Sep 12, 2018

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

About 23 years ago, for several weeks, we had parishioners coming to Mass wearing T-shirts saying simply, “S.M.U.S.,” with the intention that people would ask, “What is S.M.U.S.?” Of course, you all now know that S.M.U.S. stands for “Sign Me Up Sunday!” It was an activity that Fr. Maurice “borrowed” from a parish in Harlem. Each year we use S.M.U.S. as a day to sign-up for various ministries within our parish. Some of us re-commit ourselves to the same ministry/ministries, some sign-up for a new ministry, and some sign-up for their very first ministry. However, no matter the ministry, whether complicated or simple, whether public or private, they are all done in the service of The Lord and for the Glory of God.    

It is a good time to recall the parable of the King, who gave each servant “talents” and went on a journey. Upon His return, He asked for them back... with interest! One foolish servant had hid his talent out of fear and never used it, and therefore never earned any interest. He was cast out into the cold. Each of us, church, have been entrusted with “talents & treasures” by our King. One day our Lord will ask for them back... with interest! 

Will you be ready? Have you used your “talents & treasures” wisely? Have you helped your neighbor? Have you inspired others by your example? Or, have you hoarded your “talents & treasures” and used them only for yourself? Or, have you hidden them away, and denied their very existence?

We also should recall the parable of the Father, who asked both of his sons to go out and work in the vineyard. One said, “yes,” but never went. The other said, “no,” but later regretted it and went to work. “Which one did the will of The Father?” It is never too late, my sisters & brothers. If you have been, as they say, “Shouting on credit,” it is never too late to begin building the kingdom. We need everyone’s “talents & treasures” or the kingdom will be incomplete. If you are not part of it, if you are not laboring in the vineyard with us, we do miss “you” and our community, our family is diminished.   

P.S. I want to thank Fr. Steve and the rest of the youth ministry team for getting our Teen Ministry back together. They had their first meeting of this (school) year on Sunday, and have made some plans for future meetings and activities. Their next one is “The St. Louis Escape Room.” I have asked them to create a Youth section in the bulletin to keep everyone informed about their plans. Be sure to check it out if you are between 13 & 18. Earlier in the summer, Fr. Steve got the youth together, and along with some others, cleaned up and painted the Youth Room. In the past, people have used this room as a storage room and dumping ground for unwanted items. Please respect their hard work and leave this room for our young people. I would ask the Athletic Committee to keep their part of the room clean and organized. I am very grateful to Fr. Steve’s brother, who donated the funds needed for fixing the room and buying new furniture. Once they are completely done with it, perhaps they will do an “Open Room.”

P.S.S. The whole Redemptorist Community will be attending 3 days of meetings this week. They are in preparation for our upcoming “Electoral Convocation,” which will be in Tucson the first week of October.

Fr. Steve and I will be attending those meetings, as well. I will be leaving on September 25th for a few days RR before the meetings, and Fr. Steve will be leaving on September 30th. As part of this, Fr. Chuck will be coming to preach on October 7th. Part of this week’s meetings will also be our annual session on “Protecting God’s Children,” as all of us must do whatever we can to insure nothing like this ever happens again. As we seek to elect our leadership for the next four years, as well as, make other plans for our Province, I would ask that you keep us in your prayers. May The Spirit be our guide, and may we be open to the prompting of The Spirit.

In the Redeemer,

Fr. Rick