Our Lady of Hope Parish Newsletter — August 2022

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aug ust 2022

Our Lady of

HOPE C AT H O L I C C H U R C H

Students, Teachers, and Staff Poised for New Year at Washington Catholic Schools

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he beginning of the school year often comes with some trepidation. It means the end of summer vacation, which can be sad for some. But rest assured, Kelsi Edwards, Elementary Principal, and the other staff and teachers are gearing up for a great 2022-23 school year. Mrs. Edwards always enjoys welcoming the new teachers. This year, Kaitlyn Craney will start as a firstgrade teacher. She is the daughter of Karie Craney, Middle and High School Principal. This is Mrs. Edwards’ fourth year as principal. It’s the same each year on the first day of school — when the students hop out of cars or buses, she can’t wait to welcome them into the school. The same goes for each day of school. Each morning, the whole school gathers to pray, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and learn about a saint or scientist. Mrs. Edwards greets students as they head to their classrooms. “We want students to know we’re glad they are here and give them a good start to their day,” she says. “It is probably the easiest, shortest, and one of the most enjoyable things in my school day, but I really believe it is one of the million pieces that add up to students who are kind, polite, and thoughtful.” Students and families can also look out for some

Learning is a joy for students at Washington Catholic Schools!

new developments as the 2022-23 school year gets underway. Last year, the STEM science curriculum was added, and Mrs. Edwards looks forward to expanding that this year. Also, teachers and curriculum professionals from throughout the Diocese of Evansville worked together to develop a new curriculum map for math which will go into effect this year. As students, teachers, and staff embark on the new

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Our Lady of

HOPE

C AT H O L I C C H U R C H

Prayer Lord

Come to Know the

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e make constant reference to the “three Ts” of stewardship, recognizing that to truly live as a stewardship people, we must give God the first fruits of our time, talent, and treasure. It is easy for us to see the concrete reality of the latter two. If we are to give God our talents, we must first recognize with what talents He has blessed us, and then use those talents for His greater glory. And as we continue our stewardship path, we know very well that our money is something concrete. When we recognize it as a gift from God, we know that we are to give a certain amount back to Him. It is easy for many of us to understand what it means to give God our talent and our treasure. But what does it mean to give God a portion of our time? This idea is much harder to grasp, and yet giving to God the first fruits of our time is just as important as the other two. And if we understand this idea and implement it properly, our stewardship of time will serve as the very foundation from which our stewardship of talent and treasure bear fruit. When we talk about stewardship of time, we are referring to prayer time. Prayer is of the utmost importance in a disciple’s life, and in the Diocese of Wichita’s The Pillars of Parish Stewardship, it is also one of the four pillars of stewardship. Does this mean that in order to be true disciples, we should say the Our Father three times a day or pray a daily Rosary? Not particularly. Of course, we must not discount the merits of prayer, as the Church in her wondrous wisdom has given us certain prayers to help guide our lives. However, the disciple’s deep life of prayer involves even more. St. John Chrysostom explains, “You should not think of prayer as being a matter of words. It is a desire for God, an indescribable devotion … the gift of God’s grace” (Hom 6). That is, if we look at prayer as a mere regimen that we must follow every day, then we do not see to the heart of it. The reality is that prayer will take on different forms for 2

every one of us. One person may have a deep devotion to the Rosary, and in praying it, he is closely united to the Lord. Another person might feel deeply connected to Him through constant conversation – in the car on the way to work, before bed at night, or at other hours throughout the day. Meanwhile, for another person, a daily or weekly hour of silence before the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration is the best place for him to offer the Lord his heart. No matter how we choose to pray, we must get to the root of it all. If we are to truly give God our time, it must be a gift of ourselves. It must come from the heart and not take the form of mere word repetition. If we offer an Our Father without meditating on the words, it can simply become recitation. The point of prayer is to get to know the Lord. If we are committed to living as His disciples, we must be on personal terms with Him. The first disciples didn’t know what it meant to pray the Rosary. And until the Lord taught them the Our Father, they couldn’t pray that either. But they were definitely true stewards of their time. They walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate meals with Him. He was their best friend, and the more they got to know Him, the more they longed to serve Him. The same holds true for us today. We can walk with Him, talk with Him and sit with Him, just as they did. And He wants us to do this, too. St. John Chrysostom proclaims there is nothing more worthwhile: “For prayer unites us to God as His companions” (Hom 6). How can we serve Him if we don’t know Him? If we truly desire to be a servant people, we must talk to Him whom we wish to serve. We must get to know Him. Then, most assuredly, we will fall in love with Him. We will undoubtedly desire nothing more than to serve Him. Recognize Jesus as your best friend and spend time with Him as such. He is the Lord, the Creator of the Universe, without whom we would cease to exist. Bring Him your cares and concerns, your excitement, your worry, your fears, and your frustrations, and allow Him to comfort you. He is there, and He wants to speak with you.


