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Supporting your parish during a pandemic

Jesus is risen! Alleluia! The tomb is empty and sadly so are churches across the world.
The circumstances of this pandemic causes me to reflect on the importance of being a good steward even when we can’t gather with our neighbors or parish family.
As good stewards we recognize that every person is created in God’s image. We are each a precious child of God who has been given gifts, such as life, faith, talents and resources. We are called to steward these many blessings, to share them and make them fruitful regardless of the situation. Doing so is a way to express gratitude to God who is the giver of all good gifts.
So, what does stewardship look like when we all are supposed to stay at home? Social media and the news are flooded with examples of people being good stewards of their time and talents. Acts of kindness and generosity are obvious when we see people making masks for health care workers or distributing food at a food bank. All of our Catholic Social Services centers are serving more people than ever. It is clear, the need is great. Seeing the number of likes and views of live-streamed Mass on social media shows we are being good Stewards of time in prayer.
The one part of stewardship that is not visible in the online celebration of Mass is the stewardship of treasure. There is no passing the collection plate or bringing up the gifts on a streamed Mass. It is our responsibility as good stewards to find a way to contribute financially to our parish. When we contribute our financial resources to our parish, we are contributing to Christ’s mission of love and mercy. We all have a need to give. Even though we cannot be together, we must continue supporting our parish. Our parishes depend on weekly contributions to pay for ongoing bills.
Just like our home budget, the bills for utilities, insurance and other operations have not diminished. If your parish doesn’t have online giving, mail in your envelope.
When public Mass was suspended, I thought there must be a celebration in Hell that all our churches are empty. However, after more consideration, I realized the actual celebration is in Heaven because we are praying together as a family in our homes through the celebration of livestreamed Mass.
­­— Shannon Roh is the Executive Director of the Office of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile.

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