Fall is a challenging time of year for pastors. The gentle pace of summer is replaced by the energetic race into fall and eventually Christmas. The faithful return to their home parishes after summer vacations, school opens, religious education begins anew, parish groups resume their schedules, and dozens of activities crowd the calendar. It's a wonderful time to celebrate our faith, manifested in so many aspects of parish life.
It's also a wonderful time to reflect upon the many people who help us sustain successful parishes. At St. Bridget's Parish, we are blessed by the dedication and talent of the staff and volunteers at the parish and school. Their ministry helps us share the love of Christ with thousands of people every week through our sacramental, educational, charitable, and pastoral programs. A parish is especially made vibrant by the people who worship there, and we are blessed by so many people who have St. Bridget's as their spiritual home.
As we embark on a new season of parish life, it is fitting to thank the people whose financial support helps to sustain the work of the Church. In spite of a lagging economy, parishioners who continue to support the ongoing work of the parish through the offertory, Grand Annual Collections, or capital campaigns; those who make major gifts or include the parish in their estates; and those who help the parish by supporting the Catholic Appeal all have an important role in our ministries. The Catholic Appeal is to the archdiocese what the offertory collection is to the parish; it keeps things running.
The second reading for Sunday, Sept. 16 from the Letter of St. James is a beautiful tribute to the people who give their time, their talent, and their treasure to sustain the work of the parish and the archdiocese. Our volunteers and donors demonstrate faith and good works every day. Their service and dedication support the celebration of the liturgy, provide religious education to our young people, help to manage our parishes, and take the good work of the Church beyond parish boundaries. Join me today in a prayer of gratitude for them.
Msgr. Strahan is pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Framingham.