Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church Newsletter — September 2022

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september 2022

Our Lady of the

Assumption Pa r i sh

Community Welcomes

Elisabeth Gustorf

as Parish and School Advancement Director Inside 2 Stewardship and

Evangelization: Using Our Time and Talents to Spread the Good News

3 This Month, We Honor Our Blessed Mother on Her Birthday

4 Upcoming Parish Retreat

Invites Parishioners to Make Time to Listen to God’s Call Join Us on Sept. 24 as Fr. Gary Kastl Leads Us in “Be Not Afraid”

6 Celebrating the Feast of the Archangels

7 Facilities and Safety

Committee: Ensuring a Safe Environment for All

5057 Cottage Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 481-5115 | olaparish.net


Working to Ensure a Strong Future for OLA

lisabeth Gustorf, our new parish and school Advancement Director, is a familiar face around OLA. She has been involved with the Fulfilling the Promise Capital Campaign to build Affinito Hall and the OLA Preschool. As the main work of the Campaign wound down, Fr. Eduino Silveira and Principal Robert Love asked her if she would stay and serve in the role of Advancement Director for the parish and school. The Campaign still requires administrative support, and with future plans for another campaign to complete the Elisabeth Gustorf and family work on our campus along with the fundraising needs of the school, this position is much needed. With Elisabeth’s extensive background in fundraising, it’s the perfect fit. She will also take on some of the responsibilities from Lynn Sweeney, who recently retired. Elisabeth’s main tasks will be fundraising, including reinstating the annual fund campaign, supporting the Parent Teacher Group, which she calls a “fundraising powerhouse”, and marketing and school admissions/enrollment. She has plans to build an alumni program and a planned giving program at the parish and school and would like to help further strengthen the connection between the parish and the school. “The parishioners and parents are phenomenal, and I look forward to working more closely with them,” she says. Elisabeth and her husband, Kevin, have four children, one who has recently graduated from OLA and three who are currently attending the school. She has been involved in many ways over the years as chair of various fundraisers, committees, and as PTG President. “I’ve been so involved at OLA over the years, this felt like a natural step,” she says. “I love this school and community. It is close to my heart.” continued on back cover

Stewardship and Evangelization:


Using Our Time and Talents to Spread the Good News

esus came to save the world and to draw all men to Him. When we think of the salvific work of Christ, many of us think of His life, death, resurrection, and His ascension into glory. And while those salvific events are of primary importance in salvation history, it doesn’t end there. Christ wants everyone to know the salvation He has won for them. He wants every soul to experience heavenly glory. Therefore, after having conquered death through His cross and resurrection, Christ commissioned His disciples to carry the Gospel to the world. They were charged to “preach the Gospel to all nations,” winning, through their words and examples, souls for the kingdom! What a task! The disciples were overwhelmed at the thought of carrying the Gospel to all nations after Christ had returned to heaven. But the Lord assured them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). When the Holy Spirit descended upon them on the feast of Pentecost, all those in the crowd were amazed. They all spoke in different tongues, preaching the same message, and everyone there could understand! And so it was that the Church was established through the power of the Spirit and for the purpose of evangelization.

Each of us has been baptized in that Spirit, and through that, made a member of the Church. It is, thus, up to each and every one of us to actively participate in the Church’s mission — proclaiming the Good News to all the world and building up the Kingdom of God! Each of us must re-evaluate how we are using the gifts God has given us to build up His Kingdom. Do we preach the Good News in all that we do and say? The same Spirit that descended upon the apostles that first Pentecost remains with us now, giving us the strength and courage to labor in the vineyard of the world. Christ came to save the world, and He established the Church as the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Christif ideles Laici, 2), by which many people throughout the world would know the glory of His truth. St. Paul describes the Church as one body with many parts. And just as each part of the body has a particular function, so each member of the Church has a particular calling, but united as one body in the Spirit, all of the members are to carry out the Church’s one mission. How is God calling you to carry out this mission? What particular gifts has He given you with which you ought to build the Kingdom?

Each of us must re-evaluate how we are using the gifts God has given us to build up His Kingdom. Do we preach the Good News in all that we do and say? The same Spirit that descended upon the apostles that first Pentecost remains with us now, giving us the strength and courage to labor in the vineyard of the world.


A Letter from Our Pastor

This Month, We Honor Our Blessed Mother on Her Birthday

Dear Parishioners,


irthdays are always special occasions we all enjoy celebrating. We send cards, give gifts, gather with family and loved ones, sing “Happy Birthday,” and enjoy the traditional birthday cake. We make a big deal about birthdays because they remind us how special, precious and wonderful is the gift of life given to us by God. On the Church’s calendar, we celebrate three important birthdays. On Dec. 25, we celebrate the Birthday of Jesus; on June 24, we celebrate the Birthday of St. John the Baptist; and on Sept. 8, we celebrate the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why do we celebrate Mary’s birthday on Sept. 8? The answer lies in another very important feast day of Our Lady, and that is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8. The Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the Church, which states that Mary was preserved free from all stain of Original Sin from the very first moment of her conception (this grace also preserved

