STEWARDSHIP CORNER AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
A Good Steward is Proactive. A good steward makes the choice as a true disciple of Christ and a light to the world
They Recognized Jesus
“Stay with us.” (Luke 24:29)
We know the parable of the two men on the Road to Emmaus. They discussed the events of the recent days as they walked (the crucifixion and death of Jesus). Then they met a man who accompanied them on their journey. It was late in the day when they reached the village, so the stranger joined them for dinner. Then at table, as He broke the bread, they recognized Jesus and ‘their eyes were open.’ Their reaction was to return to the other disciples and announce, ‘it is true...He has risen.’ We have the opportunity to meet Jesus without making the trip to Emmaus because He is present every time the Eucharist is celebrated at Mass. Let’s recognize Him and share this Good News with one another. Happy Easter Time!
"You Can’t Out Do God’s Generosity”
Good News to the Parishioners of
Holy Trinity Church
April 18, 2021
Remember the BP oil spill in 2010? Well, many of the seabirds were cleaned up and released to the wild. One of them, a pelican, made it back to its habitat...some 700 miles away. Biologists don’t know when it returned, only that it is here at Louisiana’s Queen Bess Island at the present time.
New York is no different than any other large city when it comes to hate crimes, but then New York has Madeline Park. She started cafemaddycab to pay Uber and Lyft fares for women and elderly to safely get home.
Kenneth Smith was homeless in Ft Worth, TX and found himself sitting outside an Outback Steakhouse when a customer asked if he was ok...to which he replied: “No, I’m not.” The customer slipped Kenneth a gift certificate for some food and once inside, he met Laura Hodges, Manager. She gave Kenneth her business card ‘...for not going hungry...come anytime.’ He started bussing tables and his story was picked up by a local TV station that raised over $2,000 for shelter, clothes, and a bicycle. His response: …” God is good.”
Think hard. Did something good happen this week? I’m sure it did. Then cherish that memory. Hold it in your heart/or in your mind; then when things are challenging...recall that memory.
Remember our gifts from God...continue to take care of one another.
“I know it’s difficult to eat and drink with a mask on, but to the extent possible...keep your mask on.” (Anthony Fauci, MD).
When it comes to Coronavirus...common sense is not so common...chose common sense anyway.
Wear your mask, maintain distance and wash your hands.
Keeping current with Holy Trinity...easy. Check our website for the latest news and updates at www.holytrinitychurchhi.org.
Let’s remember the value of what we have when the good times return. Stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, looking forward to seeing you in our gym at Mass until then.
Weekly Donation for Easter: 1-4 April 2021
Offertory $ 15,580
Major Maintenance & Repair $5,710
Rice Bowl- Holy Thursday $4,048
Holy Land- Good Friday $2,165
Holy Week Attendance 1-4 April
Holy Thursday 7:00PM 99 1
Good Friday 3:00PM 109 9
Good Friday 7:00PM 76 2
Easter Vigil 7:30PM 126 6
Easter 7:00AM 117 12
Easter 9:30AM 134 23
TOTAL 661 53
Thank you for your generous giving
Encyclical Letter - Fratelli Tutti - On Fraternity and Social Friendship
Of the Holy Father, Pope Francis October 4, 2020
Some Thoughts from Stewardship
At Holy Trinity Church by Bob White
Chapter 1 Dark Clouds
Pope Francis wrote about dreaming together, but today’s world has yet to learn this lesson. He wrote of …”the dream of a United Europe, one capable of sharing roots and diversity...envisioning a future of bridging divisions and fostering peace.” He also wrote about a …”desire for integration of Latin America and the steps…” taken toward that goal.
Today, Pope Francis speaks of the “aggressive nationalism” that is on the uptake. Of the “new forms of selfishness.” The question becomes, why must …”each new generation take up the struggles of past generations?” Why then is it not possible …”to settle for what was achieved in the past...enjoy it?” Why must we …”disregard the fact that many still endure situations that cry out for our attention?”
