Greetings to all of you!
As we begin the new Liturgical and Calendar year, it is a good time to reflect and evaluate those things that are so important in our spiritual journey. One of those issues is why we exist in the first place. What truly is our mission in this world as Catholic Christians? With that in mind, our staff took some time to reflect upon our mission here at St. Frances Cabrini. As many of you can understand, if we don’t know what are mission is or why we exist, then how will be able to carry out the Divine Mission of Jesus? If I asked anyone in our parish family the question of what is our Mission Statement, how many of us would be able to name it? Thus, after some reflection, we have come up with what I feel is an easy Mission Statement to remember and one that helps to give us focus on why we exist and where we are going. So beginning this week our new Mission Statement is as follows:
We are called to C.A.R.E.
Obviously, this is also an acronym in which CARE stands for various elements of our Mission Statement.
- C–- stands for Charity
- A—stands for Accompaniment
- R—stands for Repentance
- E—stands for Evangelization
The plan is to explain and follow through on these various elements on a yearly basis. For instance, we will focus on Charity in year 1, Accompaniment in year 2, Repentance in year 3, and Evangelization in year 4. I hope you will be able to take this journey with us and deepen your own faith life as we participate in the Divine Mission that we have been entrusted by Christ. Hopefully, we will be establishing committees for the various elements. If you would like to serve on any of these committees, please contact me through my email address listed on the bulletin. Thank you in advance for serving God and our parish community.
“We understand that all we are and all we have is a gift from God and we are called to share those gifts with each other to promote His Kingdom.”
The dictionary has several definitions of the word “charity”. Maybe the most appropriate definition is: “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity”.
Usually we think of charity as monetary contributions to a charitable organization, an organization that provides support for the poor, underprivileged, needy, etc. That may be a narrow concept of what Charity is about. We need to think more broadly of charity as time and talent, equally as well as treasure, especially given the definition as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity”.
This leads us to the idea of stewardship; a steward is one who is responsible for the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. Therefore, as stewards of our parish we are not only responsible for the monetary support of our parish so we can continue to provide the services the parish is responsible to provide, but, also, to give of our time and talent, volunteering in parish ministry where we may feel best suited. As volunteers of our time and talent we become stewards, careful and responsible managers of things entrusted to our care, which are the people of the parish.
As disciples of Jesus we are all called to C.A.R.E.
Charity Accompaniment Repentence Evangelization
Charity: The word “Charity” comes from the latin “Caritas”, which means love. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote a book titled “Deus est Caritas”, “God is LOVE”.
“True happiness is found in unselfish love, a love which increases in proportion as it is shared. There is no end to the sharing of love, and, therefore, the potential happiness of such is without limit. Infinite sharing is the law of God’s inner life. He has made the sharing of ourselves the law of our own being, so that it is in loving others that we best love ourselves. In disinterested activity we best fulfill our own capacities to act and to be.” Thomas Merton, “No Man Is An Island”
If we truly believe that Charity is “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” then we must believe that, as Merton says, sharing of ourselves is the law of our own being. If we love others we can truly love ourselves.
If I may, another quote from Merton, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business, and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”
Loving others means being willing to share whatever gifts we have been graced with by God, time, talent, and treasure, with others. That is true charity, that is true love.