It should be evident that a pastor’s primary responsibility is the spiritual welfare of his people. He is not a business manager, nor is he a building contractor (though it sure doesn’t hurt to have some of those skills, too!). In his care for his people, a pastor must model himself after the Lord Himself, Who taught, healed, reprimanded, comforted, and encouraged the people. Yet, in all His teachings, it may come as a surprise to many, that – of all the things that Jesus spoke about – He talked about money the most. Think about it – the parables of the Prodigal Son, the Talents, the Unforgiving Steward, and many more all deal with money. And then there is the account in today’s Gospel of the Widow’s Mite. The Church, following the example of the Lord, needs to teach strongly the dangers of the undue attachment to money and material things. It is not that these things are evil in themselves, though they can become a temptation for us to be selfish. Rather, God gives us these things so that we might demonstrate our generosity towards one another. That is why our financial stewardship towards the Church is so important. It fulfills two important Christian ideals: it demonstrates tangibly that one is not attached to material things, and it assists the Church in fulfilling Her mission. And, like the widow in today’s Gospel, one doesn’t have to be rich. Everyone has the opportunity to be generous.
All our parishioners should have received their letter from Bishop Callahan along with the Diocesan Annual Appeal materials. The DAA funds many important works of the Church around the world, in our country, and in our diocese. Key support is given to Catholic Charities and seminarian formation. That is why I support the DAA. I have already made my pledge and hope you will also generously support the Diocesan Annual Appeal. Remember, every dollar over our target of $46,650 is returned to SSPP for our own needs.
May God bless you!