Our Lady of the
Assumption Pa r i sh
Inside 2 Stewardship’s
“Supreme Teacher” Following Christ’s Example
3 Much Will Be Required of the Person Entrusted With Much
4 Tracy Urban Returns to
Serve as Faith Formation Coordinator Nurturing Our Children’s Relationship With God
6 The Faith Journey of St. Genesius
7 OLA Women’s Book Club Builds Community and Friendships
Embracing the Graces of Daily Mass and the Eucharist “Strength to Live the Christian Life”
s Catholics, we recognize that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith. This is reflected in St. John Paul II’s perspective that the Eucharist “gives strength and meaning to all of my activities of service to the Church and to the whole world.” We celebrate Mass on Sundays and we are blessed with the opportunity to be able to celebrate the Eucharist every day at daily Mass. “We believe that the Eucharist is the center of our lives,” Fr. Eduino says. “So by coming to daily Mass, we are regularly connecting to Christ. In order to live our faith in Christ, we need to be grounded in Him.” As St. John Paul II also noted, “From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share that life with others,” meaning that we receive our mission from Christ, as Fr. Eduino explains. Suzy Doud praying after daily Mass “The mission is to give Christ to others, but we cannot give what we do not have,” Fr. Eduino says. “We must receive Him so we can give Him to others. That is why it is so important. We need to make Him the Lord of our lives.” Daily Mass is offered at Our Lady of the Assumption at 8 a.m. on weekdays. It is also offered at 8 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for Eucharistic Adoration as well. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only start your day with the Eucharist but to spend a little extra time with our Lord.
5057 Cottage Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 481-5115 | olaparish.net
continued on page 5
Stewardship’s “Supreme Teacher” Following Christ’s Example
ormer President and Five-Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.” President Eisenhower’s words are both blunt and humorous, but he makes a great point. Almost any successful endeavor in life requires the benefit of strong leadership. And a truly effective leader does not lead by simply telling others what to do, but by providing a strong example of how to carry oneself on a daily basis. This is no different for us in our lives as Catholic Christians. As individuals who face numerous difficult choices every day, we require a leader who, through word and example, can show us the path to living according to God’s will. For us, Jesus is the supreme teacher of every aspect of Christian life, and His life as documented in the Gospels is a model that we should strive to imitate in living as good Christians. And as we have learned, stewardship — the sharing of the gifts that God has given to us — is a big part of Christian life, and one for which Jesus left many examples of successful living. Jesus’ nature of selfless service, documented many times throughout the New Testament and culminating with His death for our sins, is an underlying aspect of living the stewardship way of life. As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops points out in its pastoral document Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, “In
Jesus’ teaching and life self-emptying is fundamental. Now, it might seem that self-emptying has little to do with stewardship, but in Jesus’ case that is not so. His self-emptying is not sterile self-denial for its own sake; rather, in setting aside self, he is filled with the Father’s will, and he is fulfilled in just this way” (19). Jesus points out to Peter in Mark’s Gospel that this “self-emptying” requires sacrifice, but ultimately leads to “eternal life in the age to come” (Mk 10:30). But the Christian steward’s ultimate reward is not his or her only benefit from living the stewardship way of life. By sharing of our time, talent, and treasure, and living in imitation of Christ, we can relate more closely to Him in sharing, in a small way, in His sacrifice. “To be a Christian disciple is a rewarding way of life, a way of companionship with Jesus, and the practice of stewardship as a part of it is itself a source of deep joy. Those who live this way are happy people who have found the meaning and purpose of living” (Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, 21). The next time you are frustrated or unsure of how to best respond to God’s gifts in stewardship, take a moment to open up the Bible. Jesus may not “hit us over the head” in His leadership, but He does provide numerous examples through His actions and teachings of how to live as one of His disciples.
Christ’s life as documented in the Gospels is a model that we should strive to imitate in living as good Christians. And as we have learned, stewardship — the sharing of the gifts that God has given to us — is a big part of Christian life, and one for which Jesus left many examples of successful living.
