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We are well into the fall harvest. I called my mother a couple of days ago and the folks are only a day away from finishing with soybean harvest. We no longer raise milo as it was a feed grain for the pigs and my dad sold his last hogs one year ago – my dad is quite glad, as milo is very itchy.

Part of the reason for holding the annual stewardship renewal during the end of October and November is that it correlates well with the event of harvest. Harvest on the farm focuses us on the fruit of the crops. And we seek a good yield. Harvest in the life of the Church focuses us on the fruit of stewardship as disciples of the Lord, namely, our offerings of time, talent and treasure. The Lord seeks a bountiful harvest (Luke 10: 2).

As part of our stewardship renewal, we will have the opportunity to listen to several parishioners share about their experiences of stewardship and their harvest of time, talent and treasure. I love listening to people witness to their successes and struggles in the life of stewardship. I always learn and am often inspired.

Another effort to hear about the “harvest” of parishioner stewardship is a new Blessed Sacrament ministry called Stories of Grace.  The ministry is a spin-off of NPR’s Storycorps, which “honors and celebrates the lives of everyday Americans.” Stories of Grace will be interviews of ordinary parishioners who live the stewardship way of life day in and day out. The hope is to especially capture the stories of our most mature members of the parish. By sharing in these stories we will certainly be encouraged to celebrate the graces in our own lives and rise up to the challenges of discipleship that stewardship demands. Pope Francis said it best in his address to the Joint Session of Congress on September 24, “I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights.”

Amanda Carrillo will be carrying out the interviews and working with Randi Marino, our Social Media Coordinator, to post them on our social media outlets. We also hope to transcribe the interviews onto our parish blog. The first interviewee for Stories of Grace is JoAnn Robertson. I had the opportunity to hear a sneak preview of the interview and it is quite good. The first interview will be posted in early November. We are planning on two interviews each month.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Rev. John F. Jirak

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