Stewardship Testimony

Stewardship

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I would like to share with you the meaning of stewardship. God has given me, by way of different people, the opportunity to learn the true meaning of sharing. In 2010, I was fortunate enough to attend an International Congress of Stewardship in San Diego, CA. We were a small group of about eight to ten people from Our Lady of Perpetual Help (O.L.P.H.) Our Bishop Gerald Barnes gave the first topic in Spanish. The theme of his topic was ingrained in my mind and allowed me to go into deep reflection. He said that we, as Hispanics, are generous by nature and share what little or much God has given us with family, friends, neighbors and people from our neighborhood. In parties such as birthdays, baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings etc., we spare no expense so that our guests can enjoy the best that we have to offer. The Bishop noted, that we even consider our tocayo(someone with whom we share the same first name) as part of the family and we share what we can according to our economic means. However, we need to take this generosity one step further by doing the same in our community parish. We need to further share the gifts that God has given us, as our Bishop asks us to contribute our time, talent and wealth.

As a child, my parents taught me to attend mass every Sunday. It was something I enjoyed and church became a part of my weekly routine growing up in a religious atmosphere. At the young age of 16, I moved away from my land in Mexico, my parents and from the Catholic Church for several years. After I was married at 24, I slowly returned to my roots. I would go with my family to mass, but many times I felt the same way I entered, unchanged with no spiritual gain. I did not know how to understand God's message, but I felt that as a Catholic, I had already complied with my religious obligations by simply attending mass. I never really paid any attention to what was happening inside or outside the church. One day, God summoned me to a spiritual retreat and after living that experience, I became more aware and interested in what was happening in our parish. I found out about the troubles our parish went through, the lack of volunteers and the need of committed leaders. A great priest, may he rest in peace, Father Asencio, taught me that when one has interest in something or someone, he or she looks for a way to approach them in the best possible way. With time, interest becomes affection and later turns into a love. It is only when this happens that one is called upon to serve God and defend what you love. This is the love that I share with many other brothers and sisters in which together are doing projects that make our parish beautiful.

I belong to the Landscape Committee here at OLPH and we are members who love God, our Catholic religion. We want our community to enjoy and sit comfortably in the gardens and small plazas we have built around the church with the help of other groups. We are committed volunteers who do things out of love for our parish and community. We thank God for the support of our Pastoral Coordinator, Mrs. Laura López and our priests. I invite you to reflect and consider the possibility of joining us and above all, to realize that we are all members who belong to this great diocese. We need your support so the Body of Christ can be complete at our parish. I want you to feel the love of those who are already committed both in the spiritual and material resources. Understand that the parish is our home and as such we should take care of it. Jesus said, “All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you” (John 16:15). It is our duty to take care of our church and defend our faith. You can help the church by sharing your talents and skills to do great work in one of the many ministries. Find out which ministry is right for you and how you can best serve our parish. Let us all contribute our part for the greater good and glory for the Kingdom of God. Remember that our church is not the pastoral coordinator nor the priests. They may someday leave to serve God in another parish, and we must remain at the forefront of what is ours and to support the next priests. We must help our parish because if we do not, who will? Our mission is to encourage spiritual growth through programs offered by our diocese. Do not miss your opportunity to serve our Lord because ore you know about Him, the more you will love Jesus Christ. I know that it is a long process, and you will not get there overnight. I can promise you that the results are worthwhile and you will not regret learning about our faith. I thank God, our pastoral coordinator, the diocese, and my wife since we have traveled paths previously unknown within our faith. Thanks to God we have finished three years of theology studies and we are on a path to certification by the diocese; in order to further contribute our talents and knowledge within our community. May God and our Blessed Mother bless you today and always.

 

Your brother in Christ,

Gerardo Magaña

 

 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help


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