Our Lady of the
Assumption Pa r i sh
C ommunications C ommittee Inside 2 Stewardship Hannah, the Good Steward
3 October: A Month to Turn to Our Lady of the Rosary
PERT Brings Parish Retirees Together to Share in Fellowship and Faith
6 Offering Our Love and Adoration to Jesus
7 The Ushers Ministry: Extending Hospitality and Helping to Build Community
5057 Cottage Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 481-5115 | olaparish.net
Building Valuable Connections for Parishioners and Ministries
hen Jenny Teeters found herself with some extra time on her hands, she volunteered to help with the parish bulletin. At the time, just one other volunteer was working on the bulletin. Soon, Jenny was allowed to attend a Communications Certification program through the diocese that covered videography, social media, and graphics. “It gave us a lot of ideas and inspiration for how to implement them in our Jenny Teeters and the Communications Committee meet over Zoom. church,” Jenny says. Jenny’s experience helping with the bulletin, combined with her role on the Pastoral Council, led her to help form the Communications Committee — a ministry that has representatives from the clergy, the school, and various parish ministries. The committee meets once a month and brings to the table any upcoming events in the parish and plans how to best communicate them to the parishioners. “We saw a need to firm up communication across ministries,” Jenny says. “Our mission is to serve the parish by amplifying the events that are happening.” Now, the bulletin is only the beginning. The committee relies on Flocknote, email, social media, the parish website, the school bulletin, and Mass announcements to get the messages out to our community. “We are blessed at OLA to have so many tools,” Jenny says. The Communications Committee officially began in the fall of 2019. Little did they know how useful their many platforms would be, just before the onset of COVID-19. The parish was able to livestream Mass and keep parishioners updated on the many changes to restrictions, protocols, and schedules. Jenny has seen many fruits come from the Communications Committee. The various ministries throughout the parish are more closely continued on back cover
S T E WA R D S H I P
Hannah, the Good Steward
hat should we do when our prayers are answered? Is there anything left to do after we have sincerely thanked God for His favors? If God were a human peer, we would probably try to reciprocate by granting Him a favor in return. But the truth is that God cannot be made greater by anything that we do for Him. Instead, God receives our thanks and tells us to “go and do likewise.” That is, He tells us to share with others the good that He has bestowed on us. And in doing so, we are really sharing God Himself. That is the definition of stewardship! The Old Testament Book of Samuel contains one of the most poignant examples of stewardship in the entire Bible. The first chapter teaches us of an unhappy, barren woman named Hannah. Desperate in her barrenness, Hannah prays that God will give her a son, vowing that she will raise him to be a man of God. Imagine Hannah’s elation when she was granted her prayer! When Samuel was born, her heart’s desire had come true! Imagine further the pang of motherly sorrow, as Hannah kept her promise to God by taking Samuel at a young age to be the servant of Eli, the high priest. The Book of Samuel tells us that once Samuel became Eli’s servant, Hannah saw her young son just once a year. Indeed, Hannah knew that Samuel was truly a gift from God – an answered prayer. Hannah’s response is that of the Good Steward – with an attitude of both gratitude and sacrifice, she gave up her son to honor God. One imagines that Hannah probably struggled with this sacrifice during those first years. She probably did not know what God had in store for her son. Yet, through her faithfulness, God used him as a gift to an entire nation. Samuel would, in time, become one of the greatest prophets of Jewish history. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the sacrifices we make in the name of stewardship, while the results may just be impossible to miss! However, He asks that we continue to be faithful in either case. God has undoubtedly bestowed gifts on all of us – at whatever the cost, we are to “go and do likewise.”