A Letter From Our Pastor
Much Will Be Required of the Person Entrusted With Much
o matter your situation in life, chances are there is someone out there who has more than you. Too often we may hesitate to follow stewardship as a way of life because we are waiting for someone more blessed than we are to show us the way. You may be aware that the Scripture readings we hear at each Mass are part of a three-year cycle. In general, the Gospel passages in Cycle A are from Matthew: Cycle B is principally Mark; and Cycle C, the year we are now in, is primarily from Luke. John is mixed in and especially used during Lent. We are in what might be called a “Luke year.” As we hear the Gospels from Luke, we need to be acutely aware of the stewardship messages found there. In one recent Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus uses a parable to remind us of an important stewardship lesson. He precedes the parable by reminding us all, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Luke 12:15). You and I both know that God does not judge us based upon what we may have accumulated during our lifetimes, but based upon how we lived those lives, and especially how we used those gifts — those possessions. The parable focuses on a “rich man” who builds larger grain bins to store his abundant harvests. God
Gospel reading on Aug. 21 — “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last” (Luke 13:30). That admonition from the Lord has always seemed a bit confusing. It more or less says that to be first, we need to be last, and if we are first, we may be last. I think perhaps all of these messages, including the first and last one, are cautions to us that calls the man a fool and reminds we cannot be complacent and we him that growing rich for himself cannot take salvation and holiness is not as important as growing rich for granted. We need to work on in the sight of God. The very next them. We are not measured by our week (the 19th Sunday in Ordinary possessions; God indeed does expect Time), Luke again tells us how Jesus a lot of us, no matter how small or warns and cautions His disciples — extensive our gifts may be. Regard“For where your treasure is, there also less of how holy we may strive to be, will your heart be” (Luke 12:34). The it is God who will judge; it is by His Lord warns them that they do not grace that we will be saved. know what day or what hour He Amid all these magnificent will return and summarizes it all stewardship messages, we celebrate with another important insight into the Assumption of our Blessed what is expected of us — “Much will Mother on Aug. 15 — “My soul be required of the person entrusted proclaims the greatness of the Lord; with much, and still more will be my spirit rejoices in God my Savior demanded of the person entrusted for he has looked with favor on his with more” (Luke 12:48). lowly servant” (Luke 1:46-48). God You see, we are not “off the hook” bless you all! if someone else has more gifts but fails to use them well. Stewardship Sincerely yours in Christ, demands that each of us use our gifts, and each of us is gifted whether we want to admit it or not, to serve God and others. Luke’s implied steward- Father Eduino Silveira ship messages come full circle in the Pastor
Tracy Urban Returns to Serve as F O
Nurturing Our Children’
ur Lady of the Assump“It is easy to say that I simtion is excited to welply enjoy the children,” Tracy come a familiar face back to says. “Kids are so open to the our parish staff ! Tracy Urban faith. They are honest and earpreviously served as a catechist, nest, and it is beautiful to see from 1988-2006, and in the the faith through their eyes. I last few years has assisted with get to work with a great group our Children’s Liturgy of the of parents who are desiring to Word program. This summer, bring their children up in the she re-joined the parish staff faith. Their openness allows as the Faith Formation Coorme to support them as they dinator and is excited about nurture their children’s relathe future of the program. tionship with God.” “I actually first served in The future of the Faith ministry at OLA during Fr. Formation Program as OLA Eduino’s first assignment here,” has been formed through Tracy says. “During that time discussions between parish I was the parish youth minisleadership, Tracy, catechists, ter and served in many capacand parents. After incredible ities in faith formation. I have feedback, we are excited to always had a passion for workmove forward with a format ing with children of all ages that we hope will promote a and it’s especially nice to do in greater sense of community This summer, Tracy Urban re-joined the parish staff as the a parish setting.” and deepen relationships. Faith Formation Coordinator and is excited about the future of the program. In the role of Faith Forma“We are excited to be using tion Coordinator, Tracy will Bannon Hall for our Suncollaborate with parish leadership, learning about the richness of our day formation time for kindergarten catechists, parents, and volunteers to Catholic traditions. She will also lead through sixth grade,” Tracy says. “Our help the children develop and deepen the Confirmation program for our children will no longer be in a classtheir relationship with Jesus while seventh and eighth-grade students. room setting. Rather, they will come
“Kids are so open to the faith. They are honest and earnest, and it is beautiful to see the faith through their eyes. I get to work with a great group of parents who are desiring to bring their children up in the faith. Their openness allows me to support them as they nurture their children’s relationship with God.” — Tracy Urban 4
Faith Formation Coordinator
n’s Relationship With God together for prayer, reflections on the Gospel, a weekly theme or saint, and then break out to their age-appropriate groups within the hall for further discussions, lessons, or activities. We hope to incorporate the talents and faith experiences of our parish community to enrich the program and help the children see faith in action.”
