November 18, 2018 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  Gratitude & Stewardship: Are you aware of God’s blessings to you? Everything, all the gifts we have—our health, our time on earth, families and friends, our skills and abilities, our opportunities and possessions, even the air we breathe—come from God!  We need to not on these gifts; they are entrusted to us for our care. That’s the word “Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”

                   + Receive and accept, God’s gifts gratefully, 
                   + Care for them responsibly, 

                   + Share them with Charity and justice, and

                   + Return a generous portion to God.

Our annual renewal of Time, Talent, and Treasure is underway, “kicked off” last Sunday with the tremendous faith of two poor widows, who gave not from their surplus wealth, but from their sustenance. Many thanks to everyone who has already returned a pledge! If you have not yet done so, please take time to pray about and examine the blessings in your life.

        A decision about our annual giving (Sunday giving) to our parish should be made prayerfully and according to our means. Financial offerings should be sacrificial (does it pinch a little?), proportionate (does it adequately reflect a measure of our financial blessings?), planned (does it involve making advance decisions?), free (is our gift unconditional?), and a prayer (is it an expression of gratitude to God?).

        Sharing our talents and skills glorifies God, the Giver of all gifts. Although our gifts may differ from those of others, we are all given gifts and talents to share. To discern how to best offer your talents in parish ministry, you might consider: What do I enjoy? What do I do well? What do friends and family tell me that I do well? How can I best offer my time and God-given talents?

        Whether you are a longtime member, new to our parish, or just new to the pledging process, please return a pledge. Annual renewals provide an opportunity to examine our blessings and make prayerful decisions about our annual commitments of financial support and our volunteer/ministry service in parish ministry. Your participation is key to the vitality of our parish and deeply appreciated. We need you!

       Please return your pledge by Thanksgiving; you can drop it in the offertory basket at Mass, return it by mail, or visit to submit a pledge online. Extra packets are available at our church doors or the Parish Office. God bless you for your continued offerings of prayer, service in ministry, & generous financial support!

II. Advent Giving Tree: names are being accepted for our annual Advent Giving Tree. Do you know parish families needing assistance for Christmas? If you know of an individual or family, please let us know. Drop names & items needed into the collection basket or call Beni in office this week.

III. Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude is at the Heart of Christian Spirituality.  G. K. Chesterton said that “the best kind of giving is thanksgiving.” Gratitude is the link between receiving and giving. It sets up an endless waterfall of receiving and giving. Our culture teaches entitlement, not gratitude. Recall the words of Bart Simpson when asked to say grace at the dinner table: “Dear God, we paid for all the stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.” The much deeper truth is that everything we have comes to us is a gift of God. These days give us ample opportunities to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude!” I personally invite you and your family to our Thanksgiving Day Mass at 8:00am on Nov. 22 (Note Well: there will be no 7am or 12:05 Mass today). Our Social Concerns Committee members also invite you to bring to Mass today a brown bag of non-perishable groceries, a long standing tradition at the Cathedral.

IV. Open-To-All Thanksgiving Dinner: our mission parish of Blessed Sacrament Chapel (7th & Sycamore Streets) invites you to a Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday, Nov. 18, noon to 2pm. This dinner of gratefulness is open to anyone and everyone in our wider community!

V. Congratulations to Janice Scherm!  At its recent “Light Up The Night” Gala, Nov. 3, 2018, Owensboro Health Foundation awarded Janice Scherm, an active Saint Stephen Cathedral parishioner, the Community Service Award. Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention in this limited space, but we rejoice with Janice in receiving this much deserved community service recognition!