A Letter from Our Pastor
O C TO B ER:
A Month to Turn to Our Lady of the Rosary
ay by day, our heavenly Father provides spiritual food and graces to His beloved children, nourishing us on our earthly pilgrimage. October brings us the grace of the Holy Rosary, a prayer buried deeply in the heart of the Church, as one of its most precious treasures. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which takes place Oct. 7, is a commemorative feast established by St. Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto. The victory was attributed to the help of the Mother of God, whose aid was invoked by praying the Rosary. This victory revealed the power of the Holy Rosary more than ever. Catholics who were open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit took with deep resolve the Rosary as their link to God. Pope St. John Paul II, in his 2002 Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, writes: “The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary... the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation” (39). Thus, not merely through the Rosary, but more significantly, through the woman behind the Rosary — the glorious Mother of our Savior, Christ the Lord — a wellspring of God’s love has been discovered. Indeed, the Rosary is truly a way to discover Christ’s infinite love through the tender heart of His Mother. “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant
grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 1). A great number of saints, such as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who had a special concern for the preservation of the Christian family, sensed that its salvation would be through the Holy Rosary. And as Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “Today I willingly entrust to the power of this prayer... the cause of peace in the world and the cause of the family” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 39). Our Lady of Fatima, who pleaded with families to pray the daily Rosary, would agree with him! Let us entrust everything to the Rosary along with the saints. As our hearts burn with hope, let us give to the Mother of God every concern that we bear, each cross we carry, piece by piece, worry by worry. She will be there to offer everything to our Heavenly Father, Whose care for each one of His children reaches beyond anything we could ever imagine. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Eduino Silveira Pastor
P E R TBrings Parish Retirees
ince the 1960s, the PERT Ministry — which stands for “People Enjoying Retirement Together” — has brought the older members of our parish together in fellowship. Through regular meetings, outings, and events, ministry members have the opportunity to build a welcoming community that fosters lasting friendships. “When my husband, Carl, and I joined PERT five years ago, we had just moved to the area,” says ministry member Kathi Sikora. “We had retired and knew very few people, and it was a great opportunity to get to know parishioners better, learn about what was going on at the parish, and find things to do in the area. We’ve gotten to know people and have enjoyed it. “One of the pillars of stewardship is hospitality, and this group focuses on that,” she adds. “Although some people are longtime friends who come to the group together, for many it’s an opportunity to get to know others. We recognize birthdays and anniversaries, and we pray for each other. It’s nice to be among other Catholics, so as you’re chatting you know you already have that in common, and you always seem to find more common interests. It’s a great community builder for the parish, and you feel like you belong.” Due to COVID-19, many of their regular activities were halted. However, in normal times, the ministry usually holds a short business meeting each month, followed by a potluck lunch, and Bingo or board games. PERT also holds annu-
al events such as a Christmas banquet, a Thanksgiving banquet, a luau in June, and a Fourth of July celebration. Scheduled outings and local trips have also been an important part of PERT, allowing the members to get away and enjoy themselves. Most recently, the ministry organized a trip to Apple Hill in Placerville, Calif., and on another occasion, they organized a trip to ride a historic electric train followed by lunch. During the pandemic, the ministry was not able to meet virtually, but they were able to have an in-person meeting this past summer with its vaccinated members. “Because our membership is quite elderly, we needed to meet in a controlled environment, and we also needed to meet without masks, because hearing is an is-
sue for many of us,” says member Mary Ellen Hoffman. “Everyone brought their vaccine cards as well as their own lunches, and it was so nice to get back together since so many of us had been so confined and aching to see other people,” Kathi says. “We had a good turnout, and it was great to offer people a safe place to gather again. We hope to do it again at some point and look forward to seeing everyone again as soon as possible, even though we don’t know when that is going to be.” PERT is also a great jumping-off point for those who want to get further involved in the parish — its members are generally very active in a variety of parish ministries. “We can share what the other ministries are doing, and which ministries are looking for help,” Mary Ellen says. “We
Together to Share in Fellowship and Faith also had ministry initiatives each year, such as providing a meal for one of the soup suppers before Stations of the Cross during Lent, as well as collecting canned goods and cereal for the St. Vincent de Paul food locker.” The ministry also provides a spiritual support system, which Kathi experienced firsthand when her husband was diagnosed with cancer last year. “Everyone has been praying for him, and there’s been a lot of support,” she says. “The ministry also helps to keep everyone informed if someone is ill or has passed away, that way if we don’t see them at Mass we know what’s going on and to pray for them. “We also want to mention our beloved former long-term leader, George Perez,” she adds. “We just lost him last year, and he was a member for around 30 years. Even though things are changing, we want to honor him by carrying on.” Going forward, PERT hopes to incorporate member feedback to continue planning activities and outings, once it is safe to do so again. All parish retirees are invited to participate in the ministry. “In so many Catholic parishes, we go to Mass, and we don’t know who the other people are around us,” Kathi says. “This is a great way to get to know the people next to us! We welcome everybody — we have some non-Catholic spouses, and you can invite a guest, so people from other parishes can come. We’re a very hospitable group!”
“One of the pillars of stewardship is hospitality, and this group really focuses on that. Although some people are longtime friends who come to the group together, for many it’s an opportunity to get to know others. We recognize birthdays and anniversaries, and we pray for each other. It’s nice to be among other Catholics, so as you’re chatting you know you already have that in common, and you always seem to find more common interests. It’s a great community builder for the parish, and you feel like you belong.” — Kathi Sikora
If you would like more information about PERT, please contact the parish off ice at 916-481-5115 or send an email to PERT@olaparish.net. 5
Offering Our Love and Adoration to Jesus
ucharistic Adoration is the adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. Churches that have this adoration display the Eucharist in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus. Christ’s great love for us was shown when He was crucified on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and give us eternal life. He loves us without limit and offers Himself to us in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Can we not give Jesus a few minutes of love and adoration in return?