Pope Francis speaks of the “ignorance of history...to reject the experiences of their elders, to look down on the past toward a future that the individual holds out.” Pope Francis further discusses the “exploitation of the global economy...making us neighbours but not brothers. We are more alone than ever in a world that promotes individual interests. [We celebrate “prime day” and get it anywhere...next day delivery]. Per Francis: “peoples that abandon their tradition and...all others to rob their very soul.”
Pope Francis fears that we are “growing more distant from one another...people no longer seem of paramount value to be cared for and respected. [He no longer sees] healthy debate on long term plans to improve life and advance the common good.” Rather, he speaks of “conditions of slavery...allowing treatment (of people) as objects.
He speaks of war, terrorist attack, religious persecution as” affronts to human dignity.” “We no longer have common horizons uniting us...we have erected walls where outside this wall the world ceases to exist...leaving only “my world” and “them.”
Re the current pandemic, Pope Francis notes that “…we are a global community, all in the same boat...no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together. [We learn] that we are part of one another, that we are brothers and sisters of one another. [We have become] prisoners of a virtual reality...the realization of our own limitations brought on by this pandemic...have made it...urgent we rethink...the meaning of our existence.” Pope Francis further advised that when this crisis passes…[that we] take a step forward towards a new style of life...and rediscover our need for one another...that the human family can experience a rebirth.”
Pope Francis commented on communication which has resulted in “...lives under constant surveillance...and the disintegration of respect for others.” [Try as we must] “...we can peer into [others] lives .” This has resulted in a “deaf world...preventing attentive listening [resulting] in interruption and contradiction...we have lost our ability to listen.”
Pope Francis points out that “...many economic approaches [are designed] to prevent an influx of migrants while limiting aid to poor countries. [These approaches forget that] many migrants flee from war, persecution and natural catastrophes...seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. [Unfortunately], Western culture offers unrealistic expectations...traffickers, drug and arms cartels, violence and abuse...along their journey.”
So what’s Stewardship’s role in all this? First of all, let’s be grateful for those who came before. Grateful that they established Holy Trinity Church, grateful they built a new church and grateful for it’s renovation. Grateful to those who raised the monies to “pave” our parking area. Let’s be grateful for the “soul” of Holy Trinity and the clergy who have, are, and will serve.
Should we forgo ordering-on-line? No way...it’s efficient and necessary for many who can’t get out or when shops are shuttered. But let’s show our gratitude to those who provide this service, even if they are “behind the scenes.” A positive ‘yelp’ review might be just the thing needed.
Should we become ‘missionaries’? Not necessarily, but we can pray for and support both religious and lay societies and organizations that foster good work in foreign lands. We can learn from a recent tv public service church announcement explaining mask wearing, distancing and hand washing in languages understood by Pacific Islanders.
Will we unite Europe? Hardly, but we can enjoy what we have...yes even in this pandemic.
Sure we’re in the gym and not the church proper...but we are still a “people of God” gathered for the Eucharist. We have a clean, safe environment. Let’s enjoy what we have and dream. Let’s dream of returning to our more comfortable church, let’s dream of improvements we may need or desire to improve our worship space. Dream of “we.” Let’s unify Holy Trinity.
Chapter 2 The Good Samaritan
Pope Francis relates Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) in response to the question “...and who is my neighbour?” We’ve all heard this story many times before...it’s an …”an age old problem…[beginning when] Cain kills Abel (Gen 4:9) [answering] ...am I my brother’s keeper?”
Pope Francis continues…”earlier Jewish traditions…limited relationships to those of the same nation...but as Judaism developed outside the land of Israel...the command became...do unto others what you would not want them to do to you (Tob 4:15). This, Pope Francis explained, “is the entire Torah.” Continuing, Francis explained that “in the New Testament, do unto others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets (Mt 7:12). Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36).
Pope Francis reviews each of the main characters in the parable: robber, victim, Priest, Levite, Samaritan and the Innkeeper and poses the question: …” Which of these persons do we identify with? [Witness an assault in our neighborhood], [observe] an accident and [the guilty party] flees the seen...do we hurry off or render aid [or do we at least call 911]? We become caught up in our own needs and the sight of an injured person is disturbing to us...makes us uneasy. These are signs of an unhealthy society. A society that seeks prosperity but turns its back on suffering.”
