not expect every penny of your charitable dollar. When you decide on a percentage you intend to give, allow half of this for our parish and half for other charitable causes such as the United Catholic Appeal.

The top section of the intention card is for your commitment to our parish community; the bottom section is for your commitment to the archdiocesan community. Please complete both sections of the card and return the entire card in the offering next weekend. (Do not perforate it.)

How will you decide on your own stewardship commitment? Here are some ideas:

Pray. This is the first step in just about any spiritual growth. We must ask God what He wants and do our best to listen attentively. Our primary example is Jesus Himself, Who spent much time praying.

Resist Consumer Urges. Opportunities for spending ourselves into oblivion abound. If you feel that you must have that new appliance, outfit, or car right now—wait! Think and pray over it. You’ll be amazed how many things we end up not purchasing. Yet, some items pass the test and we buy them with a clear conscience.

Make Small Sacrifices. This is the best way to build interior strength. And I think it’s something we’ve lost in the so-called modern Church and world. God helps build the virtue of temperance when we opt for the less expensive pair of tennis shoes or we deny ourselves that third or fourth cookie at dessert time.

Maintain a Spirit of Detachment. We are all tempted to judge our status based on material possessions. But the old adage, "he who dies with the most toys wins," does not work for the Christian. We need to remember that we belong to Christ, Who regards worldly treasures as paltry in comparison to the riches of eternal life. (Matthew 6:20)

Make a Decision to Invest in Others—primarily your family. However, outside of the family there are many others in need of support. I visited one of our parish families one night for supper and they showed me their "poor jar." They use it to sponsor a child overseas. What an inspiration!

Keep Your Priorities in Order—especially the one about loving God above all. God has Christians at all levels of financial means, and He asks not that we be successful with our finances but rather faithful with them. How much money we have is not the issue. What we do with it is.

I got some of the above ideas from an article I read by a Mr. Kevin Lowry. He’s not a priest; he is a CPA. Don’t treat our Stewardship Commitment like our taxes. Give God 100 percent. You will be eternally thankful that you did. God cannot be outdone in generosity.

Last weekend Billy DeLaCruz shared with us some of his thoughts about Stewardship. He did a fine job. This weekend, I have asked Linda Gatto to do the same. Billy and Alice DeLaCruz and Vince and Linda Gatto give so much of their time and talent to Holy Rosary. They love this parish. So do so many others.

Also, this weekend we will have the United Catholic Appeal video playing in the vestibule before and after Mass. Stop and take a look at the archbishop’s appeal to us to be generous this year’s campaign. The needs of the larger (archdiocesan) church are many in two areas: Home Missions and our Common Mission. UCA is part of our stewardship.

All we have (time, talent, treasure) still belongs to God. But we are "gifted with it" for a time, my lifetime. We are simply stewards of all the good gifts of creation. Therefore, we have the responsibility to see to it that these gifts are used properly. But, in the end, they belong to God not us. We are the caretakers while we are on this earth.

As Catholics, we are called to serve through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service. The above things are some ways we are called to serve during the Jubilee Year—2000. If we all do so, God’s work will be done in our lives, in our families, and in our parish.

Today (Sunday) is "All Hallows Eve," the eve of All Saints. That’s how the tradition started of dressing up and getting treats on Halloween. Originally, children dressed up as the saints and paraded from house to house. Too bad this religious tradition has gotten twisted into something else over the years.

Monday, November 1, is the Feast of All Saints. We celebrate all of the saints, officially canonized and those not canonized. The saints are happy forever in heaven with God. We should celebrate them! Since November 1 lands on a Monday this year is not a holyday of obligation, but it is a holyday. Everyone is encouraged to attend Mass. We will have three Masses: 12:00 Noon (Latin), 5:30 p.m. (English), and 7:30 p.m. (Latin Sung Mass). Confessions will be heard Monday evening 6:45-7:25 p.m.

Tuesday, November 2, is the Feast of All Souls. On this day and all through the month of November we pray for all those who have died. We particularly pray for the souls in purgatory including those who have no one to pray for them. The book in the back of church is for you to list the names of your loved ones you wish to pray for during November. We will place this book of names on the altar all this month. Masses on All Souls Day are: 9:00 a.m. (English), 12:00 Noon and 5:30 p.m. (Latin). I will also celebrate Mass in the chapel at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery at Noon.

The archbishop continues to recover slowly. He has one more kidney stone (at least) to be removed. He will see his doctor at the end of this week to decide how best to proceed. An infection weakened him quite a bit, but he is doing much better now. Continue to keep him in your prayers. I know that he appreciates it.

In God’s Providence,

Msgr. Schaedel