We’re still in the grip of a hot and sunny summer, but August brings a wake-up call. By August’s end, visiting relatives have gone home, schools will be open, swimming pools will be closed, and college kids have packed up and left for the halls of academia. What’s all that mean for the Christian steward? As we journey through August, parishes begin to teem with plans and new vitality.
The parish is where the Church lives, and stewards are the lifeblood of a successful parish. In the parish, we find community and support, liturgy and ritual, sacrament and healing. In the parish, we find a way to give and a way to receive. On a practical level, fall is the time when parish planning gears up for the seasons ahead. Now, for a Christian steward, is the time to prayerfully consider your own involvement in the life of the parish in the coming year. How might we serve – and be served? The Christian steward knows participation in the parish is a win-win situation, feeding us as we feed others.
From Blessed Teresa to Saint Teresa:A Stewardship Saint for September
On September 4, 2016, Blessed Mother Teresa becomes Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She was a woman who gave us an extraordinary example of Christian discipleship and stewardship by her faith, simplicity and service to women and men without considering their race, religion or nationality.
She was born Agnes Bojaxhiu in Albania on August 26, 1910, and at age 18 went to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto following what she discerned to be a call to become a missionary.
She was sent to India in 1929, and began her novitiate in Darjeeling near the Himalayan mountains. Eight years later she made her solemn vows and took the name Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries. From there she taught at the Loreto convent school in Calcutta for almost twenty years. Though a dedicated educator, she was increasingly disturbed by the desperate poverty in Calcutta.
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Loving Father, A world made in your image and likeness is desperate for your healing touch. It is a place where people do not have enough water, or enough food, or enough medicine even though there is enough of these things in the world. It is a realm where people hunger for freedom and are tortured and killed for this yearning. It is a world where there is much anger and hatred, distrust and little peace. We ourselves tend to avoid those we don’t know, those who don’t look like us, or think like us, or worship like us. And yet you call to us to be good stewards of our neighbors; to love them as we love ourselves; to love them with greater hearts than we can imagine. Give us the courage we need to be better stewards of our neighbors; and to believe what you tell us, that you will give us everything we need to love in your name, so your healing may truly be made manifest in this world. We pray this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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