Supporting Your Parish

September 7, 2011 under Syllabus 2011-2012

Objective

Is your parish a place you look forward to visiting or just a place to go to Sunday mass? The parish is our religious home base. A place where we feel welcome and in the presence of God and people who share our faith and views. How do we support this most important organization and all of the good it does in faith ministries, outreach, education? Are there ways we might not think about that we could make a difference in the parish or someone’s life through our time, talents and treasure?

Bible Readings

1. Matthew 5:13-16

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

2. John 13:12-15

So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.h If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.i

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraph 898

“By reason of their special vocation, it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will…It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and may be to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer.”

2. Paragraph 2179

“A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop.”115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ’s saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love: You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.116

Small Group Questions

1. Talk in your small group about those in the group who are active in a ministry and why they do it, what they get out of it. Recall that even being the small team lead in Fathers Team is supporting a ministry of the parish.

2. How can you take what you receive from Fathers Team out into the greater parish? How can you get involved with small steps in supporting the parish?

3. If you are already active, is there something calling you further? Is there something new you can try, meet new people, and find new ways to be a part of the bigger picture?

Recommended Resources

1. List of Ministries at IHoM http://www.ihom.org/GETINVOLVED/Ministries/ListofMinistries/tabid/90/Default.aspx

Author(s)

John Fahrmeier (updated from 2009 Syllabus)

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