Stewardship: GRATITUDE and TITHE

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I GIVE BECAUSE…

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Born within each of us, and conferred to us at our baptism, is an inherent need to give, a need that does not expect anything in return. Why? Because we are made in the image of God – to be like Jesus – to live selflessly, with compassion and empathy, to do the Father’s will and build His kingdom. Recognizing that all, including our money and possessions, is gifted from God, allows us to respond in gratitude.

As Catholics we have the tendency to compartmentalize our money and possessions away from our faith life. But throughout Scripture and especially in the Gospels, Jesus instructs us on how we should relate to material goods. More than 50% of His parables were about money and possessions because he knows how easily we can become owned by them. Those on the path to discipleship understand that whatever is owned by them is merely being held in trust from God. Recognizing the need to be a good steward with these gifts and to share them lovingly is all part of our spiritual growth and personal transformation. Just as important, it is how we contribute to fulfilling Jesus’ mission of building the Father’s kingdom here on earth.

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…BECAUSE GOD WANTS ME TO

Tithing

The word tithe actually means one-tenth and the act of tithing, a very ancient practice of worship, means setting aside a tenth of one’s income to return to the Lord. It was established in the Old Testament by Abraham and a man called Malchizedek (cf. Genesis 14: 18-20). Originally the tithe was given in the form of produce or livestock, as that was one’s “wealth”. As the culture shifted from a barter-based system of trade to a monetary exchange system, the tithe began to be paid in currency. Whether one gave livestock or money was not as important as understanding that it was a grateful response to a generous God. It was recognizing with gratitude all the blessings God had bestowed, realizing we have an inherent need to give as an act of worship, not merely as a duty. Loye Young, a Catholic blogger, summarizes with this true story:

“Home for me is a 16-foot travel trailer at a camping ‘resort’ in San Antonio, Texas. One afternoon last week, I was sitting in my lawn chair under the awning, which serves as my living room, when I saw my friend Adam walk by. He was carrying a plastic bag of Hot Pockets and Cokes he’d bought at the drugstore down the street.

Adam (that’s his real name) is in his early twenties, thin as a rail, and lives alone in a one room cabin down the hill from me. The cabin has no running water, so he uses the camp facilities for the restroom and to shower.

He works for minimum wage on an asphalt crew in the 100 degree Texas summer heat. His thick brown hair is sunbleached to a burnt orange color, because he never wears a hat. I see him most every day as he goes to and from his job. He doesn’t have a car, so a company pickup comes to get him and bring him home. He rides in the back of the truck. He always smiles. I’ve never seen him unhappy.

Anyway, as he was walking by, I said hello and so he stopped to chat. We exchanged some small talk about how hot the day was. Gesturing to the computer on my lap, he asked what I was working on. I told him I was writing an article about giving to God and what that means for our salvation. He looked at me like he remembered something, but forgot how he knew. What he said next, in his slow Texas accent, was as lucid, theologically accurate summary of Christian giving as I have ever heard.

’You mean tithin’, right?’ Adam paused and squinted his eyes. ‘God owns everything, so when he gives me something, I give him back 10%. If I do, he promises me a blessin’.’ Then he shook his head, grinned broadly, and said, ‘But I don’t give for the blessin’. I give because he wants me to. It’s all his anyway.’

I was reminded of the words of our Lord: ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants ‘ ( Luke 10:21). The article I was writing is 9,000 words long, but Adam had summarized it in 45 words!

I told him that if everyone understood what he just said, I wouldn’t have to write the article. He laughed and said, ‘Not everybody gets it.’”

Tithing as an Act of Worship

It is no accident that the fruits of our labor are offered at the same time as the presentation of the bread and wine. Just as bread and wine represent the “work of human hands”, the money collected represents the results of our work. This monetary gift represents the gift of ourselves to God, from our hard work and sacrifice. Just as God transforms the bread and wine and gives them back to us to share in His life, God accepts our monetary gifts and transforms it through the work of the parish community and allows us, as disciples, to fulfill our mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with first fruits of all your produce; then will your barns be filled with grain, with new wine our vats will overflow.” Proverbs 3:9-10

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THE JOY OF GIVING

Disciples consciously sacrifice to give and work towards a full tithe (10%), making possible the work of God and all that is happening around us. This intentionality helps prioritize money in its proper place in our lives, allowing us to better manage our budgets and free ourselves to share with others this powerful expression of God’s place in our lives. We begin to realize our needs from our wants. We begin to appreciate the many blessings we already have in our lives, that God has blessed us with all that we need. We begin to understand and stop being “consumed by consumerism” and being “possessed by our possessions”. We begin to slow down and prioritize our time and money, allowing ourselves to deepen our relationship with God, loved ones and our community. Ultimately, the practice of tithing offers more joy, peace, contentment and balance to our lives.

“Where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” (Matthew 6:21)

Reflection

Take some time to reflect on how you view your possessions and resources:

Ownership and Need

  • Are you owned by your possessions, or do you see them as God sees them, gifts that you merely hold in trust for Him?

  • Do you routinely give to a need, or do you understand that you have an inherent need to give?

Giving Your “First Fruits”

  • Do you plan and budget your giving?

  • Do you give to God your “first fruits” rather than whatever is “leftover” at the end of each week or month?

  • Have you assessed your current giving level to the parish Stewardship Fund?

  • Is your giving honest, consistent and generous?

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TITHING ACTION PLAN

Goals

Use these suggestions as inspiration and set realistic goals that will allow you and your family to encounter Jesus and share in the work of building His kingdom. While many parishioners are not in a position to start out tithing (giving 10%), over time, by adding a percentage increase each year, the 10% can be reached.

  • Prayerfully consider a gift to the Stewardship Fund that is honest, consistent and generous.

  • Become a new giver by making a weekly donation of one hour of pay or $5 per week.

  • Increase your current pledge by 5% to 10%.

  • Pledge a percent of your annual income. See the Financial Guide for Tithing table below for examples.

  • Commit to a specific gift each week or each month.

Use the offertory envelopes or manage your giving online.

Working towards a tithe truly does take great faith and placing your trust in God. If you wait untilyou feel that you are financially comfortable you will never take the step.

Financial Guide for Tithing

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“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” - Luke 6:38

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LOOKING AHEAD

Stewardship Renewal Packets

You should receive your Stewardship Renewal packet the week of September 24. Please prayerfully review this material and return your Commitment form during the special offering on Commitment Weekend, Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Forms may also be returned by mail or in the offertory basket.
 

Stewardship: GRATITUDE and SERVICE

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EVERYTHING WE HAVE IS A GIFT FROM GOD

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Gratefully Sharing Talents

“Giving of my talents can be a confusing concept. Often, I confuse sharing my talents with being prideful or vain. For instance, I did not always want to write and open up my thoughts for ridicule. Was this humility on my part, or vanity disguised as humility?

Perhaps I was nervous about what other people might think, as I have always been hesitant to stand out or be a leader of any sort. As a child, I watched others take the lead, content to stay protected in the shadows. But as we mature, we must come face to face with the parable of the talents and ask ourselves what exactly has Christ given us for which He will ask an account?

Often it takes real self-reflection and prayer to uncover some of our deeper desires and talents. For isn’t it prideful to think that we are good at anything? Why yes, perhaps it is, unless we understand and accept the words of Scripture: “What have you that you have not received, and if you have received, then why do you act as if you had not?”

These are humbling words indeed, for we again come to face with our utter dependency on God. When we acknowledge and accept our life and our talents as a complete gift from a loving Father, then we can move forward in coming to understand how He desires that we share these gifts with the world.”

