We believe that all Christians are empowered with extraordinary, supernatural gifts, by and through the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation, that when cultivated, will awaken a desire for God’s will and purpose for their lives. “Infused by the Holy Spirit! Compelled to Respond!”
Are you wondering about God’s direction for your life? Are you ready to take the next step? Come “Seek your Purpose” through a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Seeking PurposeRetreat helps you discern the Spiritual gifts that God has given you for His purpose. And for those of you who have done “Living Your Strengths” this could be your next step. You have learned what talents God has given you for personal relationships and success; now let’s discern what Spiritual gifts God has given you to contribute toward HIS success.
Start the New Year out right by “Seeking Purpose” on Saturday, January 26th from 8:00am to 4:30pm in the Banquet Room of the New Life Center. Register online here. The cost is $40.00 which includes Continental breakfast, lunch and all materials including the spiritual gifts assessment (provided after registration), a one-on-one mentoring session and a Discernment Workshop on February 23.
To the faithful disciples of St. Matthew Catholic Church,
I am pleased to offer for your consideration the 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan for our parish family.
I was appointed as the pastor of this amazing community shortly over one year ago. In that time, I have experienced great joy in the fruits of the Holy Spirit that have been at work here since 1986. The vibrant liturgies, the sacrificial service, and the spirit of evangelization that is so evident here draws all who pass through our doors into a large, yet intimate, parish family, but most importantly, into a personal relationship with the Lord.
We are not unaware, however, of the challenges that we face in today’s world. Secular experts have declared the current times as the beginning of the “post-Christian” era. God is seen as no longer relevant in a culture that has determined truth to be subjective and the individual to be the only true god. Mass attendance is in decline, reception of the sacraments has become less common, and young people are leaving the Church in alarming numbers. Our parish community is no exception to this trend.
But we are not the first to confront a world that rejects Jesus. The first disciples, in fact, were met with skepticism, hostility, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Alone, they were powerless. And so they did what Jesus taught them to do—to seek an intimate relationship with the Father, who would fill them with the power that would transform the world.
Our 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan, then, is based on that simple model. By fostering a deeper spirituality in our parish community, and by using the gifts we are given in our encounter with youth and young adults, we allow the Spirit to speak and act through us.
It worked 2000 years ago. With God’s help, it will work for us today.
Prayer is the key to all we do here at St. Matthew. If we are not praying for each other, and for our parish, we can’t hope to serve the Lord and his people to the best of our ability while drawing on his grace. I invite you to join in prayer for our parish and for each other every day at 3 pm. Set your cell phone alarm for 3:00 and stop…no matter what you’re in the middle of….and pray an Our Father for our parish and for intentions.
The release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report this past week reminds us once again of the terrible crimes that were committed by some members of the clergy, and reveals inexcusable instances of poor judgment, deception, and negligence in the pastoral care of the victims of sexual abuse. This, and the recent accusations against former Cardinal McCarrick, once again open wounds that cause many of us great pain, and have led some to question our faith and trust in the institution of the Church founded by Christ Himself.
I have had multiple discussions over the past several days with priest friends of mine, and also with the clergy here at St. Matthew. These reports cause us great pain and in some cases anger toward those entrusted with the authority to administer justice and to keep vulnerable children and adults out of harm’s way. The priests that I know well answered the call to the priesthood to serve you, to share with you God’s love and mercy, and to bring you the power of the sacraments, and we can’t understand how such abuse and injustice was tolerated by those with the power to stop it.
I humbly ask you to pray with us above all for healing and consolation for those who have been harmed, for justice to be done in each case of abuse, and that the hierarchy would decisively institute additional reforms to prevent this from happening again. While the Grand Jury report itself acknowledges that much good work hasalready been done in the last 20 years in responding to reports of abuse, much more is still necessary at the highest levels of the Church to root out any element of evil from among us.
I also ask that, as you pray with us, you also pray for us, the priests and deacons who serve you at this parish, and for all clergy, that we would always live up to our high calling of serving you, the people of God.
Attached you will find a letter from Bishop Jugis and Bishop Zarama in support of immigration reform and the Dreamers. This is the first collaborative letter between the two bishops since the installation of Bishop Zarama in 2017.
Please take a moment out of your busy day to read and stay informed on the stated positions, formed by Catholic social teaching, of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB).
St. Matthew is a vibrant and growing parish community with access to wonderful facilities, the daily celebration of Mass, education and faith formation all of which offer the opportunity to encounter Christ, experience His presence and receive His grace. We share that same love during life’s joys and certainly in its sorrows, providing support through counseling services, food distribution, outreach and bereavement ministries. We are able to do all of this because of you and your generous offertory support. Money’s value isn’t found in what it can get, but in what it can give, and you have given a foundation of faith, an encounter with Christ, and for many a new beginning.
Please take a moment to reflect on your planned giving for 2018 and complete the commitment form linked here.
I thank you for your continued and generous support of our parish.
Join a small group to share friendship, faith, reflections and the messages of Jesus to enrich your spiritual path while building community. Small groups are designed to bring family and friends, both old and new, together in small groups to discuss and share our experiences.
These small groups meet in homes, workplaces or any comfortable setting. You can meet weekly, every other week, monthly, or seasonally. The group will reflect on and discuss select topics. Easy, host-friendly material will be provided.
♥ A small group is great way to make new friends and connections with St. Matthew parishioners and others.
♥ Being part of a small group is a way to grow in faith-filled relationships.
♥ It is a short term commitment… Just during lent beginning Feb. 14.
If you have further questions, email anyone on the Small Group Planning Team or call 704-543-7677 x 1193. A member of our team will respond as soon as possible.