and have it as a family dessert one night this month — and even light a candle on the cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Mary. Have your children or grandchildren make a birthday card for Mary — bring it to church and place it at the foot of Mary’s statue to show your love for the Mother of God. Decide to do a good deed or act of kindness and make that your special gift to Mary for her birthday. If you really want to make our Blessed Mother happy, gather for some family prayer time and pray a family Mary from all sin throughout her life). Rosary as your gift to Mary. This was a special gift from God and These are just some of the many a wonderful privilege bestowed upon ways we can honor our Blessed the Blessed Mother as she would Mother and celebrate her birthday become the pure, holy vessel to carry in this month. Happy birthday, Blessed her womb Christ, the Son of God. So, Mother Mary — we love you! since we celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, we celebrate her Sincerely yours in Christ, birthday exactly nine months later on Sept. 8! There are even some unique ways to celebrate Mary’s birthday. You can Father Eduino Silveira make a special birthday cake for Mary Pastor


Upcoming Parish Retreat Invites Parishioners to


Join Us on Sept. 24 as Fr. Gary K

his month, our parishioners will have a unique opportunity to attend a spiritual retreat right here at Our Lady of the Assumption! On Saturday, Sept. 24, Fr. Eduino invites all of us to experience a spiritual renewal as we gather for a day of prayer, inspiring talks, and reflection. With the theme “Be Not Afraid,” this energizing retreat will encourage us to step out and live as disciples of Christ each and every day! Our Lady of the Assumption is blessed to have Fr. Gary Kastl, Rector of Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa, Okla., joining us as director of the retreat. Fr. Kastl hopes that all parishioners will consider attending this half-day event. “A life of holiness and virtue happens when we make the time for God to enter in,” he says. “St. Augustine had the great line — ‘God created us without us, but he will not save us without us.’ We have to participate in the relationship if we are to Fr. Gary Kastl benefit from the graces, the forgiveness, and the peace that God desires to bring God is Love — God desires to be intiinto our lives.” The retreat day will be structured mately involved in the lives of His sons around four talks. Following each talk, and daughters. there will be time for prayerful reflection and small-group discussion. The topics of God Calls and Equips His Disciples — God calls us to follow His Son. the four talks are: continued on page 5

“Don’t be afraid of what God will ask you to do as you grow in your discipleship. Retreats are intentional times to stop the busyness of life and to be quiet and assess how deeply we are in relationship with God.” — Fr. Gary Kastl



Make Time to Listen to God’s Call

Kastl Leads Us to “Be Not Afraid”

To Be a Christian Steward — steward- the Tulsa chapter of Legatus, and a memship is the response of a disciple who has a ber of the advisory board for Saint Meinrad meaningful encounter with Jesus. School of Theology. Fr. Kastl’s many service activities cerStewards of the Church — seeing all that tainly keep him busy, but they never keep we have as gifts from God and realizing him from taking the time to nurture his that our response as stewards is not only own faith life. He hopes that the parishiofor our benefit but also for the benefit of ners of Our Lady of the Assumption will the Church. decide to make time to grow their relationship with Christ by coming to our “Be Not With the theme “Be Not Afraid,” the Afraid” retreat on Sept. 24. retreat will encourage the faithful to open their “Busyness does not equal holiness,” Fr. hearts to God’s plans for them. Kastl says. “If we desire a healthy spiritual “Don’t be afraid of what God will ask you life, we have to make time for it. It has to to do as you grow in your discipleship,” Fr. Kastl be a non-negotiable in our lives.” says. “Retreats are intentional times to stop the With years of experience in leading busyness of life and to be quiet and assess how retreats, Fr. Kastl knows that he will bendeeply we are in relationship with God. efit from this day of prayer and reflec“One of the main things that keep peo- tion just as much as the attendees, and he ple from being disciples and stewards is that encourages all Our Lady of the Assumpthey don’t take the time to go deeper into the tion parishioners to participate in this spemystery of God and how He desires to work cial journey to discipleship with him. in and through our lives,” he adds. “We have “I think when you give a retreat, you’re also not allowed our hearts to be captured by a preaching to yourself, so I experience a perlove of God.” sonal renewal, too,” he says. “I’m also inspired In addition to his current assignment as by the faith and fidelity of those on the Rector at Holy Family Cathedral, Fr. Kastl retreats, and it’s always neat to see how the also serves as the Vicar General for the Dio- Holy Spirit shows up in that space. I’m just cese of Tulsa. He is also a member of the a fellow disciple on the journey who, in my Board of Directors for St. Francis Health- own lived experience, has found stewardship care System, a leadership consultant for to be a fulfilling expression of how to live that Catholic Leadership Institute, Chaplain for discipleship in the ordinariness of life.”

