This weekend we are reflecting on Stewardship and the many ways we as a parish and you as individuals share gifts of time, talent and treasure.
Back in July of 2014, a little over 6 years ago, the members of the Parish Council decided we should start tithing as a parish. Since then 5% of our weekly collection has been sent to many worthy missions and causes. We have been able to build homes for families in Haiti and Jamaica through Food for the Poor. Also through Food for the Poor we have provided clean drinking water by having several wells dug for the people in Haiti (Total $34,000)
Since July of 2018 we have had many projects in Africa in Nairobi Kenya, through the ministry of the Vincentians One of the projects was assisting Holy Spirit Makutano Church with building a green house for their Green House Farming Project – improving the quality of life of needy households within Holy Spirit Makutano Parish by providing immediate food need (vegetables) for the poor and needy, generating income for the church in order to assist the poor and needy, and educating communities on greenhouse farming.
Then in February of this year we assisted with their “chicken” program providing chickens for the people to raise, helping them provide a living for themselves. We have provided clean water digging more wells. We have built another greenhouse and built solar projects. We’ve been able to do these things because of YOUR GENEROUS weekly contributions to the parish. (Total $22,000)
Speaking of selfless generosity, since last January almost $16,000 has been donated to our Parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. Our Vincent de Paul volunteers, sharing their GIFT OF TIME, have been able to help countless number of families because of your GIFT OF TREASURE.
Your generosity spills over in THE MONTHLY FOOD DRIVE which the Knights of Columbus sponsors. Since January of this year the Knights have delivered almost two tons (3,859 lbs.) of food to the Ritenour Food Pantry. That doesn’t include food items that some of you drop off at the pantry on your own (and parish donation of $900)
Examples of GIFTS OF TIME AND TREASURE are so numerous. One of our most visible ministries in the parish is our PRESENTATION ART CENTER (PAC). It began shortly before our 100th Parish Anniversary. Parishioners used the old convent space to make artful centerpieces for our 100th closing banquet. So much fun was had that art classes were begun. It wasn’t long after that that we started offering music lessons (piano, guitar, etc) not only for parishioners but to the broader community. It has been a beautiful and important way for our parish to be visible and viable in our surrounding cities.
So many parishioners volunteering in so many ways – Quilters, St. Patrick’s Casserole bakers, Fish Fry workers, outside gardeners, parishioners sanitizing the church, Room at the Inn ($700.00)– the list can go on and on.
We are so blessed to be part of this wonderful parish filled with so many “MARTHAS” who happily give of themselves because they are “MARYS” recognizing their blessings and wanting to share their blessings with others. THIS IS CHURCH. WE ARE CHURCH!
May God bless all of you and may God bless
Our Lady of the Presentation