Our Faith, Our Parish, Our Mission
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing this as we begin Advent and are looking ahead to the Christmas Season. As this is a time to consider our many blessings, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this parish community. I am especially thankful for all the people who are committed to this parish and who continue to support its growing mission of evangelization. Since our humble beginnings in a school gym, many sacrifices have been made. The founding parishioners believed in God’s goodness to bring the dream and vision of a parish in this part of Colorado Springs to fruition. Today, because of their faith, hard work, and willingness to make the necessary sacrifices, we now have this facility which overlooks Pikes Peak and serves as our gathering place as we worship God.
St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, however, is not just a place of worship. It is a place where generations of families gather to pray and pass on faith traditions. It is a place of solace for those seeking God daily at Mass. It is a place where the weary and tired come and sit quietly in prayer waiting to feel God’s healing touch, filling them with hope so that they can go back out and face the world again. It is a place where our children are being taught about God and His love for us; a place where young lives are formed and the roots of our Catholic faith are embedded even deeper in each one of us. It is a place where many freely give of themselves through their leadership and service to others. Above all, it is a place where the work of salvation is at hand in the world, and for the world.
It Takes a Community
The resources needed, both financial and volunteered service, to operate a vibrant parish like ours are many. Because our parish population continues to grow, we are constantly looking to expand our mission and ministries in new ways, Our continued commitment to our mission also honors the sacrifices of all those who came before us and helped establish our community of faith.
To do this, we want to highlight all of the many ways that are available to help support our mission and leave a lasting legacy of faith to those who come after us. We call this effort The Work of Our Hands, and it will be an ongoing invitation for all of us to consider anew how our gifts to this parish community are more than just “donations.” Our gifts are acts of faith and gratitude to God for what He has done for us. In addition, our gifts directly support our mission of proclaiming the Gospel, as we seek the salvation of souls. These two facets are nothing more than what we express each time we worship together in the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass (CCC#1083).
So, during the weeks and months ahead, I would humbly encourage you to:
Pray and ask God for guidance. Ask Him to help you to consider a gift of faith, as an expression of gratitude, and based on your ability to give or volunteer.
Pray for St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, that God will help reveal to all our hearts the true importance and meaning of our gifts.
Remember the widow’s mite (Mark 12:44). The parable which teaches us that though we know that some have the ability to give more than others, no amount of time or treasure is too small. No amount is too big. Anything, given in gratitude, has worth beyond measure and will be received with praise and thanksgiving!
A Response of Faith
When we come together as a community of faith to celebrate Mass, it is by the urging of the Holy Spirit. And when “the Spirit encounters in us the response of faith which he has aroused in us, he brings about genuine cooperation. Through it, the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church” (CCC#1091). May the same Spirit help guide us peacefully and joyfully to consider the profound importance of our gifts to the work and mission of the Church.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What needs does this effort address?
Many of St. Gabriel parishioners are already very generous in their support of our parish both financially and through generously offering of their time! The Work of Our Hands is intended to highlight the spiritual meaning behind gifts like theirs, and invite others who have yet to encounter the grace of thankful giving into a deeper understanding of it. We aren’t trying to meet a specific goal, but are working toward a spiritual way of life that will help ensure the daily operations of the church, now and into the future.
How do I make a gift?
If your prayer leads you to respond by more actively participating in the mission of the parish through your time or talents, we can assist you in finding a ministry or group to get involved with! You can find contact information for specific ministry groups that may interest you through our website (www.saintgabriel.net), or call the parish office for assistance (528-8407). If your prayer leads you to respond in other ways, we will have specially marked The Work of Our Hands offering envelopes, which will be available in the pews at all masses. With the envelopes you can make a gift of your treasure and/or offer a gift of prayer! Just fill out the envelope and drop your gift into the offertory basket with your usual tithe, during Mass. Or, take an envelope home, fill it out and then drop it into the offertory basket when you are ready to do so.
Do I have to make a commitment or pledge?
The Work of Our Hands is an invitation to consider a faith-giving commitment between you and God. No. There is no public pledge, or a set period of time. There is no commitment to join a ministry.
You decide through prayer and respond as an expression of your faith and gratitude to God for what He has done for you, whenever you want.
When can I start contributing to this effort?
The Work of Our Hands will kick off on November 28th , 2015, in conjunction with the beginning of Advent. Advent is a season during which we are invited to consider gift giving, as we prepare to remember at Christmas time the greatest gift we have ever received through Jesus.
How often can I give to The Work of Our Hands?
That is entirely at your discretion. It can be once a month, twice a month, monthly, a large gift once a year, etc. Whatever your prayer leads you to. Our hope is that your gifts will be meaningful and joy filled. In addition, your gifts as a volunteer can have many expressions and times that you work into your schedule as you are able.
Are there other ways that I can give?
You can always give by check or cash. However, you can give by credit card or directly out of your checking account by setting it up through our secure Online Giving Portal on our website.
Plus, some of these ways of giving are also tax deductible!
Monetary gifts which are trackable through the use of the specially marked envelopes, will be credited to you just as your usual offerings. If you have any questions on ways of giving, please contact the parish office for more information.
Why should I give?
We give because:
- We are grateful for what God has done for us and all the blessings He continues to provide on a daily basis.
- It is a privilege to give back to God what is His, in order to continue the work of salvation through the various church programs and activities.
- It is an honor to store up treasures in Heaven instead of the fruitless materialistic things of this world.
- Our giving ensures our legacy of faith for future generations! Remembering that this work was sacrificially started many years ago when others built this church.
- We are all called to be good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to each of us.