Commitment Sunday — By Fr. Rich, O.P.

FrRichWeb“As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure you have received.” Peter 4:10.

I walk by this Scripture nearly every day. It is displayed on the “Called to Share” campaign plaque from the early 2000s. Since that time, the parish has successfully placed itself on financially solid ground, protecting and ensuring the future of our faith community.

This would not have happened without you. Your sacrifices both of time and money have made Newman an amazing place. As we look forward, some have asked my vision for the next few years. In response, I have said many times: “I would like Newman to be a force to be reckoned with on campus and in Columbia!”

In many ways, we are already there. Our ministries, how we serve our community, the ways in which we educate our parish, and how we pray together are strong.

We have been able to implement some of our dreams within our current operations, such as re-plating the chalices and bowls at Mass and installing the new organ. We are also in the process of revitalizing Parish Council and the commission structure for enhanced volunteer leadership support.

Other dreams necessitate some planning and additional finances. So many ideas exist — renovating the MPR kitchen, offering additional small group and young families ministries, and enhanced technological offerings for recordings of talks and classes. All of these things (and the others I have not listed for sake of space) are technically feasible — with the right resources.

Bringing dreams to reality requires commitment. It requires each of us to decide whether these dreams are worth pursuing. It requires that, as stewards, we engage our talents, our time, and our treasure. I am asking that each of you commit to a thoughtful review of how you support our community and consider increasing that support to bring our dreams to reality.

You heard at Mass this weekend from fellow parishioners about why they love the Newman Center and what compels them to be involved. Gary’s story is printed here as another witness to this faith community. These are just a few stories; I am sure that many of you have similar stories to share.

If you did not do so at Mass this weekend, I encourage you to complete and return your commitment card to the parish. This card is the avenue in which you can communicate with me and the parish about how you plan to invest in Newman’s mission. The card gives information on how to plan for your gift and asks for you to declare your commitment to the parish. By March, we will be able to share the parish’s overall increased commitment and begin to make plans to fulfill some of our dreams. If you have any questions regarding this program, or how to give electronically, please contact the main office.

I believe that this parish is doing and will continue to follow the Lord’s call. I am energized in the direction our parish is moving. And I am hopeful that our prayerful response to be “generous distributors of God’s manifold grace” will allow us to serve one another and fulfill our dreams.