Stewardship Renewal

Online Stewardship Renewal Form

Dear friends,

St. Margaret of CostelloThis scene from our shrine of newly-canonized Saint Margaret of Castello presents a crucial moment in her life. Margaret was abandoned by her parents on the steps of a church in Castello after her prayers for healing from her physical disabilities did not yield a miraculous healing as her parents had hoped. Margaret had the serenity to accept God’s will that she remain blind, small, and with difficulties in walking, but her parents did not. As the cold reality dawned in Margaret's mind that her parents were not coming back for her to take her to the familiar surroundings of the family castle and the little cell next to the chapel, she could have chosen bitterness and despair at the unfairness done to her that left her alone and helpless in a strange town. She could have lamented that she was completely out of place.

Instead, a new idea began to brighten her heart: this is exactly where God wants me to be. In his divine providence, I am now ready to begin my mission.

Paradoxically, if her parents had not abandoned Margaret in Castello, we probably never would have heard of her. She may have remained a holy hermit next to the chapel for the rest of her life, hidden from the world.

In God's providence, however, she received the habit of a Dominican lay woman and dedicated the rest of her life to handing on the fruits of her long contemplation and prayer in this new place. She supported her fellow Dominican mantellatae by her prayer, penance, and participation in their works of mercy; she visited prisoners; she shared with others her love for Scripture passages that she had committed to memory; she obtained healing of the sick through her intercession; she spoke enthusiastically about the Holy Family, and especially Saint Joseph to any who would listen.

As our parish life begins to return to normal, there are many things still unsettled in our lives, and in our world. The pandemic, hopefully receding, still looms large in many lives, and even larger in our memories of the challenges of the past year and a half. There is a temptation to simply lament the losses and criticize the failures and problems; to curse the darkness. The example of our friend little Margaret, however, illuminates at better path. In God's providence, we are where we are, and we can choose to trust that God, paradoxically, can bring great good out of the most difficult circumstances.

So, in our third annual Stewardship Renewal, I encourage you, like Margaret, to consider how God is nudging you to help our parish come fully to life again and take part in the life of our unique parish mission:

As St. Dominic brought his friars together to encounter Christ in prayer, study, and community (contemplare) and then to hand on the fruits of this encounter to others through preaching (et contemplata aliis tradere), St. Patrick parish welcomes Catholics from far and near to encounter Christ in the Supper of the Lamb and in the saving truth of our Catholic faith, so that we can hand on what we have received to a world hungry for his truth given in love.

I encourage you to imagine how you have encountered Christ at St. Patrick, and how you can—like Saint Margaret—share what you have received, both for your own growth as a disciple, and for our growth as an even stronger source of Christ's life.

Please also prayerfully consider your regular Sunday offertory contribution along with your giving to the poor and to the work of evangelization. Some of you have suffered economic hardship during these times—and if you or a fellow parish family have financial needs, please let us know—we have funds available to help. If, on the other hand, you are able to help your parish by increasing your regular offertory contribution even by a small amount, it would greatly help our parish. Here is a summary of why I am asking:

  • We budgeted for a modest increase in offertory income over last year, and so far we are on budget for the present fiscal year, but our cash reserves for our operating expenses remain lower than ideal.
  • About 3/4 of our operating expenses are staff salaries, and we are resuming a modest cost of living increase in salaries for our staff after pausing these increases last year.
  • Many of our program expenses (such as youth ministry and CCD) are paid by participant fees, so there is not much to trim on the expense side.

I am deeply grateful to all of you who so faithfully continue to support our parish. Some of you are already giving as much as you can. If you do have the capacity to increase your weekly offertory contribution by even 5%, please consider doing so. This will make a big improvement in our operating budget.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to making St. Patrick a beautiful place to come to the Supper of the Lamb, and a powerful source of Christ’s life for so many, near and far, who are hungry for his life, truth, and love. Thank you for choosing, like Saint Margaret, to embrace God's providence even in challenging times, and accept his mission for your life.

In Christ's peace,

Fr. Stephen Alcott, O.P. Pastor

To make your stewardship commitment for 2022, feel free to complete this new online version of our Stewardship Renewal Booklet. Or, if you prefer, you can pick up a paper version of the Stewardship Renewal Booklet in church, complete it, and return it to the parish office.

If you prefer, you can contact the parish office at (614) 240-5910 and we can arrange to mail a printed booklet to you with a stamped return envelope for your convenience.

St. Patrick Church
280 N. Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215

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