Pope Francis reminds us that this parable is an “essential...aspect of our common humanity. We are created in love and cannot be indifferent to suffering...we [must be] challenged to emerge from our comfort...to be changed. This is the meaning of dignity. [For] sooner or later, we will encounter...suffering...as there are more and more [people]...[for] all of us are, or have been, like each of the characters in the parable. All of us have something of the [victim], the robber, the passersby and the Good Samaritan. The real question is: will we abandon the injured man and run to take refuge...or will we pursue the thieves?”
So what are we to do? Become [Junior] Police Officers? Take self-defense lessons? Not hardly. Start small, start local. Where we live, work and pray. As Pope Francis says: “...when we assist another, we obtain satisfaction in life and before God, thus a duty...Let us care for the needs of every man and woman, young and old...with the spirit of the Good Samaritan. A warm smile (under your mask) and a welcome “good morning” is something easy to do. Showing appreciation for others needing time and assistance, a “thank you” to the store clerk, the server and those at home or at work. We can support our church and her worldwide work by donations at a variety of special collections during the year, or just select your favorite charity to support. Join a ministry; many are working behind the scenes due to Covid, but there is always something we have a talent to do and do well for The Lord and each other.
Lastly, pray. Just pray for health and an end to this pandemic. Pray that [when this is over] that we will have learned to be “we” vs “them,” that we “become sensitive to the needs of others...to rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep...identifying with others without worrying from where they come.” In this way, our world view extends beyond our individual horizon...start small, but dream big.
Engendering an Open World
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, cites St Thomas Aquinas (Scriptum super Sententiis) “...love creates bonds and
expands existence, for it draws people [from] themselves towards others. Pope Francis continues, “nor can I
reduce my life to relationships with small groups, even my own family...relationships, to be healthy and
authentic, open us to others who expand and enrich us...Our hearts expand as we step out of ourselves and
embrace others…[vs]...expressions of selflessness and self-preservation.”
Historically, Pope Francis reminds us that “...small desert communities welcomed pilgrims as an exercise of
sacred duty of hospitality...rising to the challenge of an encounter outside one’s own circle.” Pope Francis
continued “...Love is more than a series of benevolent actions... [love] is action whose source is directed
The Holy Father continues to discuss our brothers and sisters in need. “...When abandoned or ignored by
society...become a foreigner in their own country…[yes] born [here], [and] citizens with full rights [contact] the
mutating virus of racism. Pope Francis speaks specifically to the disabled and the elderly “...who need a
voice...to become persons of equal dignity.” In the parable of The Good Samaritan, “...the injured man might
have been viewed as merely an outcast, a detraction, an interruption, a nobody, [a foreigner in his own
Pope Francis poses a question: “...What happens when fraternity is not consciously cultivated, when there is a
lack of political will to promote [this virtue] through education, dialogue and value recognition?” Pope Francis
responds [to his question]: “...Liberty [then] becomes a condition for living as we will, free to choose to whom
or what we will belong, to possess or to exploit. [Liberty] has nothing to do with the...richness of love. [This]
individualism does not make us more free, more equal, more fraternal...not capable of generating a better
world for humanity. [It makes us believe]...we have created safety nets serving the common good.”
Pope Francis continues that “...The world exists for everyone...all born with the same dignity. [yes] Differences
of colour, religion, talent, place of birth...that cannot justify the privilege of some over the rights of all.” He
quotes St John Paul II: “God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members,
without excluding or favouring anyone.” No one, therefore, according to Our Holy Father shall be excluded
because of place of birth..less privilege...unacceptable that the mere place of one’s birth ...should result
in ...fewer opportunities for a dignified life.” Pope Francis calls for a ‘new way of thinking’ based on “...the great
principle of inalienable dignity...rising to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity [in] a world that provides
land, housing and work for all.”