It is the hope for both Fr. Eduino and Tracy that this change is exciting for our community. In a way, our younger parishioners will have the opportunity to be formed by more of our adults through the talents they might be able to share. Our older parishioners might feel more energized by the chance to tell a story, sing, or teach the future of our faith.
“I will also ask for prayers for our children and their families as we embark upon this new year of faith formation,” Tracy says, “I hope we have parishioners that want to share their faith by facilitating a group on Sundays as a catechist or in offering their gifts, talents, or stories one or more times through the year.
If you are interested in supporting our Faith Formation Program as a volunteer, please contact Tracy Urban at email@example.com.
Embracing the Graces of Daily Mass and the Eucharist continued from front cover
Parishioner Suzy Doud attended daily Mass periodically for a few years. Nearly three years ago, she started working at Extension, the before and after school program at OLA School. In the mornings, she finishes around 7:45 a.m., which is perfect timing to walk over to the church for Mass. For Suzy, attending daily Mass gives her strength and is the source of her relationship with Christ. “I have found that it is a wonderful way to start the day,” she says. “It is very centering and you really feel the graces each day. I can always tell a difference on the days I am not able to attend. You get dependent on the graces that you receive to go about your daily tasks.” Daily Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption is very well attended which is a beautiful showing of the strength of the faith of our community. “Many of our members make it a priority to start their day with Mass,” Fr. Eduino says. “Our people are very faithful.”
All parishioners are encouraged to attend daily Mass whenever they are able, even if they are attending occasionally or making the commitment to attend once a week. There is so much to be gained from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. It strengthens your relationship with Christ and pours His grace out on those who receive Him!
“I have found that it is a wonderful way to start the day. It is very centering and you really feel the graces each day. I can always tell a difference on the days I am not able to attend. You get dependent on the graces that you receive to go about your daily tasks.” — Suzy Doud 5
The Faith Journey of
eing a performer and a comedian may sound like a fun way to make a living. St. Genesius, an outstanding actor, playwright and comedian in late Imperial Rome, certainly did have some fun for a while. But his career and life came to an abrupt end when his work ultimately led him to Christ. Genesius was a comedian of some renown, but in the fourth century, Christians were often discouraged from becoming actors because ancient Roman comedy was highly sexual, crude and offensive. In the year 303, Emperor Diocletian launched what would be the last great Roman persecution against the Christian Church. So, Genesius used the persecution as an opportunity to write a comedy about Christianity. He thought it might attract the attention of the Emperor, increase his fame, and make him some money in the process. Genesius approached leaders of the Christian community in Rome and presented himself as a catechumen seeking Baptism. He was then invited into a period of instruction in the faith, in order to learn the beliefs of the Christians. He was particularly taken by the idea of Baptism. But at the time, he had no plans to convert to the faith — it was all just a part of his plan to research new material to use for his comedy. But a strange thing happened to Genesius as he began to work on his play, which was to be a comedy on Baptism. As Genesius began teaching the other actors about Baptism, he began to believe, and a desire to be baptized grew within his heart.
