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Eucharist thanksgiving is the natural response to our baptismal grace. Holy Eucharist is so important that the Church tells us that, at least once a week, we need to come together with our family in Christ to say thank you to God, to celebrate and strengthen our living of God's gift. But we should give thanks to God every day.
When we realize how blessed we are, and when we wish to give thanks, we want to return all we have to God who has given it so generously. The people who participated in our Leadership Enrichment day all have felt that way for some time. That is why they are so involved in the parish. What a tremendous force for good our parish becomes, as more and more people capture this spirit. Our Pastoral Council has chosen to organize its plan around the diocesan plan: To know Christ better and make Christ better known. In the months ahead we will try to move beyond the inner circle to the parish at large. Please pray for this effort. Give your ideas to your Pastoral Council representatives. Reflect on your baptismal call, and see if there are new ways to respond in gratitude to God's infinite generosity. (Fr. Paul Schmidt)
The parish staff with several of our school staff went to Santa Cruz to the Holy Names Sisters’ Retreat House for our annual days of planning and team building. Once again, we focused on the insights we learned using the Clifton Strengths Finder as a tool for this effort. In learning and honoring the gifts and strengths God has given to each of us and learning how to manage them as a group we hope we will bring better service and ministry to our parish. I want to invite all in the parish to consider using this tool (Clifton Strengths Finder) for their own spiritual and relational growth and the betterment of family, parish and community life.
The theory that flows from these statistics and programs is simple. If we understand the special gifts and strengths that God gave us and nurture them, we will not just be happier in life, but we will engage and empower those around us. With the uniqueness in which each of us has been made, the challenge is louder. If I don’t do it in the wonderful way that God has gifted me to live, who else can?
Our parish joined with seven other parishes in the Diocese of Oakland and five parishes in the Archdiocese of San Francisco to utilize these tools in the hope of helping people find a path will help them live life to the fullest. If others see us happy and following a clear path they may want to join us and in that way we fulfill the call of every Christian, to lead others to Christ by the very way we live our own lives. (Fr. Bob McCann)
Giving thanks is what we as Catholics do every time we gather and celebrate Mass. As you know, eucharistia, the Greek word from which we derive Eucharist, means “to give thanks.” It is the heart of our liturgy and life as a community, and should be at the heart of our lives as families and individuals. Despite whatever difficulties or trials we may have encountered this last year, for a Catholic, an appropriate response is always gratitude. No matter what befalls us we, by faith, believe Christ our King is working for our good and leading us toward the salvation he has won for us. (Fr. Mark Wiesner)