Blessing Prayer for Father’s Day
Blessed are You, Lord and Father of All Life, who has given to us the gift of the father of our family.
Today, we honor him, and we thank You for the numerous good things that are ours because of him.
His love for us has been a sign of Your divine affection and a sharing in Your holy love.
His continuous concern for our needs and welfare is a mirror of Your holy providence.
And so, as we honor him, we praise You, Father of All Peoples.
Bless him this day with Your strength and holy power that he may continue to be a sign of You, our God, and a priestly parent to our family.
May we who have the honor of bearing his family name do so with great pride.
May we, the members of his family, assist him in his holy duties as a parent with our respect, our obedience and our deep affection.
Bless him, Lord, with happiness and good health, with peace and with good fortune, so that he who has shared of his very life may live forever with You, his God and heavenly Father.
This blessing and all graces, we pray, descend upon the father of our family:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The Meaning of Stewardship
What does stewardship mean? Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines it as follows:
Stewardship: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
When we act in the role of steward it means that we have been entrusted with something that does not belong to us. For instance, if you loan your car to me, both you and I would expect that I would take very good care of your vehicle. You may permit me to use it. However, you would expect me to take care of it and return it in substantially the same condition it was when you loaned it to me. This is an example of stewardship.
How then does this concept of stewardship apply to us as Christians? First, and foremost, we are to understand that everything belongs to God! God is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. He created the universe, our world, all aspects of nature, including us. Life only happens when God decides that it is to happen. Simply stated, the doctrine of stewardship, as taught by Christ, means that our money, every penny, comes from God. Thus, a person’s duty is to return as much as possible during his lifetime. Yes, God has made us stewards of everything we possess! Not only our money, but our time, our breath, our very life, all that we have – has been given to us by God.
Life is a gift from God. All that we have in this life is part of that gift. Stewardship reinforces this belief and reminds us that our time, talents, and resources are the gifts through which we show our love and appreciation to God.
What does Stewardship mean to us then?
What should all of this mean to us? The following list of statements are all different, each explaining the meaning of stewardship in a unique manner. They are all, however, valid, since they contain the essential elements of service and faith.
1. Christian Stewardship is our commitment to the giving of our time, talent, and material possessions. These are a trust from God to be used in His name for the benefit of all mankind in grateful acknowledgement of Christ’s redeeming love.
2. Stewardship is being a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s Church. It is also learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church work.
3. Stewardship is the caring for the needs of one another.
4. Stewardship is offering of one’s self as Christ gave His life for us.
5. Stewardship is what a person does after saying “I Believe”, as proof of that belief.
6. Stewardship is being devoted and totally committed to serve God and His Church morally, spiritually, physically, and financially as an individual and collectively as a family unit.
Stewardship is more than giving money, it is giving time and skills and prayer and thought to the church. It is more than giving to the Church; it is giving to all the good causes that will help bring salvation to the world. It also includes the way we earn our money and the ways we spend it. Good stewardship means budgeting our time and energy and attention to evangelize the world; it means analyzing life’s priorities and counting costs; it means being aware that some day we shall have to give an account of ourselves before God. If that day were today, would we hear from God,
“Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of thy Lord”:
“Thou wicked and slothful servant… [be ye thrown] into outer darkness: [where] there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The choice is ours and ours alone!
May God’s name be glorified in us, and may His blessings be upon us!
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On Monday, June 5, 2017, our Parish School, All Saints Academy, will have its Eighth Grade Graduation ceremony. We have eleven students from St. Alphonsus who will be graduating. They are:
Congratulations to these St. Al’s students and their families. With All Saints Academy not being physically located on our St. Al’s campus, we can lose sight of the fact that we still have a Parish Catholic Elementary School. ASA is very much alive and has an excellent curriculum and dedicated staff. Many of the ASA families are involved here in the ministries of our parish and I am grateful for their participation in their home parish.
We must support all our families who have students in either Catholic or public schools. Parents have tremendous responsibilities in raising their children. I am so proud of and grateful for our Faith Formation Programs and our Catholic Schools which help parents in the faith development of their children.
Pray for all our young people, their parents, and their schools, public or Catholic. They are all members of St. Alphonsus Parish and we cherish them.
Congratulations to all our elementary, high school, and college graduates! God bless you with His deep peace and joy always!
Joyfully, Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.
Stewardship, our response to being Christ’s disciple, has four fundamental principles: gratitude for God’s gifts, nurturing our families, sharing our time and talent with our communion of faith, and returning to God the first fruits of our labor. Making a will and other estate planning documents encompasses all of these stewardship principles, and all adults should have these important documents in place.
Governor Snyder has proclaimed the month of May as LEAVE A LEGACY® MONTH in Michigan to encourage legacy gifts through bequests in our wills and trusts to the nonprofit organizations we support during our lifetimes. In making your will or trust, or reviewing other arrangements, such as life insurance and your IRA or other retirement plan, consider a bequest or beneficiary designation to St. Alphonsus. If you make your gift as an endowment, your support of Christ’s ministries here will continue for many generations. There may be tax deduction and income benefits to you and your family as well.
The proper language for your bequest or other beneficiary designation is:
To the parish: “To St. Alphonsus Parish, Grand Rapids”
To the parish foundation or endowment fund: “To St. Alphonsus Parish Foundation” or “To St. Alphonsus Education Endowment Fund”.
For further information on giving to St. Alphonsus through your will, trust or other arrangements, please call the parish office at 616-451-3043.
Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This weekend we are delighted to honor our high school graduates and All Saints Academy students during our annual Baccalaureate Mass.
Our parish High School graduates are:
Cyril Benson Samuel Needham
Cassie Boda Abby Rakus
Preston Clark Seth Ratan
Bennett Duckers Andrew Sacha
Marie Gribbin Emilio Tobar
Brodee Jason Alyssa Visockis
Jared Maddox Emma Wangler
The All Saints Academy students who are receiving $500 scholarship awards are:
Sister Roberta Award Stephanie Ball
Sister Olga Award Alex Ables
Sean Earl Award Alex Ables and Brennan McKinney
Congratulations to all these students and their families. We as a parish community are proud of your accomplishments and assure you of our continued prayers and support.
May God bless you in your future endeavors and continuing education.
Joyfully, Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.