Excerpt from, “Self Gift: How we can Share our Talents with Others” by Emily Molitor, contributor to Seton Magazine

www.setonmagazine.com/latest-articles/self-gift-how-we-can-share-our-talents-with-others

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SERVICE ACTION PLAN

Reflection

Our talents are special blessings that each of us has received from a loving Father. When we share our talents and gifts, we are giving something of ourselves, an intimate sharing of “who we are” for the good of others. We are helping others meet Jesus.

Take some time to reflect on your life. What activities bring you joy and allow you to encounter Jesus? How are you being called to participate in His work? Are you sharing His truth through your actions and activities? Are you being fruitful and effective without undue struggle? Are you continually developing your gifts, opening yourself up to the possibility of going beyond what you thought was possible? Do you share your gifts for His Glory?

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest thing you will ever encounter with your sense…if he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also, Christ…Glory himself is truly hidden.” - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Goals

Begin charting your course for a deeper spiritual life by developing your own Service Action Plan. Use these suggestions as inspiration and set realistic goals for yourself and your family that will allow you to encounter Jesus and share in the work of building His Kingdom.

Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you discern your talents and charisms.

Use a talent and gift inventory to guide you in your preliminary discernment.

Attend a Called and Gifted Workshop to understand more fully your God-gifted talents and charisms, as well as how best to share them.

Commit to using your talents and gifts by spending a set amount of time each week/month in service to your family, parish and community.

Assess your current ministry activity. Every day we have the choice to serve or to sit back; to get involved or be self-involved. This year, is God calling you to do more for others through service?

Practice the corporal works of mercy by:

  • Visiting someone who lives alone, or is homebound or incarcerated

  • Feeding the hungry

  • Helping to build a house for those in need

  • Serving at a charitable organization

Become involved in ministries that bring you joy!

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TALENT AND GIFT INVENTORY

What are your gifts? What talents did God give you that you are willing to share with others? Use the following in your preliminary discernment to discover how God is calling you!

Arts and Activities

  • Acting

  • Drama

  • Artistic Design/Drawing

  • Calligraphy

  • Lettering

  • Coaching Sports

  • Crafts

  • Creative Activities

  • Dancing

  • Decorating

  • Directing (Drama)

  • Floral Arrangement

  • Music (Vocal)

  • Musical Instruments

  • Outdoor Sports/Activities

  • Digital Photography

  • Sewing/Knitting

  • Sports

Building, Construction and Repair

  • Carpentry

  • Electrical (Licensed)

  • Gardening

  • Landscaping

  • Painting

  • Plumbing

  • Using Power Tools

  • Power Washing

  • Using Small or Large Equipment

  • Woodworking

  • Yard Work

Business and Technology

  • Accounting/Finance

  • Audio/Visual

  • Clerical

  • Data Entry

  • Desktop Publishing

  • IT

  • Microsoft Office

  • Phone/Reception

  • Video Production

Communications

  • ASL Interpreter

  • Bilingual

  • Editing

  • Historian

  • Proofreading

  • Public Speaking

  • Sign/Banner Making

  • Social Media

  • Wordsmithing

  • Writing

Leadership and Management

  • Coordinating

  • Development

  • Evaluating

  • Facilitating

  • Human Resources

  • Interviewing

  • Marketing

  • Mediating

  • Negotiating

  • Organizing

  • Planning

  • Recruiting

  • Research

  • Teaching

  • Team Building

  • Training

  • Visioning

Hospitality

  • Baking

  • Catering

  • Childcare

  • Cleaning

  • Cooking

  • Event Planning

  • General Assistance

  • Hostessing

  • Laundry

  • Welcoming

Spirituality

  • Compassionate Care

  • Faith Sharing

  • Hospice Training

  • Listening to Others

  • Praying with Others

  • Praying for Others

  • Reading to Others

  • Serving Others

  • Visiting Others

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NEXT STEPS

Called and Gifted Workshops

Explore the ancient teaching of the Church on how the gifts (or charisms) of the Holy Spirit work in your life and in the life of your parish. The Called and Gifted discernment process begins with a workshop presentation, which includes Churchteaching on the laity and lay apostleship, the nature of charisms, call and vocation, as well as how to undertake the process of discernment.