You are invited to attend our parish retreat on Sept. 24. For more information or to RSVP, please visit our website, olaparish.net or call the Parish Office at (916) 481-5115. 5


Celebrating the Feast of the Archangels

very Sept. 29, the Church celebrates the feast day of the Archangels — St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. We are blessed to be inspired by these “servants and messengers of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 329). The term “archangels” has its Scriptural basis in the New Testament (1 Thes 4:16, Jude 1:9), indicating a chief or leading angel. “Archangel” generally refers to St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, as they are the three angels most frequently mentioned throughout Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The fact that these three angels are mentioned by name on multiple occasions indicates the significance of their roles in the history of salvation. It is because of these important roles that we take pause to celebrate on Sept. 29. St. Michael is mentioned by name on several occasions in Sacred Scripture (Dn 10:13, Rev 12:7), and his role in the Tradition of the Church has been extensively documented. He has been widely referred to as


the “great prince,” and is most often associated with the apocalypse — the final battle against Satan. Christian Tradition gives St. Michael four different roles, but he has primarily been regarded as the patron and protector of the Church. St. Gabriel is mentioned by name in Scripture (Lk 1:19), and Tradition has also assigned him implicit roles within Scripture where he is not specifically mentioned. Most important, however, is St. Gabriel’s role as the messenger of God, delivering to Mary the announcement of the birth of Our Savior (Lk 1:26). St. Raphael is mentioned by name only in the Book of Tobit, where he is responsible for healing Tobias. Raphael means “God has healed” and thus, he has also often been associated with the “angel of the Lord” ( Jn 5:4). The feast day on Sept. 29 gives each of us the opportunity to consider our own role in the Church, as we gratefully commemorate the Archangels responsible for carrying out their roles of defender, messenger and healer.

Facilities and Safety Committee:


Ensuring a Safe Environment for All

eeling safe is important for parishioners when attending Mass and parish events, as well as for students and families at the school. This is why our Catholic Schools Advisory Council (CSAC) — a group of committees that collaborate to inform Our Lady of the Assumption school leadership on items of importance to Our Lady of the Assumption School — has a Facilities and Safety Committee. “The Facilities and Safety Committee has supported the school’s reopening efforts during the COVID pandemic,” says Dr. David Caretto, committee member. “This committee has members on the parish Buildings and Grounds Committee. Historically, there is collaboration between parish Buildings and Grounds and CSAC Facilities and Safety in matters of OLA campus safety and security.” Prior to the pandemic, our parish and school had individual safety committees that operated separately. Moving forward after the pandemic, plans include combining these into one committee. “Future plans include shifting to one committee that addresses safety for both our school and parish as one campus, and ensuring committee members report minutes to their respective CSAC and Stewardship Committees,” David says. During the pandemic, the CSAC Facilities and Safety Committee played a vital role in helping the school and parish implement recommendations from the county for holding safe in-person gatherings. The school implemented many protocols that were then adapted to help resume in-person Mass. The Facilities and Safety Committee has also been working with the Buildings and Grounds Committee to survey the parish and school campus and develop a risk assessment of hazards present on the campus. “A site visit of the property and all buildings was conducted and a rank order list was created,” David says. “This

risk assessment was presented to Mr. Love and Fr. Eduino in late spring of 2022. The next steps are to discuss strategies to address the corrections of the hazards identified in the risk assessment. Many of the items on the list can be completed easily with volunteer time and effort.” The committee also looks for possible threats to the school and parish and implements drills to help students learn the protocols to ensure safety if a fire or active shooter were to occur on the Our Lady of the Assumption campus. The committee will be addressing campus improvement projects that were brought up during the risk assessment. Many of these projects can be completed with volunteer work. Helping to address these projects can support the safety and security of our campus and is a wonderful stewardship opportunity for parishioners.

If you are interested in giving of your time and talent to help, please refer to the bulletin for notices requesting assistance. You may also contact Steven Vidal, Vice Principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School, by email at vidal@olaparish.net.


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.

Community Welcomes Elisabeth Gustorf Both Elisabeth and Kevin were raised Catholic, and Catholic education is important to them. There was never a doubt that they would send their children to Catholic school like OLA. “Raising our children Catholic is a priority for us for several reasons,” she says. “Putting them in a Catholic school gives them not only the faith formation we are looking for, but helps to develop the whole child to become compassionate, confident, and independent.” It’s important to Elisabeth and Kevin that their children receive a quality education in an environment where they are nurtured, challenged, and supported. Elisabeth wants to ensure that OLA stays at the forefront of education and is around for many more generations to come. One way to do that is to grow the school’s endowment. “Tuition alone does not cover the cost of education at OLA, so the endowment is a vehicle which can be used to allow the school to strengthen its programs, campus, and

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help keep the school financially sound. In addition, the endowment provides tuition assistance to those families who cannot afford a Catholic education otherwise. Increasing the endowment is critical to the school’s future,” she says. “I am looking forward to being part of that.” Elisabeth is proud of our school and its legacy of current parishioners who were former parents and/or students, which is a very special aspect of our community. She wants everyone to feel connected to the school and welcomes any parishioners who wish to become more involved in its fundraising efforts, or share fresh ideas for an alumni program. “I want to be asking, ‘What can we do to enhance our parish and school?’” she says. “I want to make sure the school is always moving forward in all areas.” She looks forward to many years of serving at OLA parish school. “I am happy to be a part of OLA in this way,” Elisabeth says.