What is the importance of Eucharistic Adoration? Eucharistic Adoration is the respect and worship we give to Jesus, who is truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is a priceless treasure; by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass, we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. What are the fruits of Eucharistic Adoration? People who observe Eucharistic Adoration experience a deeper devotion to Jesus, and this manifests itself in countless ways. The primary fruits are repentance and conversion, which lead to increased charity — that is, the love of Christ alive in His people. The adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist also leads to greater reverence at Mass, a deeper desire for personal holiness, and a stronger sense of union with the parish and the whole Church. Ever since the early centuries of Christianity, the Church has linked Eucharistic Devotion to service to the poor. The practice has, more recently, led to an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.
Host is reserved, we should genuflect. We should observe the modest dress and decorum that are appropriate to very solemn occasions. We should avoid any actions that might disturb or distract others, or otherwise draw attention to ourselves rather than Jesus. How should we pray during Eucharistic Adoration? There are many ways to pray. We may meditate in silence by gazing on the Sacred Host. We may silently speak to Jesus from our mind and heart. We may also rely on devotions and prayers from Catholic tradition, such as the reading of Scripture, recitation of the Rosary, or the litanies. When two or more are gathered before the Sacrament, they may pray or sing hymns together.
What is the best way to promote Eucharistic Adoration? The best way to promote Eucharistic Adoration is by doing it! Make frequent visits to Jesus at the tabernacle. Invite your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and co-workers to join you. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of What is proper etiquette during Eucharistic Adoration? the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. When we are not taking part in vocal prayers and ‘To visit the Blessed Sacrament is … a proof of gratitude, an hymns with other adorers, we should be praying silently. expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ Whenever we pass before the place where the Sacred our Lord’” (1418).
Extending Hospitality and Helping to Build Community
hen Don Thamer and his wife attended the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass eight or nine years ago, a gentleman tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he would help with the collections. Don agreed, and when he saw that there was often a need for help, he continued to offer to help. Soon, Don was a regular usher at the 11 a.m. Mass — eventually becoming the lead usher at that Mass. “All the ushers got together and one of them said, ‘Let’s let Don do it,’” he recalls. Today, Don serves as the coordinator of the Ushers Ministry. Looking back, he can see how volunteering as an usher has led him to become involved in ministries all over the parish. “I almost feel like I work there full-time!” Don says. As an usher, Don met and connected with many parishioners. He became involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, regularly attended Eucharistic Adoration, and joined the Knights of Columbus. As an usher, Don can make parishioners and visitors feel welcome at Mass. “We should take pride in our parish,” Don says. One of the ushers’ main roles is to take up the collection during Mass then bring it to the altar. After Mass, two of the ushers put the collection in a bag, take it to the rectory, and put it in the safe. Don and the members of the Ushers Ministry are regrouping after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He aims to improve communication between the ushers, coordinate a schedule, and recruit more ushers. It takes nine ushers to take up the collection at each Mass, but until recently there were only three or four regular ushers at a Mass. Don would go around before Mass and ask parishioners to help on that day. When Youth Minister Johann Rubia-Miller was at Mass, Don
(From left) Don Thamer and Michael Langer
often asked her to gather some of the youth to help with the collection. “It’s never been permanent,” Don says. “When things get settled, the idea is for the ushers to greet the people as they walk in the door, make them feel comfortable, and let them know that we’re glad to see them.” Ushers become familiar faces at Mass and get to know the faces of our parishioners, especially if they serve as ushers regularly. “This is a community of friendship,” Don says. “Don’t feel like you’re an outsider — feel like you’re part of the community, part of the parish family.” When Don taps someone on the shoulder before Mass, he always receives welcome help — and sometimes that person, like Don almost a decade ago, begins serving as a regular volunteer. Don welcomes all help, from men and women, young and old. “Your parish appreciates you,” Don says. “You are wanted and needed.”
If you are interested in serving as an usher, or currently usher at any of the Masses, please contact Don Thamer at 916-549-7195 or email@example.com. 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.
C ommunications C ommittee connected and volunteers and members know where to go to gather or share news. With word being spread so effectively, parish ministries have found themselves with more volunteers and more parishioners attending events. “There’s a sense of camaraderie,” Jenny says. “There’s a lot more awareness about what everyone is doing.” The committee has sought out representatives from various ministries and volunteers with specific skills, such as photography. When the committee meets, they gather upcoming events and announcements, determine if materials like reports or worship aids need to be created, assign tasks, and then report to the Pastoral Council.
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The parish website is a great place to start to connect more closely with the parish. Parishioners and members of different ministries can submit information directly through a form on the parish website. This information will go to the Communications Committee, which will in turn make sure that the information becomes accessible and is shared across the parish. Being part of the Communications Committee has given Jenny a new perspective on service while providing her with an opportunity to discover exactly where her talents for organization and relationship building best fit. “I feel more involved,” Jenny says. “I love to serve our community.”
To stay up-to-date on parish news, be sure to sign up for Flocknote on the parish website. To submit events or news to the Communications Committee, please fill out the form on the website at olaparish.net/communications-committee.