Each workshop is from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Registration is $80 per person and includes: workshop materials, refreshments, lunch and an individualdiscernment follow-up interview.

Register at www.secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=c006b9

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Church of the Epiphany, Coon Rapids
Contact:
Jill Fink
jfink@epiphanymn.org
763-862-4355

Saturday, January 26, 2019

All Saints Catholic Church, Lakeville
Contact:
Mary Kay Bungert
mbungert@allsaintschurch.com
952-469-6465

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Church of St. Pius X, White Bear Lake
Contact:
Kim Williams
kwilliams@churchofstpiusx.org
651-762-3626

Get Involved

Stewardship of Service Ministry Form

If you are currently serving or are interested in serving in parish ministry, then please complete the Online Stewardship of Service Ministry Form. This will take you less than 10 minutes to complete.

Ministry Scheduler Pro

For those who are already enrolled in liturgical ministries (Greeters, Ushers, Lectors, Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Sacristans, and Monthly Coordinators for Baptism) please go to Ministry Scheduler Pro under the Get Involved tab on the parish website and update your profile here.

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LOOKING AHEAD

Next Week...

We will learn how to respond as a disciple by striving to tithe in gratitude!

Stewardship Renewal Packets

You should receive your Stewardship Renewal packet the week of September 24. Please prayerfully review this material and return your Commitment form during the special offering on Commitment Weekend, Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Forms may also be returned by mail or in the offertory basket.
 

Stewardship: GRATITUDE and PRAYER

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BECAUSE HE LOVED US FIRST

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Gratitude and Prayer: Take 10 + 2 + Family

The basic principle of Christian stewardship is that everything we have is a gift from God. In gratitude for God’s generosity, we dedicate a portion of our gifts – especially our time – to encounter Him in prayer and the sacraments.  If we truly believe that God gives us all that we have, gratitude is one response. Trust is another. When we realize that God has provided for us and will continue to do so, we recognize that our real security lies in God. God, who has given us all, will take care of our future.

But we, as a community of faith, must remember that we cannot give what we do not have.  In order for us to welcome others into the life of the Church, we must first make sure that our spiritual lives are properly in order. In a busy society like ours, time is one of the most precious gifts we have been given.

Take inventory of how you spend the 168 hours of a week. Are you encountering Jesus in your daily life? Are you taking time to talk to Jesus in prayer, to speak with Him as you would a friend? Are you seeking His truth through reading the scriptures? Will you make Him first on your priority list so that you are able to give to others from the graces He has given you? Do you share the gift of yourself with Him?

Take 10:  Personal Prayer

Each person needs to spend time with Jesus one-on-one. A daily heart-to-heart conversation with Him is the key to personal spiritual growth. Share your joys, heartaches, pains, wishes, regrets and desire to be closer to Him. He is waiting for you!

+2:  Community Prayer

The Mass is the highest prayer of the Church and should also be the high point of our week! Consider making it your top priority to never miss a Sunday liturgy.  In addition, spend an additional hour each week in the presence of our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. Teach yourself to “Be Still” and hear His call to you.

+Family:  Family Prayer

Pray as a family everyday! Take to heart the famous phrase of Fr. Patrick Peyton: “The family that prays together, stays together.”  Choose times daily to pray with your spouse and children:  bedtime prayers, a scripture verse at mealtimes, or a decade of the Rosary on the way to school, sporting events or work!

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THE TRUTH: FAMILY FAITH AND THE ROLE OF THE FATHER

An Overwhelming and Critical Factor

The religious practice of the father overwhelmingly determines church attendance by his children.

Political Correctness Doesn’t Seem to Get Kids to Church

“The results.. are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be, but they simply confirm what [many experts] and traditional Christians know.”

“If a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotion, only [2%] will become a regular worshiper.”

Even if a father only attends church irregularly, 50% to 67% of his children will attend regularly or occasionally, regardless of his wife’s faith practices.