So what’s stewardship’s role in all this? We are not ‘captains of industry’ nor will we become world leaders
capable of societal ‘midcourse corrections’ changing the mores of earthly society. But, we can become more like
the desert community that welcomed pilgrims as a sacred duty of hospitality...why? Because as a community,
we do quite well when it comes to wearing a mask in church and sanitizing our hands. We’re respectful of the
special shopping hours reserved for seniors. We’ve even learned that sitting up front permits the earliest
departure. But, ‘when this is over’ and we return to our church proper, could we still be encouraged to sit up
front? Or will we revert to a desire to occupy back seating reserved for our elderly or disabled?
We love to see children at our liturgies, but can we be patient for plus or minus an hour when a youngster
begins to fuss or cry? We are a welcoming parish, we love to meet visitors, but will we make room for one, or
could we befriend the “misguided” who actually ‘took our seat’? Will we try to come early for parking, and if not
possible, will we be patient with the volunteer trying to squeeze in just one more car? Let’s thank the HPD
officer as we leave...yes, he is paid, but it is a dangerous job. Let’s remember that Jesus did not come to be
served. He came to serve. Let’s learn to do for one another...the cornerstone of stewardship.
A Heart Open to the Whole World
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, begins this discussion based on his “...conviction that all human beings are
brothers and sisters...forcing us to see things in a new light and develop new responses.” He begins with
the Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States (2003)
which raised the question [of what happens], “...when our neighbor happens to be an immigrant?” Pope
Francis reminds us of our obligation to “...respect the right of individuals to find a place that meets their
basic needs...their families...finding personal fulfillment.” He cites examples such “...simplification of granting
visas, opening humanitarian corridors...dignified housing, security, basic services, right to retain personal
identification documents, access to justice...freedom of movement, employment, education...
reunification of families and community integration.” [a description of a culture shift].
While Pope Francis does not specifically mention stewardship, he does state that “...new arrivals to every
country, while they are different culturally, they do bring their ‘gift’ [the talents given by God] which is an
opportunity to enrich the human development of all [mankind].” Pope Francis continues on “...when we
open our hearts to those who are different…[we] have flourished and [this] needs preservation. When we
are open to new experiences, “...we discover the gifts of each person...which unites us…[providing] an opportunity
to grow in mutual respect.” Pope Francis expounds on “...Latino culture...enriching the United
States.” He continues, “In Argentina, the immigration from Italy left a mark on the culture of society, the
presence of Jews has a great effect on Buenos Aires…[they have become] a source of enrichment...
encouraging a society to grow.”
Our Holy Father goes on to discuss this mutual assistance “...a country that moves forward [yet] remaining
grounded in original culture is a treasure to humanity. We need to develop this awareness...we are either
all saved together or no one is saved.” He asks us to consider “...life without fraternal gratuitousness, becoming
a form of frenetic (anxiety driven) commerce...what can I get back in return.” “God, on the other
hand, gives freely...His sun rises on the evil and on the good” (Mt 5:45). [And] “...as well He told his disciples:
without cost you have received, without cost you are to give” (Mt 10:8). Pope Francis concludes:
“...only a social and political culture that...gratuitously welcomes others will have a future.”
In order to accomplish this, it’s necessary to “...differentiate between globalization and localization. [The
former] avoids narrowness…[the latter] keeps your feet on the ground.” Continuing on, “...the experience
of being raised in a particular place...sharing this culture...gives insight to others...adding a rich palette of
colour; while our global [view] is [more than] a sum total of other cultures…[it is] a communion of that
which exists among them.”
Pope Francis proposes we start with our own region. “...thanks to regional exchanges poor countries become
open to a wider world.” Our Holy Father [envisions a community] marked by gratitude, solidarity and
reciprocity...a shared identity. Think [not] of viewing others as competitors, [requiring] we protect ourselves
from one another, [but] to see that no one people, culture, or individual can achieve everything on
its own...we need others. Man is a limited being who himself is limitless” (Georg Simmel, 1957).