The opening night of the play was a great success, with Emperor Diocletian in attendance. But at some point during the play, the Holy Spirit touched Genesius. He was no longer acting. “You fools, I wish to die a Christian,” Genesius said. When the other actors asked him why, he said, “All my life I have been a fugitive, and only today have I found God.” Everyone, especially Emperor Diocletian, laughed as Genesius spoke. Genesius, standing in a pulpit designed to look like the goddess Venus, began to preach to the audience. He told the crowd how he once hated Christians and enjoyed insulting them. He told the crowd how he deserted his own family as a child because they were Christians. From there, Genesius addressed Diocletian, stating that he wrote the play to mock Christians, but had been converted on the spot during the course of the play, by the power of the Holy Spirit. “I now know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true God, the Light, the Truth and the Mercy of all who have received His gift of Baptism,” Genesius said. “O great Emperor, believe in these mysteries! I will teach you, and you will know the Lord Jesus Christ is the true God.” Diocletian was furious and stopped the play, having the troupe arrested and beaten, while Genesius was condemned to torture. Through all of his sufferings, he continued to confess that Jesus was God. When this failed to break his spirit, Diocletian ordered Genesius be beheaded. His final words were, “Our Lord Jesus Christ is God and we shall have life in His name.” St. Genesius is the patron of comedians and actors. His feast day is Aug. 25.
Women’s Book Club
Builds Community and Friendships
ven the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop our OLA Women’s Book Club from meeting. The members gathered, rain or shine, masked and socially distanced, on Mary Anne Campos’ front lawn to share their thoughts on the current book, and most importantly, to share fellowship. Now, the club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month in Room 3 of Affinito Hall. The OLA Women’s Book Club began in 2016 when Mary Anne retired and wanted to become more active in our parish. She had always wanted to start a book club close to home, so with Father’s permission, she placed an announcement in the bulletin. “Twenty women responded, and we held our first meeting in November 2016, ” Mary Anne says. “It has been a great way to stay in touch during the pandemic, and we were grateful to be able to continue meeting.” Currently, there are between 20 to 25 members on the roster, with attendance varying between 10 to 12 members. The members range in age from 50 to 90 years young. Earlier this summer the club was reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. Earlier this summer, the Women’s Book Club read A Spool of “We democratically choose the books by voting on Blue Thread, written by Anne Tyler. titles nominated by the members,” Mary Anne says. “We rate each book on a scale from one to ten, and the facilichoose six books at a time.” The books range across a variety of genres that encour- tator leads the discussion that includes background inforage discussion. The topics are not limited to religious or mation that she has researched, including facts about the spiritual themes. Examples of books read are, Red Notice: author and guided questions to begin the discussion. “We try to relate the books to what’s happening today,” A True Story of High Finance by Bill Browder, The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa, and Let Us Dream Mary Anne says. “The discussion is lively, very open, and by Pope Francis. The meeting is led by a facilitator. The members feel free to express their feelings. The meetings arrangement is if you nominated the book, you usually initially were held in the evening, but since most of the volunteer to be the facilitator. Each meeting opens with a members are retired, the meetings were rescheduled for prayer, followed by a discussion on the book. The members mornings.” continued on back cover
“The book club is an example of community building beyond the church walls, and building community strengthens our faith.” — Mary Anne Campos 7
5057 Cottage Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 481-5115 | olaparish.net MASS TIMES: 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass Monday-Friday and first Saturday Saturday 5:00 p.m. Vigil Mass Sunday Mass 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. *See website for diocesan and county guidelines.
OLA Women’s Book Club
continued from page 7
During the pandemic, some of the older members stepped back. The group tried having their meetings via Zoom, but this proved unsatisfactory. “We all agreed that being able to meet on my front lawn helped us to get through COVID,” Mary Anne says. Her goal of becoming more active in the parish has allowed Women’s Book Club members to build community and strong friendships. Mary Anne recalls one member, when she first signed up, telling her, “I’ve been in the parish for 20 years, and you’re the first person to know my name.” “The book club is an example of community building beyond the church walls, and building community strengthens our faith,” Mary Anne says. The Women’s Book Club Christmas gathering The club’s activities aren’t limited to discussion meetings. The group enjoys a Christmas Book Party, where members exchange their favorite books. Birthdays are celebrated during Taco Tuesdays at Rey Azteca Cantina.
New members are always welcome to join the Women’s Book Club. Any woman interested may email Mary Anne Campos at firstname.lastname@example.org.