Third Sunday of Advent
December 11, 2016
Just as is the case for many of us at this time of the year, this is an incredibly hectic time for St. Augustine parish and student center. First, this weekend we are celebrating the Baccalaureate Mass at 5:30 on Sunday. This will be the final weekend of the year at St. A’s for most students until they return in January, and for our graduates whom we bless and celebrate at the Baccalaureate Mass, this will likely be their final mass at St. A’s for a long time until they return as alumni. We thank the graduates for their presence in our faith community and their incredible leadership and participation in numerous ministries. May God bless them with His Spirit as they move on to careers or further study.
The mission of St. Augustine’s is to bring Christ to the Campus and the Campus to Christ. Other than Mass on the Grass at which the Real Presence of Jesus is made manifest at the University of Florida, this Baccalaureate Mass is the epitome of us fulfilling that mission. If you haven’t bought into that mission, I would ask you to stop and think about it. For most of the practicing Catholic Gators and Catholic Saints and for a significant number of associated faculty and staff, St. A’s is the face of the Church. That places upon our faith community an awesome responsibility to welcome the campus community and provide a rich spiritual home and environment to encounter Jesus through His people.
Our ongoing stewardship renewal is an opportunity to confirm or begin a commitment to the parish in our mission via a pledge of time (prayer, liturgy, reading), talent (numerous ministries), and/or treasure for 2017. Please take a renewal brochure from the tables near the church doors or, better yet, complete the brochure online at www.catholicgators.org/stewardship.
We are so blessed this year to have a beautiful new sanctuary to enhance our Advent/Christmas liturgies. Unfortunately, another part of our physical facility, the doors to the church, are dilapidated. We recently had a break-in through one because it is so fragile. Our annual Advent/Christmas appeal is aimed at buying new doors and paying for the sanctuary renovation. You can contribute via the second collection at masses through Epiphany or online at www.catholicgators.org/make-a-donation.
The first readings during Advent are from Isaiah, and they offer a message of hope. May our hope in the infinite love of the Father, shown by giving us his Son, fill our hearts with peace during this Advent season.
Paul A. Gulig
Chair, Stewardship Committee
It's never too late to submit your completed stewardship renewal brochure, either online below or on paper. You can obtain a paper brochure from church or the links below. Please look over the brochure and pray about how you can give back your time, talent, and treasure to God through His Church and His People.
Please CLICK HERE to access the online brochure.
Por favor Hacer Clic Aquí por al folleta en Esapnol
If you did not obtain or lost your brochure, there is a link to the PDF version below.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Paul A. Gulig
Chair, Stewardship Committee and Parish Council
Everyone who is 18 years or older should have a stewardship renewal commitment brochure. This especially includes students. You are now members of this parish faith community; this is the place for you to commit your lives to God. Spouses should each have one. I know that some are thinking, "I don't plan on formally committing financial support next year, so there is no point in turning one of these brochures in." This is not the right attitude for several reasons.
First, this brochure is an opportunity to get connected with the parish through registration. If you do nothing else, please complete the contact information on the back and turn it in. It is critically important that we know who the members of our faith community are. We do know that many of the people in the pews right now have not registered. This is a chance to fix that.
Second, this is not about money. Christian stewardship does not equal fundraising, and that goes for this renewal as well. Stewardship is a spiritual attitude. Stewardship is returning God's gifts of time, talent, and treasure to Him through his Church and His people. When you open the brochure, you'll see that the first page on the left lists many ways of returning time to God in a personal way. Everyone should be able to commit some time to God next year.
The middle page has numerous ways of committing talent to God through the Church. There is something on this page for everyone. Even if you are already involved in these ministries, please check them off and turn it in. We will contact you to help you get or stay involved in these ministries. Even if you just have questions, you should check off your interests. This is not a binding contract, just a point of contact.
Finally, of course, the third page is treasure – an offering of our money. It is critical that the parish has some idea how much money we can expect in the offertory collection in the upcoming year for budgeting. Regardless how much you plan to give, please let us know. We are grateful for anything you feel that you can contribute.
There are several options for returning the brochures to us. You can complete them immediately after mass and turn them in to boxes at the doors or at the office. You can turn them in at mass next week. You can also complete the form online. The web address is on the brochure and the parish web page. This is actually preferred, because all of the paper brochures are going to be entered into the online form, anyway.
No matter how you choose to submit the completed brochure, please take one, look it over, think about it, pray about it, and then act on it. This is essential for us to grow as a faith community, and it is essential for us to grow as followers of Jesus. We just prayed in our after communion prayer to be responsible stewards of our resources. Now is the time to act on that prayer. Thank you for your participation.