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Dear Lord: You have already given St. Paul parish the land for a new Church Building, and now you inspire us to take the next steps towards its realization. You make us aware that a Church needs to be built from the inside out: with living stones you build yourself a worthy tabernacle of your divine presence among us.
Each one of us is a vital part of your Mystical body: our adoration, our prayer groups, our Religious formation, our work with the children, our efforts to renew the family as domestic Church, our fund raising and the work of all our ministries. These spiritual, pastoral and social efforts are all part of our striving that you can give us the necessary means to erect a worthy, dignified new Church building in your honor.
We humbly call for help from you, St. Paul, our patron saint, and from you, our Lady of Guadalupe and our Lady of Schoenstatt; we call on you, St. Joseph and St. Michael, and on you, dear Cure of Ars, to intercede for us and to inspire us as we venture into an uncertain future of our country and the world. Nothing without you, nothing without us!
At its core, tithing is an acknowledgement that the gifts or talents we have were entrusted to us by God, and are intended to be used for His glory and to spread the gospel. Tithing allows parishes to meet day-to-day needs, allocate funds for emergencies and fund future projects. It is understood, that as a community of faith, we are to provide for the needs of the Church. Fr. Hector Vega recommends that we fulfill the needs by tithing 5% of our income to the parish, 4% to charities of our choice, and 1% to the Diocese.
Listed below are tithing guidelines that may help you in deciding your recommended weekly sacrifice to the parish.
In the Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation, extending over four Sundays, before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, "to come to," and refers to the coming of Christ. This refers, first of all, to our celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas; but second, to the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and the Sacrament of Holy Communion; and finally, to His Second Coming at the end of time. Our preparations, therefore, should have all three comings in mind. We need to prepare our souls to receive Christ worthily.
Perhaps the best-known of all Advent symbols is the Advent wreath, a custom which originated among German Lutherans but was soon adopted by Catholics. Consisting of four candles (three purple and one pink) arranged in a circle with evergreen boughs (and often a fifth, white candle in the center), the Advent wreath corresponds to the four Sundays of Advent. The purple candles represent the penitential nature of the season, while the pink candle calls to mind the respite of Gaudete Sunday. (The white candle, when used, represents Christmas.)
Additional interesting information will be posted as Advent continues.