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We recently successfully completed another year of Religious Education of First Communion and Confirmation Sacraments for many young people. We held retreats for them, as well as educational and faith enrichment opportunities for our parents and catechists. We are most grateful for, and we pray for our catechists and their coordinators Maria Erazo and Teodula Mondragon. They are example of what we mean by stewardship in a parish. They sacrificed hundreds of hours of their personal lives for the sake of sharing the faith with our young people. They consistently embrace their ministry with tremendous grace and dedication. I once heard a great expression attributed originally to a sermon by minister William L. Watkinson.

“It is far better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Our catechists and coordinators chose to light a candle for our youth, rather than criticize and remove themselves from the task of forming the minds and souls of young people. We thank you for your awesome ministry and may God bless you with a rich reward for your generosity.

Incidentally, we are always welcoming new catechists or volunteers for our ministry to our youth. Do you like working with children and youth? Do you see how faith in God can be a vital source for young people? Would you like to help us build upon our successful ministry next year? There are many ways to help. Let me know if you are interested. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.

The ministry of Religious Education is one example of active stewardship in Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Stewardship is a way of life that invites us to reflect on how we have been blessed and then choose to help others. I have come to see how our catechists inherently know the power of faith and have chosen to share it with young people. There are many other examples of stewardship in action here at Lourdes. Let me address another way of practicing stewardship.

We initiated a campaign in collaboration with all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago a couple years ago called the To Teach Who Christ Is Campaign. Most of the funds raised in our parish from this campaign are used for our religious education and renovation of the sanctuary of the church. The remaining funds are sent to the Archdiocese of be used for a wide variety of ministries in Chicagoland. In 2017, our parishioners pledged to raise $582,940. As of the beginning of May, we have raised $178,549, about 30% of our goal. Thank you for your generosity of treasure as another form of stewardship. Please remember that this campaign is still operating and the pledges have yet to be fulfill. I invite you to look at the thermometer that is placed in the east side of the sanctuary for regular updates of our progress. 

Thank you and God bless

 

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