- Encourage the practice of our faith in our daily lives.
As a parish we need to help our parishioners behave as Catholic Christians in their everyday lives. It is all well and good that we attend Mass on Sunday, but we need to demonstrate these principles in our everyday lives. In today’s secular world it is too easy to live a double standard in our lives, one on Sunday morning, and one the rest of the week. Did you feed the poor on Monday? Did you clothe the naked on Tuesday? On Wednesday did you visit the sick? Do they know we are Christians by our love?
- Encourage family participation in our worship services and parish programs.
Today’s world causes more and more families to focus on the secular activities of daily life. Forgotten is the commitment to God and his church. St. Anne Parish needs to encourage families to participate in worship services and make church related activities a priority in their lives. Children that are not participating at a young age will fall away from the church in adulthood.
- Educate every parishioner in a Catholic sacramental lifestyle.
There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. They are the essence of the theological foundation of our church. Can you name them? They are: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. As a parish, we need to keep these sacraments in front of the members. Our teaching and actions must be rooted in the seven sacraments.
- Promote the dignity of all life.
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
- Offer and sustain lifelong growth in faith among all parishioners.
St. Anne Parish needs to provide opportunities for members to continue to grow in the faith. If parishioners do not continue to educate themselves in the faith, their faith will wither and die. The leadership is called on to create and provide these opportunities, and the membership is obligated to take advantage of them and grow their Catholic faith.
- Support an excellent Catholic school system.
The role of Catholic education is to include the knowledge of the faith along with the other skills that children need to learn. Participation in the Catholic school system instills the value that the student’s religious education is as key to their development as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Once again, the secular world is pulling children away from the teachings of the church and away from God.
- Encourage individuals and families to share their gifts to:
-foster prayer -faith formation -family life
-justice -leadership -community outreach
-environmentally sustainable lifestyle
Parishioners need to be reminded that God demands that we share the gifts we’ve been given. This means we need to share the time, talent, and treasure we’ve been given, even though we feel we don’t have enough to share. We’ve been promised that the more we share the more we’ll have! We need faith to take that leap! St. Anne Parish leadership must help develop a sharing lifestyle.
- Sustain ministries that give a preferential option to the poor in our parish, in our community, in our nation, and in the world.
The vast majority of the members of St. Anne Parish are blessed with enough of God’s gifts to live a very comfortable life. Yet, there are many among us for which this is not true. The voice of the poor is muted and hard for us to hear! They tend to be hidden and are difficult for us to see! As parishioners we need to be sure and act preferentially to help those in need. We need to seek out the disadvantaged, not wait to finally hear their voices over the roar of everyday life. We need to ask God to open our eyes and ears to see those in need and then open our hearts to act.
- Provide the financial means needed to support our parish mission.
The majority of the parishioners of St. Anne Parish have been blessed financially. This does not imply that we’re wealthy, but most have more than the minimum required to sustain life. Sharing God’s gifts to us should be a key part of our lives. Tithing is mentioned many times in the Bible. It should become a goal of all of us! Giving from your excess is nice, but giving beyond your excess really demonstrates your faith in God’s love.