Annual Catholic Appeal – May 5, 2013 – Reverend Emmett H. Carroll, S.J., Pastor
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL
May 5, 2013
Although the Church asks for money, the Church has nothing to sell. Macy’s Department Store sells men’s and women’s clothing and bathroom towels and dishes with fine designs. Safeway wants to sell fish and meet, bananas and orange juice. Having neither clothing goods nor food stuffs, the Archdiocese, nonetheless, asks the parishes for money.
Even though the Church does not pay property tax, nor does it pay income tax, still the Archdiocese requests greenbacks. All churches receive fire department aid and police protection, but the church does not directly pay for such service. Still, churches request currency, even though these churches receive some services for which they do not immediately pay.
When you take your Ford automobile and request an oil change, the management might require that you proffer your Visa card. This parish needs a survey statement of its property, and for this the parish must pay. Musicians perform on stage, and their music comes with a price tag. Although parking at the shopping mall carries no charge, we realize that parking fees lie in the price of a shirt or a blouse. Free, we say to ourselves, is good, but only the out-of-doors air is free. And the Archdiocese does ask for money.
In this Annual Catholic Appeal, the Archdiocese requests that we contribute. We fiscally support the Archdiocese for several reasons. Importantly, we contribute because we care about Archdiocesan issues. Among other things, the Archdiocese has an office of Faith Formation in which it plans standards, policies, and programs that explain our religion and our religious practices. Were I to inquire about sanctifying grace, I would probably consult a book on the topic, but the office of Faith Formation looks to speakers on the issue and plans a catechetical explanation in the schools and in the parishes. R.C.I.A. receives its plan and its books from the Office of Faith Formation.
The Archdiocese discusses ethical issues, and it trains Deacons and it decides marriage issues in the Tribunal Office, and it arranges for adoptions, and it presents family life conferences. The work of the Archdiocese concerns the issues that I care about, and therefore I support the Annual Catholic Appeal. Because I am a Catholic, I wish to involve myself in these matters.
In the early days of the Church, the community of Christians in Jerusalem realized it financial poverty. St. Paul, while writing to other communities—the Romans (15:26) and the Corinthians (2 Cor.9:12)—took a collection for his Jerusalem Christians. What eventuated in the early Church matters to us, because that evidences the Christian way of thinking. Because St. Paul appealed on behalf of others, we act as did Paul, and today aid the needy.
Catholic Community Services aids the less fortunate with home care, meals for the elderly and disabled, mental health aid and social support for children; it helps families with severe histories. CCS operates in 12 service centers. It uses government and private resources and contributes its own efforts on behalf of the needy. CCS is a front line advocate for the needy, and it also works through 140 programs. Our Church does this, and I wish to involve myself in these matters.
Our Archdiocese through the Catholic Schools Department provides administrative, academic and marketing support for the sixty-two Elementary schools and eleven high schools. It has a spokesperson in Olympia, arranges conferences for teachers and principals, convenes pastors for aid in advancing the learning of students. I find the Schools Department a support for problem situations. In building our parish Faith Center, the Schools Department set the size of classrooms and of hall ways, the technology needs and the textbooks appropriate. The Schools Department remain a regular resource for our principal and teachers. Because the Church concerns itself with the education of students, I wish to involve myself in these matters.
St. Peter writes in his letter that each of us has received a gift; use that gift, says Peter, “to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (I Peter 4:10). Christian stewards receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivating them responsibly, sharing them in justice with others, and returning them with increase to the Lord. I am a Christian and the scriptural description of stewards concerns me.
Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, and the source of all gifts. God entrusts this world, the Seattle Archdiocese, to us in this time. Ours is this Catholic Church in this day and in this year. By concerning ourselves in Church works we collaborate and cooperate in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, for this is our essential mission. Proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying is our task that we gladly claim as our own, not as that of the other. Parents nurture their children in the light of faith. Parishioners endeavor to make their parish alive in the faith and a shining light to the community. I am a Christian, and I choose to collaborate with the Church in all it does.
In the Annual Catholic Appeal, our Archbishop reaches out and asks that we give him our hand. He has set a goal for St. Cecilia. He invites you and me to achieve the goal, and encourages us with a bit of a bribe. After we meet the goal, we can refurbish the kitchen stove and the kitchen refrigerator. Let us involve ourselves in Catholic works, in the works of our Archdiocese. Amen.