A Letter From Our Pastor

Much Will Be Required of the Person Entrusted With Much Dear Parishioners,

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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 calls the man a fool and reminds him that growing rich for himself is not as important as growing rich in the sight of God. The very next week (the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time), Luke again tells us how Jesus warns and cautions His disciples — “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Luke 12:34). The Lord warns them that they do not know what day or what hour He will return and summarizes it all with another important insight into what is expected of us — “Much

will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48). You see, we are not “off the hook” if someone else has more gifts but fails to use them well. Stewardship 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 stewardship messages come full circle in the 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 we cannot be complacent and we cannot take salvation and holiness for granted. We need to work on them. We are not measured by our possessions; God indeed does expect a lot of us, no matter how small or extensive our gifts may be. Regardless of how holy we may strive to be, it is God who will judge; it is by His grace that we will be saved. Amid all these magnificent stewardship messages, we celebrate the Assumption of our Blessed Mother on Aug. 15 — “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant” (Luke 1:4648). God bless you all! In Christ, Fr. Paul Ferguson Pastor 3


Our Lady of

HOPE

C AT H O L I C C H U R C H

Outdoor Ma for Fellowship a

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“A Way to

e are happy to announce that our annual outdoor Mass is returning this year, once again offering our faith community a unique opportunity for fellowship and evangelization. After two years without this event, our parish family is excited to come together again on Sept. 25 to celebrate Mass and enjoy a meal together. Beth Browning was part of the group that planned the first outdoor Mass in 2016. “We were thinking of ways to encourage fallen-away Catholics to come back to church,” Beth says. “We were trying to come up with something that seemed more inviting and approachable, and we came up with the idea for the outdoor Mass.” That first outdoor Mass came up against its own obstacles and, due to unseasonably hot weather, had to be moved inside. Yet, there was still an overwhelmingly positive response and attendance. Over the next few years, that attendance remained steady. Every year, parishioners are encouraged to invite their family and friends who have fallen away from their Catholic faith to the outdoor Mass. The relaxed setting in the park, sitting in bleachers or lawn chairs, might be less intimidating than coming back to church for someone who has been away from Mass for a length of time. It might be their first step back to the faith. “We do encourage folks to dig deep and invite their family and friends who maybe haven’t practiced for a while,” Beth says. “It’s an approachable environment and eases them into returning to Mass.” For many parishioners, this is also a valuable chance to come together and enjoy fellowship with

“We do encourage folks to dig deep and invite their family and friends who maybe haven’t practiced for a while. It’s an approachable environment and eases them into returning to Mass.” — Beth Browning

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Offers Unique Opportunity and Reconnecting With the Church

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o Bring the Congregation Together” the whole parish. In addition to the meal, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the parish rents the miniature train for the kids and a parishioner will be offering wagon rides. The Mass will be bilingual, making this a great opportunity for our English and Spanish-speaking communities to come together in our shared faith. “We often go to the same Mass every week,” Beth says. “This is a way to bring the congregation together. You’ll see faces you’re not used to seeing and have an opportunity for fellowship. Faces we haven’t seen for quite a while often appear during the outdoor Mass.” The outdoor Mass takes a lot of collaboration within

the parish. Families bring their favorite side dishes or desserts to share, a combined choir from the English and Spanish Masses provides music at the Mass, and lots of volunteer help is needed on the day of the event. Volunteers with access to a truck will be needed to bring the temporary altar to the bandstand, and tables will need to be set up and decorated. The Mass will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Eastside Park and will be immediately followed by lunch. “We’ve had to cancel due to COVID the last two years, so we’re really anxious to get together again at the park,” Beth says. “It brings a different variety of folks together.”

To find out how you can help with the outdoor Mass on Sept. 25, please check the parish bulletin or contact Beth Browning at 812-486-5783.

Students, Teachers, and Staff Poised for New Year at Washington Catholic Schools continued from front cover school year, Mrs. Edwards reflects on what she values about Catholic education. She loves that students can attend Mass, pray and receive religious education at school. “What I value about Catholic education is that it is as much a part of our students’ lives as anything else,” she says. “It is woven throughout their whole day!” Mrs. Edwards hopes parishioners will continue

their unwavering support of the school. About half of the school students are not Catholic, but they get to learn what is beautiful about the Catholic faith. Prayer is woven into the school day for all students. “The students are around prayer so much that we could jump into a formal prayer without notice, and they are comfortable and at ease,” Mrs. Edwards says.

