July 7, 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  Handing On of the Baton of Leadership:  Pat and Alison Serey will be moving from Owensboro soon. We hate to see them go—both of them wasted no time offering their service to our parish community and beyond:  As a member of our “Keeping Safe and Secure” (The Porch) Capital Campaign Committee, Alison shared her expertise in Development and Fund Raising, and Pat was nominated to our Parish Pastoral Council and selected to be the Chair for the past two years.  We are grateful for his servant leadership. We are grateful to the Sereys for their generosity of time and talent from the beginning.

    Samantha Kaai, who has served as Vice Chair, will be our new Chair for this last year, along with David Hemingway who will serve as Vice Chair and continue to be the liaison for our Marketing/Communication Committee. Thanks also to the other members of our Council as well (see the back inside page of our weekly bulletin for their names and the committee to which they liaison).  I am grateful!  We are blessed as a community!

II.  Important Meeting for our Faith Formation Families on Wednesday, July 10, 6:30pm in our Community Center.  Our hope and expectation is that a representative from each of our families who choose to send their children to public schools will be present. Faith begins and is lived in the home, the domestic Church, but we want to support parents in their primary duty and privilege to share and pass faith on to their children by our Faith Formation on Sunday mornings.  There have been suggestions/input from our families and our very dedicated catechists about how we might enrich this Sunday morning experience. So please come to this one hour meeting on Wednesday!  This also gives me the opportunity, on behalf of the Saint Stephen Cathedral faith community, to thank our faithful catechists for their huge and much appreciated commitment: Melissa Ashby, Jill Leigh, Ross Leigh, Kristy Lovett, Nicole Mowen, Brenda Pierce, Allie Riney, Laura Smiley, and Carrie Warren. Jamie Marks & Samantha Kaai will be joining our catechists this year! I’m grateful to Ellen Aud for stepping in this year as our coordinator.  It’s with delight that I welcome Hannah Bland, who recently graduated from Brescia University with her degree in Theology, as our Director of Children’s Ministries.  We are blessed!

III. “Listen Carefully:”  Saddened by the immoral state of society, Benedict of Nursia (480-557) left the city to live as a hermit in Subiaco, Italy. In time, more and more men were attracted to his charismatic personality as well as to his simple way of life. He eventually moved a group of monks to Monte Casino, near Naples, where he completed the first version of his rule, now known as The Rule of Benedict. The rule asserts that the primary occupation of the monk is to pray the Divine Office in tandem with a vowed life of stability, obedience, and conversion. The whole of the monastic vocation can be summarized in the opening lines of his rule, “Listen carefully.” Because Abbot Benedict was tough on his monks in calling them to conversion, some of the monks tried to murder him by poisoning his drink; their plot was foiled when Benedict made the sign of the cross over the cup, which then broke! Needless to say, he didn’t hang around there much, but went on to found thirteen more monasteries. When I visit the Abbey of Gethsemani, etched in stone at the guesthouse entrance is the Benedictine charism, “Welcome others as Christ.” As we celebrate the life of Benedict this Wednesday, July 11, let’s not forget the liqueurs, wines, and beers which became part of the monks’ livelihood and tradition. To this day, Benedictine & Brandy (B & B) outsells Benedictine by 9 to1 in the America!  We celebrate the Feast of St. Benedict, founder of monasticism,  on Thursday, July 11. I invite you to the 7:00am or 12:05pm (noon) Mass. St. Benedict, pray for us! 

IV.  End of Our Fiscal Year (July 1, 2018—June 30, 2019):  The mission of Saint Stephen Cathedral Parish could not continue without your generosity of Time, Talent, and Treasure. Giving back makes no sense without faith—believing that everything we have and are is a true gift from our Creator. True generosity is an offering: given freely without expectation and without strings attached. Giving of your resources of time, gifts, and treasure in the spirit of love cannot be measured. As we close out this past fiscal year in the black, I want to thank you; I am edified and grateful for generous giving of service and your tithing. Your continuous support is appreciated. A detailed accountability statement for 2018-2019 will be given to you as soon as possible. I want to thank our Finance Committee, Tom Neal (chair), Joe Connor, Jim Tony Fulkerson, Bill Goetz, Ed Cecil, Joyce Gruenewald, John Kurtz, Mark Heinz (council liaison), Kristine Henning, Chris Warren (vice-chair) who work with our Business Manager, Eddy McFarland, who is doing an outstanding job for our parish. St. Paul’s advice to the Corinthians fits us, “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9: 7). THANK YOU!

V.  The Ministry of Hospitality is not Optional for a Christian Community.  The Scripture readings for this weekend give us a great opportunity to review our hospitality to visitors and parishioners alike. Our Hospitality ministers are essential; your welcoming presence at the doors of church 20 minutes before Mass handing everyone who comes through our doors a liturgical aid with a smile and warm welcome is necessary, and then your presence after Mass handing each family unit a bulletin along with “Glad you came!”, “Thank you for being here!”, “Good to see you!” makes such a difference!  Thanks to our Hospitality Ministers for indispensable presence and commitment!