November 14, 2023
Dear St. Josaphat Parish Family,
Our mission is to bring people into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, in other words, to “Be Disciples and Make Disciples.” To bring people to our risen Lord, we must be a vibrant, strong, life-giving community. And we must be good stewards of everything God has given to us—to return God’s gifts by giving of our time, talent and treasure. 1 Peter 4:10 states: “Like good stewards of the varied graces of God, use whatever gift each one of you has received to serve one another.”
In this spirit of discipleship and stewardship, I ask each of you to prayerfully assess your financial commitments to our parish. Just as you’ve noticed an increase in prices at the grocery store and on your utility bills, our costs of operating the parish have increased as well. We depend upon our regular givers to meet our monthly expenses like payroll, campus maintenance and liturgical supplies.
Our budget this year is 11% higher than last year. And uncannily, our Sunday Offertory collections have been stable at $596K for the past 4 fiscal years (except for FY21 when they were $577K) while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 19%. Therefore, we ask every member of our community to prayerfully consider adding 11% (or even 19%) more to their monthly giving.
If you are willing to increase your monthly giving, or to begin giving regularly, it would allow us to continue our ministries and programs, which in turn spread God’s message of love throughout our neighborhood and our world. We encourage you to give electronically through Give Central, a convenient way to consistently make your offering. Monthly Donor Advised Fund (DAF) donations are another great option, and have recently gained in popularity with our parishioners due to the tax advantages.
Please join us for Mass this weekend when we will hear from some parishioners on how they practice stewardship and why they support St. Josaphat. My door is also always open should you have any questions about our parish staff’s commitment to ensuring that all you share with St. Josaphat is used wisely.
Please know you are in my prayers, and I am so appreciative of all that you give to our parish.
God Bless you,
Parishioner Lisa Koehl's views on stewardship, shared with the parish at Mass on 11/18/23:
.... what has been a source of really good and meaningful discussion over the years is what we give away. The mix of that giving, between time and monetary donations, has changed over time. We’ve gone through early periods with not a lot of bucks, we’ve gone through periods with not a lot of available time. But, what has been consistent in our life here at St. Josaphat is that we’ve always had a lot of blessings.
And it struck me as Fr. Carlos made a comment in his homily about being in awe of God’s blessings. “Awe" is such a powerful word. And I wondered: how often do I look at my blessings with the sort of appreciation we reserve for things like the the Grand Canyon. That’s awe….. But, when I really stop to think about all the ways things go well….that there are people who would love to have my bad days….I think maybe “awe” is exactly the right word. And when I think about how Patrick and I give to St Josaphat, I think it starts with cultivating that sense of awe. I am in awe of this community and all it has brought to my family over the years.
So, as some food for thought, I hope we all have a moment to be truly in awe of God’s gifts to us and that we maybe we can share those gifts with that sense of awe in our hearts.