Praised be Jesus Christ! The following, titled “The Dollar and the Cent” is a bit outdated. Nevertheless, as you’ll see, the principle is still valid today: “A big Silver Dollar and a little brown cent, Rolling along together they went. Rolling along the smooth sidewalk, when the dollar remarked... for the dollar can talk: I’m bigger and more than twice as bright. I’m worth more than you a hundred fold, and written on me in letters bold, is the motto drawn from the pious creed, “In God we trust,” which all can read. Yes, I know said the cent, I’m a cheap little mite, and I know I’m not big, nor good, nor bright, And yet, said the cent, with a meek little sigh... You don’t do to church as often as I!” Money, a very volatile topic: it always has been and most certainly always will be. Some years ago a man speaking about stewardship made the interesting point that only in church is $5.00 considered a huge amount! He went on to pose the question (and one I think of often): “If I can give more, should I?” Well, that’s a question each person should take to prayer and see what God has to say about it. Of course, be very careful what you ask of God... worldly people don’t ask such questions because they don’t want to know the answer. Some of us reading this, in our weaker moments, can look back and say there were times when we wished we hadn’t asked God for His opinion on whatever matter we were considering. But in the end, there is always more joy in giving than receiving – Jesus knew this and when He came to His “hour,” He knew His sacrifice would ultimately inspire countless men and women to follow Him and daily die to themselves so that others might live. Money is just paper (or a small piece of metal dipped in copper), but what we do with it says something about how much we really trust God. As the old adage puts it, “It pays to tithe.” But of course, that is something one can only learn by giving it a test run. Now you’re maybe wondering what I am building up to with such an auspicious start... first, to say that Saint John’s is the most generous parish I’ve ever served (actually, it’s the only parish, along with Christ the King, that I’ve ever served... but the point is still true!). We always do our part to support Bishop Callahan and the myriad works he and his staff offer for the salvation of souls. We are a few thousand dollars short of our goal for the Diocesan Annual Appeal, but the goal that we have of more participation is the one that we are really emphasizing. Thanks for all who have supported the good works of the Catholic Church by participating in the Annual Appeal. And now that the Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel and the Mother Frances Streitel Center are humming with activity, we can thank God that all of it is paid for and we’re just making little adjustments here and there. Some have asked if you’re allowed to walk into the classroom and look around after praying in the chapel: yes, by all means. We host Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in that room every Thursday afternoon and it’s been a huge hit. This is basically Montessori for the Catholic faith, so it’s a lot of hands on and quiet time so that the kids can begin to experience an interior life. The ages are 3-6 year olds and the next level is 6-9 year olds. We won’t have enough room to host the 2nd level, but Father Kitzhaber is building at Sacred Heart and he said if someone can come up with the money, he’d be willing to modify their project so that they could host it. If you’re interested in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the fruit that it is bearing, check out their classroom and pray to God that He will help it to grow.
May God inspire us by His Son’s sacrifice, that we may become more like the One we receive each Sunday!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin