Church of St. Mary Parish — 2021 Stewardship Renewal Handbook

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Stewardship Renewal 2021


Saint Mary

STEWARDSHIP, A PATH TO HOLINESS Jesus wants us to be happy and He wants us to be holy. In fact, holiness is required of every baptized Christian. The good news is that holiness is within our reach and a holy life is a happy life — the deep and lasting kind of “happy” that only our Lord can give. So, what is this holiness we are called to attain? It is nothing less than the call to sainthood, living our whole lives in and through Christ, and reflecting His love and goodness everywhere we go. In his Apostolic Letter, On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World, Pope Francis encourages us by speaking of the “saints next door.” When we think of holiness, we need not think only of those already-canonized saints. Rather, he says, “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: In their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant. A holiness found in our next-door neighbors, the middle class of holiness.” At the Church of St. Mary, Stewardship is the path to this holiness our Lord asks of us. And our Annual Renewal is a grace-filled time to set ourselves once again on this path that will make us saints. Through a stewardship way of life, we allow Christ to permeate every aspect of our being. We invite the Holy Spirit to direct us in the use of all that the Father has given us — our Time, our Talent, and our Treasure. A stewardship way of life is a holy way of life, and it leads us to the happiness we were made for.

“Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace.” — Pope Francis



Sacred Moments Prayer and the sacraments are food for the journey to holiness. We simply can’t be saints without them! Through them we obtain the grace and daily direction we need from our Lord for holy living. By committing Time for prayer and sacraments, we pause and give back to God a portion of this most precious gift of Time — especially now in our fast-paced world. Yet it is we who are truly blessed by the giving of this gift. After time spent with God, my next priority of time should be for my family and friends, whom I am called to love and serve most intimately. • T ry reflecting each morning on the daily readings of the Catholic Church (found at to ask God what He wants to teach you in the day ahead. • T ake a moment to pray in your car on the way to or from work, offering your cares and your gratitude to the Lord. • A s a family, give each member a chance to say a “please,” “thank you” and “I’m sorry” prayer to God at the end of the day. End with an Our Father and Hail Mary. • I n addition to Sunday Mass, make Sunday dinner a priority as a time to reconnect with loved ones before the start of a busy week.



Sacred Service During this moment of Renewal, think about the talents the Lord has given you and your family. In gratitude, ask Him how you can use those talents to become the “saints next door,” loving others as He has first loved you. • S pend some time prayerfully reading the ministry catalog to consider an area of service that will truly stretch you or an area where you can provide a real strength. • I f you are already involved in one ministry, pray about an additional way you might serve. For instance, if you are involved in assisting with the Liturgy in some way, volunteer in an outreach to the community. • I f you are not active in a prayer or faith formation group, join one to learn how to better love and follow our Lord and His teachings.


“Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when He created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self.” — Pope Francis


Sacred Spending

Just as Time and Talents are gifts from God, so too, are material things, or Treasure. And just as our Time and Talents are meant to be used for our growth in holiness, the way we spend our treasure can also lead us to holiness. Does this mean we serve a “greedy” God, who wants to give, and then take back what He gives? Of course not! Anything He asks us to do is meant to make us happy in Him. Returning a portion of our treasure to the Lord teaches us to depend on Him and brings a peace and contentment the world cannot give. Will you take a leap of faith to try it and see for yourself? • T ake a look at your current budget and spending habits and assess what expenses are preventing you from giving more selflessly. • A s a means to grow in holiness, commit to giving a percentage of your income to God through the parish offertory and be faithful to this commitment, even when you attend mass elsewhere.



Ministry Listings Hospitality EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION TO THE HOMEBOUND A group of dedicated parishioners bring Communion to those who cannot worship on Sundays due to illness or advanced age. Every week, in addition to Jesus in the Eucharist, they bring kind words and prayers to those who are homebound, hospitalized or in nursing homes. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, HOSPITALITY MINISTERS – GREETERS Greeters welcome parishioners and quests into the church at each Mass in order to create a welcoming environment, help attendees feel comfortable, and answer any questions quests may have. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, HOSPITALITY MINISTERS – USHERS Ushers are needed during Sunday Liturgies to guide attendees to their 6

seats, including those who have special needs, to pass the collection baskets during the Offertory, and to distribute bulletins after masses. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS St. Mary’s Parish’s hospitality volunteers serve funeral luncheons, receptions, and other parish-sponsored dinners and events. Each and every parishioner is given the opportunity to help with hospitality for the parish events. Hospitality is a primary Christian virtue which all are called upon to exercise. Contact: Barb O’Brien, 320-256-4422,; Helen Van Drehle, 320-256-3101, SOCIAL MEDIA MINISTRY The primary function of this group is to keep the parishioners informed of all activities and events via social media. The Committee is responsible for receiving information from the various ministries and publishing it on the One in Faith social media platforms. Contact: Bob Leukam, 320-260- 1248,; Denise Kociemba, 320-256-7311,

Prayer ALTAR SERVERS Altar servers act as acolytes during liturgies, bearing for the community the cross, candles, sacred texts, and other liturgical accoutrements. Their ministry calls them to support the worship of the assembly, assist the presider, and serve Christ by serving the altar. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are entrusted with a special responsibility of assisting the priest and deacon in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass. The function of this ministry is to ensure that the Eucharist is distributed under both forms of bread and wine in a reverent manner. To become a Eucharist Minister, one must participate in the appropriate training sessions and periodic enrichment sessions. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, LECTORS Lectors proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture to the gathered assembly. Their ministry calls them to allow the Word of God to speak through them and to come alive in the hearts of all those who hear it, and to lead the assembly in praying the Prayers of the Faithful. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207,

LITURGY COMMITTEE Members of this group assist in planning all church liturgies, ensuring adherence to the spirit of the various liturgical seasons and sacramental celebrations. Liturgy planning includes prayer, music and proclaiming the Word, along with encouraging the congregation’s active participation. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, MUSIC MINISTERS Music ministers share their musical gifts and talents with the parish as cantors, choir members, instrumentalists, and accompanists. Their ministry calls them to lead the gathered assembly in sung worship, and to create a prayerful musical environment that allows worshippers to draw closer to God. Music ministers serve as: Cantors: Lead and encourage singing of the assembly; proclaim the psalms in song Children’s Choir: Open to those in grades 3-6; typically sings once per month during school year Parish Choir: Open to all adults; typically sings twice per month and for seasonal celebrations Resurrection Choir: Sings for funerals at the request of the deceased’s family Instrumentalists: Encouraged to share their gifts and talents alone or with any of the above groups Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, 7

PRAYER LINE The prayer line is a network of parishioners who pray for intentions requested by fellow parishioners. The prayer requests can be anything from burdens one is trying to overcome to healing of a sickness. This is an effective way to intercede for important prayer intentions. New intercessors are always welcomed. All prayer requests are kept confidential. For more information: Contact: Blanca Barragan, 320-256-4207,

Formation BAPTISM PREPARATION MINISTRY A dedicated group of lay leaders prepare parents and godparents to understand and appreciate the responsibilities that come with the sacrament of baptism. They stress the duty of the parents in the ongoing faith formation of the child. Contact: Deacon Ernie Kociemba, 320-248-5124, CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD Children’s Liturgy of the Word Leaders gather young children who have not yet received First Communion and lead them in readings of Scripture, activities, and prayer suited to their age during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. Their ministry calls them to bring the Word of God alive to the youngest members of the gathered assembly. Many adult volunteers are needed for the success of this ministry. Contact: Amanda Maus, 320-290-5860, 8

COMMUNION PREPARATION MINISTRY Members of the Communion Preparation Ministry are responsible for teaching and sharing the Catholic faith in direct preparation for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Reconciliation. They enjoy children and have a great love for God and the Catholic Faith. Contact: Rita Meyer, 320-256-4207, CONFIRMATION PREPARATION MINISTRY Young adults in their junior year (11th grade) of high school are candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The purpose of the confirmation program is to provide a quality program that guides teens and young adults through a faith-based process giving them a deeper understanding of the Catholic Church. Faith Formation classes in grades 7-10 are considered and essential part of their preparation. Parents and other adult volunteers are needed as catechists, retreat chaperones, drivers, and service project leaders. Contact: Rita Meyer, 320-256-4207,; Chris & Terri Ellering, 320-293-6246, FAMILY FAITH FORMATION Once a month on Wednesday nights, students and their parents or guardians will gather in the worship space. They will take part in a fun activity, pray, and then a guest speaker will give a talk on the theme for the night. Then, the grade levels will divide into different spaces within the new space. Many volunteers are needed for the success of this important program. Contact: Rita Meyer - Faith Formation Coordinator, 320-256-4207,

MARRIAGE PREPARATION MINISTRY Couples planning to celebrate marriage enter into a time of marriage preparation twelve months after setting a wedding date. Sponsor couples are trained to help engaged couples in the marriage preparation process using the Fully Engaged curriculum to evaluate their relationship and preparations for marriage. Contact: Deacon Ernie Kociemba, 320-248-5124, RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the educational process whereby adults who wish to become Catholic learn about the faith, build their relationships with God, and prepare to enter the Catholic Church on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil Mass. Catholics who simply want to learn more about the Catholic faith are welcome to attend. We are in need of catechists, helpers and sponsors to facilitate conversation in the RCIA candidates’ preparation. Contact: Deacon Ernie Kociemba, 320-248-5124, ST. MARY SCHOOL VOLUNTEER St. Mary School is committed to instructional excellence. The school serves students from pre-k through sixth grade, offering basic academic programs, religious education, school liturgies and a sacraments program. In addition, the school offers computer, art, music, library and physical education classes. There are numerous opportunities for parish members to volunteer to help out at our school. Contact: Mrs. Autumn Nelson – Principal, 320-256-4257,

