Our gifts are multiplied
The letter below is a beautiful tribute by an anonymous donor to our parish, but especially to those who regularly attend Holy Mass at St. Columbkill. I want to thank all of our parishioners and catechists for supporting the mission of Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church, and your fidelity to reaching out to new members, visiting guests and those who are coming back from COVID concerns.
“To the Parish of St. Columbkill:
I wanted to express my thanks to the parish for all the support and acceptance to me and my family I have felt over the years. When I first started attending St. Columbkill, I had been estranged from my Catholic faith. I moved into the Goodhue Community and wanted to belong and grow in my faith. I wanted my children to have the religious education that I never had.
The Goodhue Catholic community gave me the sense of belonging and acceptance that I didn’t experience at my last church. My children were [now] able to get the religious education they needed to grow in their faith. I have always felt the love and support from this parish.
The last 8 months have bee very challenging to all of us. I have been blessed to have a secure job and a healthy family. I haven’t had to worry about being laid off, my health, or money. Now I wanted to give my parish something to thank everyone for giving me so much. You gave me a feeling of belonging and em-powered me to grow in my spiritual life. Having a beautiful church out in the country is wonderful, but one thing I worry about here in our church is the time it takes for medical emergency personnel to arrive here for a cardiac arrest. This AED will potentially help save lives of the people of this parish. People that I care about very much.
I want everyone that enters into our church to have a better chance of survival if they were to have a cardiac arrest. Please place this AED in a location that is easily accessible and visible for quick action. Thank you to everyone in this parish.
God bless you all.”
Shelley Jacobson and Jean Schulte were generous stewards of their knowledge with this AED medical device (Automated External Defibrillator) and gave a demonstration of how to use it. This highlights the importance of being good stewards of our gifts; welcoming and serving others with the gifts that God has given us.
In one of my homilies, I shared the story of how I met an older gentleman outside of “Don’s Foods” and noticed his Pro Life sticker on his truck. I greeted him and thanked him for supporting the God given dignity of every human life. He was not Catholic but he said he appreciated the Catholic Church’s unwavering stance to protect human life. It was a brief encounter and then we said “Goodbye” and “God bless”.
That older gentleman, Ed Linton, died this past December and he told his Catholic friend that he wanted me to pray at his burial. On a very cold day in Hastings, Dec. 21, I was there at the cemetery to pray for the repose of his soul and shared what some of his friends had told me about this prayerful man. It was a powerful moment of prayer and supplication for the repose of his soul. The family was grateful and generous to me, of which I gave 10% back to our church. A week later another person who was present at the cemetery gave $1,000.00 dollars to each of our churches!
My friends, God cannot be outdone in generosity. The more I give of my time, talent and treasure to God’s Catholic Church and his saving mission, the more he opens my life and soul to receive his saving grace (the most important gift!), while meeting my every need, even the needs I was not aware of.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus Christ tells Simon Peter, and all of us, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When we strive to live our Catholic faith for the glory of God, for the salvation of souls and for the service of others, we help people come into his Church or grow closer to God, and our gifts are multiplied by the Lord Jesus.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe