Our parish family must cherish the treasures which have been handed down to us through the ages. When one takes possession of an antique, one takes responsibility not only for its fragile nature, but for all the memories of lives it has touched through the generations. When I walk through our buildings, I can feel the presence of the craftsmen who built them, as well as the men, women, children, clergy, and religious who used them before us. Now they are ours to care for and pass on to the next generation -- a responsibility we take on willingly because that is just who we are as a parish.
The hospitality visitors experience when they walk through our doors to attend Mass, a funeral, or a wedding is evidence how God has given our parish a willingness to say yes to his call to serve cheerfully. We often receive comments from visitors or those who have been away from the church, about our kindness and hospitality. We take it for granted, because that is just who we are as a parish.
I wish to take this opportunity to inform you that our parish is undertaking a program to increase active participation in the life of our parish community and to increase and sustain our weekly giving. My vision for this campaign would be for every parishioner to see themselves as an active part of the living parish of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls us the Body of Christ present in today’s world. We make up its limbs, its heart, its being. We cannot survive unless all parts act as one.
The purpose of the “What We Do Together, Makes A Difference” Campaign is not to just get a few extra volunteers or to bump up our weekly collections. We need to see ourselves as committed Catholics, part of a larger community that is constantly in service to others. We can only achieve this goal by the sharing of each person’s time, talent, and treasure.
I must be honest. As your pastor for fourteen years, at times it has been a struggle to find sufficient participation in parish ministries so that we can live out our Baptismal call. I see this in our trying to provide sufficient assistance in the Religious Education Program, participation in our Music Ministries, and attendance at spiritual and social events. Over the past few years, it has also been a struggle to financially maintain our beautiful facilities and grounds and pay just wages to our dedicated staff. God has always created willing hearts when past needs arose, and we met our challenges. I ask each person to do what they can, not grudgingly, but as a part of the Body of Christ, the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Whitehouse Station. As a result, we will continue to provide an exceptional spiritual faith formation program for our youth and adults, foster a vibrant place of worship, and a legacy of hospitality shared by all for years to come.
Why should you support the “What We Do Together, Makes A Difference” Campaign? Because we cherish what went before us and honor what is ours to care for now with reverence. That is just who we are as a parish.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Len Rusay