Fathers Have an Overwhelming Impact on Church Attendance

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“Before mothers despair… her presence [at church] ensures that only a quarter of her children will never attend at all… Her major influence is not on regular attendance at all but on keeping her irregular children from lapsing altogether… A mother’s role will always remain primary in terms of intimacy, care, and nurture… No father can replace that relationship.”

Fathers Play a Critical Role

“When children see that church is a ‘women and children’ thing, they will respond accordingly - by not going to church, or going much less.”

A mother’s call to action:
If you want your children to attend church, make sure their father leadsthe way

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v

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PRAYER ACTION PLAN

Guidelines

Develop your own Prayer Action Plan using these guidelines. 

Make an appointment for yourself everyday for 10 minutes of individual prayer. Schedule this time into your phone or computer calendar, and set a reminder alarm.

Plan ahead as a family as to when you will participate in Sunday liturgy.  Are you traveling on the weekend? Do you have sporting events?  Make a commitment to be intentional about keeping the Sabbath day holy by focusing on the sanctification of ordinary life.

The domestic church is where faith is primarily taught. Children learn to pray primarily at home from their parents.  Plan together as a family how you will pray together each day.

Goals

Begin charting your course for a deeper spiritual life.  Use these suggestions as inspiration. Set realistic goals for yourself and your family that will allow you to encounter Jesus and grow in relationship with Him.

Place Jesus first in your life, and do not let other priorities crowd out your time with Him.

Make Sunday Mass a priority.

Participate actively during Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation by: arriving early for Mass; reading the scriptures before Mass; serving as a liturgical minister; spending meaningful time in prayer individually, communally and/or with your family each day by; reading the Bible or daily readings; praying at meals, even in restaurants; praying the Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy once per week; Lectio Divina (reading and reflecting on scriptures).

Set aside time to grow in my relationship with Jesus by: returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or participating in this Sacrament once per month; attending daily Mass once per week; committing to a Holy Hour of Adoration; studying the Catholic faith with others; reading Catholic books/materials; attending retreats and parish missions; cultivating the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (c.f. Gal. 5:22).

Refrain from gossiping and complaining

Pray for vocations to the priesthood, religious and married life.

Invite a friend or neighbor to Mass and/or a parish event.
 

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PRAYER MINISTRY SPOTLIGHT

Featured this weekend are prayer-focused ministries to help you grow in relationship with Jesus.

Eucharistic Adoration

Imagine if you felt more balanced, peaceful and refreshed in the midst of all the world’s demands. That cross in your life? Imagine that it is no longer weighing you down like it used to. Are you looking for something that will transform you from the inside out? All you need is 60 minutes every week for a heart-to-heart with Jesus Christ! Let us show you how incredible the Eucharistic Adoration ministry is!

Contact Ben and Kristan Vrba at olgadorationchapel@gmail.com or 612-564-8026.

Pray and Play

Thursdays, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM, Nursery
We would like to welcome all caretakers of little ones to Pray and Play. Meet in the Nursery and let your children play while you chat and meet others in the parish.  Each hours ends by spending 10 minutes in prayer to leave you all with a moment of grace before heading home to your families!  If you are searching for an opportunity to spend time in the MHT Adoration Chapel, we will help!  Your little ones can play in the Nursery while you spend your time in quiet prayer.

Contact Honor Miller at honormorgan@hotmail.com.

Faith Share and Prayer Group

2nd Thursdays monthly, 7:00 PM, North Crying Room
The Faith Share and Prayer Group invites you to enhance your spiritual life by participating in a guided discussion and prayer time one hour a month - reading a scriptural or spiritual text, reflecting on its connection to your life, sharing thoughts, and bringing inspirations and needs to prayer.  It involves a small-time investment with a significant impact.  It’s a way to feel supported in your faith life. Try it out!

Contact Lynn Tursich at 952-925-0737. 

