The World of Grandpa Don

Sharing Christ’s Gifts

The following is from our pastor's page of the parish weekly bulletin. I believe it applies to the entire church and in deed, all churches.


I asked two of our campaign directors, Jim and Cindy Devlin, to reflect on the significance of Sharing Christ’s Gifts. They wrote a beautiful reflection on why this upcoming capital stewardship campaign is so important to the life of our parish. This is what they wrote:

Picture this.

You arrive at St. Julie Church for mass. No one welcomes you because there are no Greeters. There are no Ushers to help find a seat in the crowded space. There are no Worship Aids because there is no music. There are no Cantors because there is no singing. There is no Adult Choir, no Children's Choir, no Handbell Choir. You notice there are no banners drifting above the altar. There are no flowers, no plants at the ambo. Mass begins with Father Steve or Father Tony entering our worship space in silence. Father processes alone; there are no Altar Servers. During mass, all children remain seated with family … there is no Children's Liturgy, no Little Lambs. The Presider reads the Scriptures because there are no Lectors or Readers. Father brings the gifts to the altar. Alone, he distributes Communion because there are no Eucharistic Ministers. After the closing prayer, Father exits the church in silence. The congregation follows in silence.

Can you imagine mass as described above?

Not here at St. Julie Billiart! We know you'll agree that our masses are spiritual, meaningful, and inviting. But this doesn't happen magically. Seven days a week, staff members are meeting, compiling liturgy, arranging music, training individuals, planning, arranging church décor, working behind-the-scenes. A lot of effort goes into every mass. If you didn't know, you wouldn't believe it … because they make it look so easy! We have a dedicated staff here at SJB … from the Music Director to the Liturgists … from the Art & Environment Committee to the Maintenance team. Combined with their labors are the Greeters, Ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers, Accompanists, Cantors, Lectors, Readers, Eucharistic Ministers, who work together so we can truly "celebrate" mass. And isn't that what it's all about?!

Once again, use your imagination…….

Mass is over.

You step into the Narthex.

There is no Bulletin because there is no one to gather the information and no one to publish it. There really isn't any "news" anyway because the Parish doesn't offer much. There are no tickets to purchase because there are no activities. No St. Patrick's Day Party. No Taste of Italy. No Parish Picnic. No Denim 'n Dogs. There is no need to keep up on TNT happenings because there is no TNT. There is no Manna. There are no Krispy Kremes. There is no Donut Sunday.

Thankfully, St. Julie will never experience the above -- as long as we continue to be blessed with the efforts of one thousand-plus volunteers who join together with SJB staff to participate in 65 ministries.

The priests, staff, and volunteers of St. Julie work tirelessly to serve our SJB community … a community whose needs continue to grow and change. Simply put, the office space that exists today is not adequate to meet the needs of the church's staff and its 65 ministries. We are running out of space for religious ed. classrooms, there is no storage room, without “dividing walls” in the parish hall, we can’t use that area for more than one meeting at a time, Father Steve's office doubles as a staff library, Fathers Steve and Tony share their living space with staff and volunteers who need a place to meet, office staff share desks and computers …

The Religious Education program provides for 1200 children and 133 catechists. They need space of their own. We have 150 teens in TNT. And, if you witnessed their portrayal of the Passion of our Lord, you know these teens are a special group. Take a look at the "Sharing Christ's Gifts" videotape … our teens produced it on their own. These are good kids, talented kids who will make good use of a space of their own.

If our ministries have space to meet, to plan, to organize, they will flourish. And so will St. Julie Billiart. But most importantly, so will each one of us. As always, we invite you to join us in any of our SJB ministries.


My Church

This is not so much about St. Julie Billiart parish, but about the NEW Catholic Church. It may not seem new to my children and definitely not new to my grandchildren but it is no longer the same church that I grew up in and did not understand during that time. It is new and dedicated to Jesus as a result of the Vatican II council of bishops.

Sharing Christ’s Gifts

The World of Grandpa Don 

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