“We want students to know we’re glad they are here and give them a good start to their day. It is probably the easiest, shortest, and one of the most enjoyable things in my school day, but I really believe it is one of the million pieces that add up to students who are kind, polite and thoughtful.” — Kelsi Edwards, Elementary Principal Be sure to visit www.wccardinals.org to learn more about Washington Catholic Schools! 5


Our Lady of

HOPE

C AT H O L I C C H U R C H

The Presentation of the Gifts

A SIGNIFICANT MOMENT IN OUR PRAYER

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ccasionally, you might hear someone jokingly refer to “halftime” during Mass — the interval following the Prayers of the Faithful, as the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins. It can be easy, even tempting, to zone out as you sit, waiting for the collection basket to make its way to your pew. But if you pay attention, you’ll have the opportunity to enter into something deeper — a significant moment in our prayer. It’s mentioned by St. Justin Martyr, one of the earliest Christian writers, when describing the Mass in the second century, “Bread is brought up and wine and water…” This practice, of people bringing up the gifts, has been part of our Catholic tradition from the very beginning. Although we might think of this action as being merely practical, in reality, it serves a much deeper spiritual purpose. Each Sunday Mass, someone is chosen, whether an usher, or another member of the parish, to bring forward “the gifts” — bread, wine, and, in many cases, the collection of money that has been gathered moments before, from the generosity of the congregation. These gifts not only symbolize but also, in reality, are the work of human hands. The bread and wine are fruit of God’s creation, which, through the effort of human hands, are made into the gifts that we present to the Lord. Certainly, the collection that is presented to the priest also serves to represent the work and sacrifices of the previous week. Sharing our monetary “treasures” is one of the ways that we embrace stewardship. It’s an opportunity to generously give back to the Lord, from the fruit of our work. In his book What Happens At Mass, Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB explains, “We should not think of the collection of money at this point as some sort of banal, dirty but necessary affair. Money is our work. Money is hours of our lives. And now we give it away, we sacrifice it, for the work of the Church.” In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul instructs Christians to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).

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The physical act of carrying the gifts forward to the priest is meant to serve as a tangible reminder of the fact that we are all called to stewardship. We are all called to present to God our lives — our work, our talents, the struggles and victories of the past week — as an offering and gift to God. Those who bring forward the gifts each week have the privilege and responsibility of remembering what their action represents — that we are called to give generously of our time, talent and treasure to God, who gives us His very self, at Mass. And for those sitting in the pews, tempted to “check out” for a few minutes, seeing the gifts being brought forward should serve as a powerful reminder to offer our lives back to God, through serving and honoring Him. So next week, don’t just sit back and wait for “halftime.” Come to Mass a few minutes early and approach an usher to ask if you and/or your family may bring up the gifts that week. Don’t be surprised if you start to notice a change in your heart and a desire to be even more generous with God in the coming week!


BEREAVEMENT MEALS MINISTRY: Helping Serve the Grieving Members of Our Community With Love and Compassion

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Dot Doyle and Yvonne Evans feel blessed to serve in the Bereavement Meals Ministry.

he Bereavement Meals Ministry here at Our Lady of Hope is truly a ministry of love and compassion, as members help to provide funeral dinners. This is a wonderful and important service that is being provided to grieving families because it takes a burden off of their shoulders. “By providing the food, the family doesn’t have to do anything,” says Dot Doyle, one of the ministry members. “We provide everything, so they don’t have to worry about it. They all really appreciate it and say it is so good that our church offers this service.” The way that this ministry works is very simple, and participation offers an easy way to become involved in parish life. Dot, along with Yvonne Evans, figures out when the funeral dinner will take place. She then reaches out to the two parishioners that have been

assigned that particular month of the year. Those two people in turn reach out to other parishioners who have previously stated that they would like to help provide the dinners. “There is not a large time commitment to be part of this ministry,” Dot says. “All you have to do is cook one part of the meal. There are some parishioners who prefer to make the same thing every time. For example, someone might make really good brownies, so we can always count on them for brownies. Other parishioners ask that we tell them what to make, and it is usually pretty simple like salad or some other side dish.” This is Dot’s first year as a committee member, but she has been helping with the ministry for eight or nine years. It is an important ministry for her to be part of because by helping those that are grieving, she feels as

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Our Lady of

HOPE

C AT H O L I C C H U R C H

315 N.E. Third Street Washington, IN 47501 812-254-2883 www.ccwash.org

Bereavement Meals Ministry though she is lightening their load, even just a little bit. “I wanted to be around people and wanted to do something that would make a difference in other people’s lives,” Dot says. “I thought this ministry would be a good way to get involved and serve alongside new people.” Being involved in parish life is important — it’s not only a way to help other members of the community, but those involved may also grow spiritually. And, as Dot says, it is a wonderful way to meet new people. If you are interested in getting involved but don’t feel like you have a lot of time to give or you are not sure what other talents God is calling you to use, participating in the Bereavement Meals Ministry could be a great way to begin giving back to your community.

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“By providing the food, the family doesn’t have to do anything. We provide everything, so they don’t have to worry about it. They all really appreciate it and say it is so good that our church offers this service.” — Dot Doyle If you have questions or are interested in getting involved, please contact Dot Doyle at 812-259-1346 or Yvonne Evans at 812-486-5192.