Lectio Divina

Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Jesus wants us to know Him personally. What better way to get to know Jesus than to read and meditate on His Word together in fellowship.  Lectio Divina is a method of prayer dating back to a time when few owned bibles or knew how to read.  We meet for an hour weekly to reflect on the Gospel passage for the upcoming weekend Mass as well as pray for the parish and your personal intentions.

Contact Mary Luxem at luxem1@q.com.

33 Days to Morning Glory

Take a video journey with Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, through a six-week guided retreat. Father Gaitley explains the basics of Marian Consecration, how key saints lived it out, and how you can live it as well. With joy and simplicity, Father Gaitley gets to the heart of Marian Consecration through his book and his 30-minute talks. We meet once a week for six, 90-minute sessions plus approximately 10 minutes of reading per day. Groups areusually scheduled around Marian feast days.

Contact Maureen Wong at maureenw0089@gmail.com or 952-927-0089.
 

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LOOKING AHEAD

Next Week...

We will learn how to respond as a disciple by serving others in gratitude!

Stewardship Renewal Packets

You should receive your Stewardship Renewal packet the week of September 24. Please prayerfully review this material and return your Commitment form during the special offering on Commitment Weekend, Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Forms may also be returned by mail or in the offertory basket.
 

BINGO Party with Seniors

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Tuesday, October 16, 1:30 - 2:30 PM
All Seniors 55+ are invited to join us for a fun afternoon with fellowship and prizes sponsored by our OLG 5th Grade Pen Pals.

RSVP by Thursday, October 11 to Beryl Schewe at berylschewe@olgparish.org or in the Parish Office (x9035).

United in Christ Parent Gathering

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Wednesday, October 10, 6:00 - 7:15 PM, Dining Room
All parents of students in OLG Faith Formation programs are invited to gather together with other parents to share and learn practical ways to help your family grow in faith! Contact Sarah Burgess at olg3fo@olgparish.org for more information.

OLG School Marathon 2018

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Help OLG School’s Biggest Fundraiser!

Friday, September 21 - Saturday, October 6

OLG’s Marathon for Non-Public Education is underway!  This year’s theme:  Dancing with the Stars!  The Marathon kicked off on Friday, September 21 with a school-wide pep fest and will end on Saturday, October 6th with our annual all-school and family celebration held at OLG from 9:30-12:00.

All funds raised go directly back to OLG School to help fund the Groves Reading Program at OLG, the Design for Learning Project (new furnishings), and support our technology needs.  In addition to supporting our school through fundraising, our students will gather donations of various goods for several local charitable organizations.  Our generosity will support the Ronald McDonald House, Simpson Housing Services, Sharing and Caring Hands, and Children’s Hospital Minnesota.

OLG parishioners, please help support our Marathon!  Donations can be sent directly to the school or the parish office.

Thank you for your support of our wonderful parish school!

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First Saturday Devotion in October

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Saturday, October 6, 8:00 – 11:00 AM
Please join us after praying the Rosary and Mass for an EWTN classic documentary on Fatima.  Narrated by Ricardo Montalban, it gives a true global perspective to Our Blessed Mother’s dramatic appearances and important messages delivered over 100 years ago to three little shepherd children. Coffee and treats included with the documentary.

Volunteer with Child and Youth Programs

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We have many volunteer opportunities for you to get involved and answer your own baptismal call to be an active member of our parish:

Parish Nursery
Open for all 1-2 year old children during 9:30 and 11:30 AM Sunday morning Masses.

Sunday School Classes
Available for children aged 3-Kindergarten during 9:30 AM Sunday morning Mass.

Children's Liturgy of the Word
Available for Kindergarten and 1st grade students during 9:30 AM Sunday morning Mass.

Faith Formation / Encounter
For children in grades 1-8, which meets Wednesday evenings during the school year from 6:00 – 7:15 PM. Free childcare available for all volunteers' children who haven't yet started 1st grade.

Download our 2018-2019 Ministry Opportunities Form to learn more and sign-up.