ST. MARY’S CHRISTIAN MOTHERS/WOMEN St. Mary’s Christian Mothers/Women Society brings together women of the parish to share ideas on family life and spirituality and to support one another in prayer. The organization began in 1913 and meets quarterly. The Christian Mothers/ Women updates the Hospitality Groups, sponsor the annual St. Patrick’s Day supper and social, and prepare receptions for the Confirmation liturgy, sixth-grade graduation and other parish functions. Contact: Caroline Jacobs, 320-256-3207, SPIRITUALITY GROUP Members of this group meet weekly to engage in spiritual conversation using various resources in order to understand and deepen their faith. Contact: Lisa Brixius, 320-836-2268,

Service BOARD OF EDUCATION Board of Education members direct the total education program of St. Mary’s School. Regular meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the school. Contact: Pete Klaphake, 320-293-4615, BUILDING & GROUNDS COMMITTEE Members of the Building & Grounds committee oversee the upkeep and maintenance of the parish buildings and grounds. Meetings are scheduled as needed. Contact: Butch Haider, 320-250-2656,


CEMETERY COMMITTEE Members of the Cemetery Committee oversee the maintenance and care of St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s Cemeteries, manage the finances, and establish policies. Cemetery guidelines are available from the parish office. Meetings are scheduled quarterly. Contact: Mark Mayers, 320-256-3947 CHURCH DECORATORS The Church of St. Mary has a team of dedicated volunteers who keep the altar and sanctuary decorated according to the seasons of the church, with special emphasis on Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. Volunteers of varied skills and talents are always needed. Contact: Lisa Brixius, 320-290-9613,; Pat Tomasek, 320-256-4625,; Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE Members of the Endowment Committee oversee the St. Mary’s Education Endowment Fund. Regular meetings are held the first Tuesday of January, April, July and October. Contact: Mark Meyer, 320-241-6481, FINANCE COUNCIL The Finance Council works together with the Parish Council to direct the financial affairs of the parish. Members are appointed and prepare the annual parish budget, approve major expenses, review disbursements, and develop stewardship programs. Regular meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Parish Center. Contact: Harvey Keller, 320-250-5673, 10

FOOD SHELF MINISTRY The Food Shelf Ministry provides food for the hungry of our community. Nonperishable food items are collected to be given to the poor. Contact: Karen Massman, 320-256-4430, KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCIL #1633 The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal service organization of men, founded under the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. This organization provides men with a vehicle for building up the parish community and family life with an emphasis on family, youth, church, council, and community activities. Contact: Mike Foley, 320-256-7255, LEGION OF MARY St. Mary’s parish has an active Legion of Mary group, which is an international association of Catholic women and men. Members attend weekly meetings on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. at the Parish Center. Active members make weekly visits to the sick, shut-ins and bereaved. Auxiliary members pray a rosary and other Legion prayers daily. Contact: Caroline Jacobs, 320-256-3207, PARISH COUNCIL The Parish Council is the primary consultative body of the parish. It has the duty and responsibility of directing all the functions of the parish life in cooperation with the pastor, parish staff, and all parish organizations. The council has team members: the

pastor, two trustees, and seven elected members of the parish. Regular meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Parish Center. Contact: Tricia Klaphake, 320-290-0597, SACRISTANS Sacristans prepare and care for the various liturgical signs and symbols used during the sacraments: holy water, holy oils, incense, candles, and the gifts of bread and wine. Their ministry calls them to “prepare the feast and celebration” by seeing to the preparation and purification of Eucharistic vessels, as well as other liturgical tasks. Contact: Morgan Kempenich, 320-256-4207, ST. MARY’S MISSION GROUP The purpose of the Church of St. Mary’s Mission Society is to provide opportunities for parishioners to fulfill their basic duty as faithful disciples of God to be missionary. All baptized Christians are asked to extend Christ’s body beyond their physical boundaries and to serve those in need with prayer, active work or fostering interest in the work that our foreign and domestic priest and sister missionaries do. We work for propagation of our Catholic

faith and support local efforts that work for the betterment of the lives of others. Contact: Jane Salzl, 320-256-3087, SOCIAL CONCERNS MINISTRY The Social Concerns Ministry strives to assist the parish community to understand and act on Catholic Social Teaching. This is achieved by identifying, supporting and training leaders who will organize people and activities around four specific complementary ministries: direct service, legislative advocacy, global solidarity, and community organizing. Concerned volunteers with various skills are always welcomed. Contact: Deacon Ernie Kociemba, 320-248-5124, STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE The Stewardship Committee acts as the consultative body to the pastor regarding the ongoing stewardship process in the parish. It engages in reading and discussions on the meaning of stewardship in our lives. Members act as models of stewardship for other parishioners by engaging in a life that is committed to the Eucharist, prayer, service, and ongoing formation. For more information to serve on the committee: Contact: Bob Leukam, 320-260-1248,; Deacon Ernie Kociemba, 320-248-5124,


Please keep until Fall 2022

A Stewardship Prayer Jesus, teach us to pray. Help us to manage our time so that we can spend it with You. Holy Spirit, fill us with Your gifts. May we offer ourselves in sacrifice for all in need. Father, give us generous hearts. Help us to manage our finances and to give You priority. As your faithful disciples, we ask this for ourselves and people everywhere, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Saint Mary

755 Kraft Drive SE Melrose, MN 56352 (320) 256-4207