Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Pope Saint John Paul the Great outlined a framework for a more systematic, whole-person approach to the seminary formation of candidates for the Catholic priesthood. This framework was centered on what he referred to as the four dimensions of priestly formation: Spiritual, Intellectual, Human, and Pastoral. In my own pastoral approach to discipleship formation and my overall ministry, I use this model and apply it to every aspect of parish life because what we actually have here are the four dimensions of
formation, not just
The Pastoral pillar of Christian formation is our focus for this week’s stewardship column because each Catholic Christian (not just the priest or any of the other parish leaders) is called upon to put our Catholic Christian faith into practice, insofar as each of us needs to embrace anew our universal call to virtue and holiness of life, with particular regard to Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy readily are done in actual activities and ministries that so many of our parishes already do. There is certainly no shortage of need for the ministries that we provide, nor is there a shortage on the part of the parish to want to engage in these ministries. The only shortage is the numbers of volunteers to make these ministry
into actual ministry
Volunteers are who we need, and Catholic volunteerism is truly praiseworthy indeed. Leaders who work for charitable organizations will say that they would rather have a volunteer than a donation any day of the week. It is so much easier to write a check, put it in the mail, and then call it a day than it is actually to invest our own personal selves into another person’s life, especially when that other person is someone in need of a ministry that we the parish are trying to provide. Treasure is relatively easy to give, but try Time or Talent sometime and find out how difficult (not to mention deeply personal) it really is!
Yet as I say, volunteers are who we need, and every potential volunteer (that is, every parishioner of our parish!) is called upon and challenged to rise up, to renew the disciple’s embrace of the spirit of volunteerism. Make time this week, therefore, as individuals and as families, to pray and to discern how you might volunteer to help make parish ministry
into actual parish ministry
. And in a particular way, perhaps consider making this the focus of your prayer intention at the Sunday Mass. The Sunday Mass is where discipleship
for many of us, where it is fed and nourished and given new strength, that may then “go forth” for “the Mass is ended” so as to love and serve God and one another in our lives and in our world.
To that end, and to help emphasize the importance of the Sunday Mass, I include in the bulletin for this Sunday bulletin something that a lot of you may recognize because I used it last year as well): a little list of reasons of why I never take a shower. I hope that you will get the joke, and I hope that you will also get its meaning.
~ Fr. Lewis
on Saturday, September 19 at 2:00PM