From the Desk of Fr. Don Geyman 4.10.16
As published in the April 10, 2016 Bulletin
He is risen! I hope you are finding great joy in the Easter season and growing in the risen life that Christ continues to offer us. We each have a role in sharing that newness of life with our brothers and sisters. That's the reason we exist as His Church, to share this new life with all God's children. We do that in many ways in our local parishes, but we also unite together as a diocese and as the Body of Christ around the world.
One of the ways we share in this mission is through CSA - the Catholic Services Appeal. We help support so many ministries, so many ways in which the love of God is shared with neighbors near and far. Many of our parishioners are very faithful and very generous in supporting this work of the Gospel. However, we still struggle to make our target each year. Often times we reach the target only after coming back to you again and again throughout the year. Sometimes we reach our target only because some of you dig deep and give even more than you had already committed. Thank you to those who go that extra mile. We hope to turn things around this year.
Our 2016 campaign kicks off in just five weeks, so I'm writing to you now to ask that you prayerfully consider your pledge for this year. What we notice is that a high percentage of CSA donations are one time gifts. We want to encourage you to step out in faith and make a pledge that will be paid off over several months, rather than a one time gift. This allows most people to be a little more generous, instead of just giving what you can spare during the time of our annual campaign in May. That's what I do with my CSA giving.
Stewardship is a response to God's generosity in our lives, which is not just a once a year thing. Stewardship giving is planned and committed giving, not just what I have available at a certain time. It's giving from my first fruits, not my leftovers. So many of us commit to long term payments for our phones, cars, gym memberships, and other material things. Those things are fine, but this cause is eternal. (And, as a bonus, it's tax-deductible :-)
I hope you can consider what you might have given to CSA in the past, but then increase it 25% or more by spreading it out over ten monthly payments. I do it the easy way, having it billed directly to my credit card. Others prefer to write a check or set up an automatic payment, just like your other bills that you pay each month.
I was ordained a priest twenty years ago this summer (time flies when you're having fun, and I am!). At first, I found it awkward to talk about money. I then realized that I'm not asking for myself, but for God's people. Our budget is not some unique part of our lives that is off limits for the Lord. Our budget reflects our values. All we have in this world belongs to God in the end anyway. What's the best use for it while we're here on earth?
Step out in faith. The rewards are infinite.
In His Peace, Fr. Don
If you made a "pledge" to the 2015 CSA and you are still making payments, thank you! Please continue your payments so that our parish can reach our target for 2015. Thank you to everyone for your generosity and support this past year.
"Together, we are a family of mercy"
is the theme for the 2016 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA).
St. Mary Cathedral will kick-off the 2016 Catholic Services Appeal the weekend of May 7/8. Please keep this years CSA in your prayers and what you might be able to give to support all of the good works of our diocese.
St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord
2016 Target: $182,345.00
Each year the annual Catholic Services Appeal needs your support, first in prayer and then, if possible, finanically. The functioning of the diocesan faith community is integral to advancing the mission of the Catholic Church - supporting our parishes and connecting us to the Universal Catholic Church. When you give a gift of support, you help our parishes, our faithful, our children and our leadership grow in faith. You help extend a hand of forgiveness and offer the face of mecy to many in need here and around the globe. May God bless you for your assistance.