In last week’s bulletin, I wrote about the Precepts of the Church, focusing on the first precept of the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. I was pleased to see a good number of people in attendance for our masses on the Solemnity of the Assumption this past week, even though it was not a day of obligation this year due to its falling on a Monday.
Given that the concept of the Precepts of the Church may be new for some of you, or at least something you may have not considered in a while, I thought it might be a good idea to address the other precepts over the next few weeks. For our review, the Catechism states the following about these precepts (emphasis added):
The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor. (CCC 2041)
Instead of just going from one precept to the next, I would like to jump to the fifth precept for our consideration this week: Providing for the needs of the Church.
In our Fourth Diocesan Synod, held in 2017, a prominent theme was that of stewardship. The tenth declaration from the Synod summarizes what we mean by stewardship:
As a Diocese committed to discipleship and stewardship, the community of Catholic faithful recognizes that everything we have comes from God and that He has given us gifts not just to use them for ourselves but also to share them with others. As faithful and generous stewards of God’s abundant gifts, those committed to discipleship and stewardship as a way of life pledge to share their talents, give of their time and contribute proportionately from their financial resources for the good of the Church and those in need.
You will have noticed in last weekend’s bulletin a summary of our financial position which offers some insight into the good financial stewardship in our parish. In most parishes, unfortunately, a large majority of the financial support comes from a relatively small number of parishioners. In other words, let us not be too comfortable with where we are, but heed the invitation to prayerfully reflect on how the Lord is inviting us to be more generous in sharing from our abundance for the good of the Church – locally here at the Cathedral, and beyond. In that regard, you will see some information in the bulletin about our mission appeal that will be taking place next weekend. Supporting the good work of the sisters who will come to speak with us is an excellent way for us to live our stewardship for the good of the Universal Church.
Lest you think stewardship is only about money, notice how the definition also includes being stewards of our time and talent. In that regard, we have noticed some disappointing declines in the number of liturgical ministers at our masses. It is becoming more and more difficult to fill some of the slots we need in order to make for a good experience at each Mass. In particular, we have a great need for greeters and ushers, especially at our 5:00 PM Sunday Mass, and for people to do the livestreaming at our 10:00 AM Sunday Mass. Please contact Vicki Compton if you are willing to exercise your stewardship of time and talent in these or any liturgical role.