We are truly blessed here at Holy Trinity. Why? Because we are so fortunate to have a diversity of cultures
in our welcoming parish. We are a true cosmopolitan church. We might have been fortunate enough to have
been born here or perhaps we may have come from the Philippines, the Pacific Islands, Asia, the Middle
East, Africa, Australia, Europe, Russia, North or South America, Mexico or any one of the many other nations
in this world. We have learned of our wide variety of cultural customs especially when it comes to
many of our (pre covid) social gatherings. We do therefore have a head start on the “open heart” vision of
which Pope Francis’ writes.
So when Pope Francis asks that we start at home, stewardship might ask that we consider continuing our
own culture shift...there’s a perfect opportunity soon to become a reality...the beginning of renovations to
our worship space (our church proper). It’s been 20 years, servicing us and the Lord well, but time to refresh.
Let’s look toward ourselves. We have been proactive in MMR donations each month and now are able
to reap the benefits of our sacrifice. We now have an opportunity to share our talents with one another...to
learn, not compete. Let’s become the new “elders'' of Holy Trinity Church...the ones the next generation will
come to appreciate. Let’s dream of renewing our worship space because ‘...when this is over’ we will begin
to realize we might be dreaming of the limitlessness of our part of this world, of Holy Trinity Church and our
opportunity to share this vision with one another...near and far. Creating this welcoming environment proclaims our stewardship.
Chapter 5 - A Better Kind of Politics
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, states that “the development of a global community...calls for a better kind of politics, one at the service of the common good. Sadly...today it...hinders progress…[This] lack of concern for the vulnerable [creates] a populism exploit[ing in order to] serve the economic interests of the powerful.” Pope Francis cautions us to make room for everyone.
“Express[ing] a view...categorizing unfairly or praising to the skies…[leading] to a disregard of the meaning of ‘people’ eliminating the notion of democracy as a government by the people.” “Popular leaders do exist...uniting and leading, making room for the pursuit of common good. But, popular leadership can degenerate into populism...exploiting a people’s culture for personal advantage or a grip on power.” Pope Francis discusses employment…’the biggest issue’ but “the best path to a life of dignity. [When] everyone has a chance to contribute his or her own talents and efforts. There is no poverty worse than that which takes away work and the dignity of work.”
“The concept of ‘people’ entails a positive view of community and culture…[perhaps] rejected by individualistic liberalism. True charity, [however], incorporates the element of concern for others...even The Good Samaritan” needed [the innkeeper].”
Everything, according to Pope Francis, calls “…for a change of heart, attitude and lifestyle.” Pope Francis calls for “...education and upbringing, concern for others, a well integrated view of life and spiritual growth...are essential for quality human relationships…the marketplace…[he continues] cannot resolve the problem...it will not resolve the inequality to new forms of violence...[what is needed, he continues,] is a proactive economic policy directed at promoting...diversity and business creativity...for jobs to be created...not cut.
The Holy Father discusses the ‘politics we need’ “...a politics which is far sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of [a] crisis...in other words, a ‘healthy politics’ capable of reforming and coordinating institutions, promoting best practices and overcoming undue pressure and bureaucratic inertia.” Pope Francis explains it in this way: “...true statecraft, manifest, in difficult times, upholding high principles [and concerned] for the long term common good. [We need to] think of those who will come after us...is demanded by authentic justice...the earth is lent to each generation, to be handed on to the generation that follows.”
Pope Francis discusses charity...the spiritual heart of politics, is a love to be shown to those of greatest need. We need to “...combat all that threatens or violates fundamental human rights. Elimination of hunger and speculation on the price of food threaten millions [around the world, while tons of food are thrown away]. Food, Pope Francis explains, is an inalienable right.” Charity, he concludes, is “...expressed in a spirit of openness to everyone. [We need to seek] convergence on issues and listen to other points of view...make room for everyone.”
Pope Francis, in his meeting with Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, agreed to “spread the culture of tolerance of living together in peace.” Pope Francis “askes we help at least one person have a better life” and that “we break down walls and fill our hearts with names and faces.”
He questions us:
How much love did I put into my work [today]?
What did I do for our people?
What mark did I leave on the life of society [or our home, workplace or church]?
What bonds did I create?
What good did I achieve in the position entrusted to me?