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As many of you know, both myself and Fr. Jirak were in Chicago last weekend at the annual International Catholic Stewardship Council conference, where Blessed Sacrament received the Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award for Stewardship Parish of the Year. While this is a great honor for our parish to receive this kind of recognition, for anyone who has had much exposure to Blessed Sacrament, it merely confirms what we already knew— that the Holy Spirit is alive and at work here.

I think that besides good leadership from Fr. Jirak and our various councils, one of the keys to Blessed Sacrament’s success is the fact that there are so many stewards who see this parish as their faith family and are willing to invest their very selves in this parish to see it grow and thrive. There are so many people involved in so many ministries that without them it would be absolutely impossible to continue doing everything that we do.

Another key to the success of stewardship at Blessed Sacrament is the willingness of our parish staff to go above and beyond the call of duty. In a particular way, I would like to toot the horn of Renee Riter, our Stewardship Coordinator, and CY Suellentrop, who serves a dual role of Bookkeeper and New Evangelization Coordinator. I have been continually amazed by the work of both of these women ever since I arrived on July 1st. Not only do they put up with a great deal of shenanigans from me (including things like rubber snakes and air horns) but their professionalism, attention to detail, and absolute passion for what they do is such a strong driving force in the life of the parish.

Renee is the face of hospitality here and she does such a great job welcoming new parishioners, getting them acquainted with the parish and helping them to become connected with various ministries and groups. She has a special talent for discovering people’s passions and talents and then helping them to put their gifts at the service of God’s kingdom. She also has one of the most robust and deeply integrated understandings of Stewardship that I have ever encountered and whether she knows it or not, she has helped me to grow tremendously in my understanding of stewardship over these last few months.

Very few people ever see all of the work that CY does for our parish in coordinating our evangelization efforts because she works behind the scenes doing all of the unglamorous footwork of researching programs and speakers, heading-up communications for ongoing formation in our parish, coordination of the parish book program and most recently she has been one of the master minds behind the Christ Life sessions which I have received glowing reviews. Like Renee, CY has a true passion for what she does and it manifests itself through her zeal for helping others come to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Both of these women are very capable and confident and such a great resource for our parish. If you find yourself wanting to become more involved in the life of the parish, or yearning to grow in your faith life, I would highly recommend calling the parish office and getting in touch with them—I promise you will be glad you did.

In Christ,

Rev. Curtis Hecker 

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