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June 12, 2015

Electronic funds transfer is an easy way to be sure your Stewardship intention continues, even while you are away on a summer vacation. Our expenses don’t take a vacation and so this is one way that will allow us to do business as usual. Many households at St. Edward’s use electronic funds transfers to simplify their giving to the parish all year long. It is an easy and safe way to manage your Stewardship of Treasure. We encourage you to take a look at this and begin using this secure method of giving.

If you are interested in beginning electronic funds transfer, please talk with Sherrie Schroeder in the parish office (952.835.7101). The forms are available either in the parish office or in the pamphlet rack outside of the office. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

February 27, 2015

Pope Francis has said… Since the start of his pontificate, Pope Francis has spoken extensively on the rights of the poor and has stressed that faithful must help those on the margins. Pope Francis practices what he preaches: When a local Sri Lankan church donated more than Rs. 8.7 million to the Charity Fund of the Pontiff; the Holy Father refused the check, requesting that local churches use it to help the poor. Sri Lanka’s bishops have decided to distribute the money among the dioceses to help the poor.

Catholic Social Teaching Principle – Preferential Option for the Poor: Those who are marginalized and whose rights are denied have privileged claims if society is to provide justice for all.

ACTION: Reflect on How YOUR “Almsgiving” is truly helping the poor?

In Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father urged for all faithful to have a spirit of “generous openness,” and to care for the weakest members of society. During Lent, try taking Almsgiving to a new level of ACTION. Reach out to those on the margins, whom you do not ordinarily see, and figure out a way to Act with Compassion to show God’s love to them! There are so many organizations that you can give to that help the marginalized in our local community and beyond: Loaves & Fishes, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative (FMF), VEAP, Bridging, Second Harvest Food Bank, or Feed My Starving Children, … and many more. Consider VEAP’s March FoodShare Month Collection!

Donate FOOD &/or $$ to our food drive during March – Our Goal = 1500 lbs.
The Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign raises more than half the food distributed annually at 300 food shelves statewide. At the beginning of every year, as the giving spirit of the holidays wanes, food shelves across Minnesota begin to struggle to get enough food donated to serve the people in need in their communities. Our goal is to raise 115,000 pounds or dollars throughout the month of March. Help us achieve this goal and keep our shelves stocked.

A helpful flyer to take shopping with you or envelopes for your convenience can be found on the poster in the foyer or on the VEAP food bins.

“Veggies-4-VEAP” Giving Garden is in the “Seeds of Planning” stage! We will meet Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm to discuss the plan for this year’s garden for VEAP’s Food Shelf. Any new people interested in being part of this Team for coordinating our garden, please join us!

January 25, 2015

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Recently I asked a priest friend and scholar to offer some thoughts on tithing. I thought you might find his response insightful. Let us continue to dialogue on how St. Edward’s has been and will be a tithing parish.

Peace, Fr. Brian

The origin of the term “tithe” is in scripture, where it means giving 10% to the Lord and to religious institutions directed toward the Lord. The scriptural prescription about giving alms or charity to the poor has no percentage requirement. The common use of the term “tithing parish” refers to parishioners giving 10% of their income to the Church and its religious activities. If one goes beyond the common understanding of members giving 10% to the Church; you could begin to speak of the parish tithing itself.

In the root scriptural meaning of that term “tithing,” a “tithing parish” would give 10% to the Lord and to the religious activities of the Church. St. Edward’s annually gives 8% to the Archdiocese in its assessment, and it gives donations to different religious causes, like, the Church and shrines in the Holy Land on Good Friday, the home mission Churches in the United States, the Propagation of the Faith, etc. When you add up all things, contributions that St. Edward’s make to the maintenance of the Church and the religious works of the Lord, it is clear that St. Edward’s is a “tithing parish” in giving 10% or more to the Lord and the works of the Lord.

It appears that some people at St. Edward’s have usurped the word “tithe” from its original intent to maintain the religious works of the Lord as scripturally prescribed at 10%, and they have transformed it into an injunction to give “charity” to the poor at a 10% rate. In doing this, they put greater emphasis upon charity to the poor than giving a tithe to the Lord. This transfer of the meaning of the term “tithe” has undertones of atheistic humanism – where an individual’s positive contribution to the need are very praiseworthy and humanistic, and their refusal to contribute to the parish and the archdiocese is really against God’s work in the Church and can therefore be said to be subtly, passively atheistic and of the secular spirit of the world.

What I am suggesting is that a major component of the problem you are dealing with is misuse of language. The term “tithe” really is a term which applies to giving 10% to the Lord and the religious works of the Lord, and “charity” is the proper term for alms giving to the poor. There is a scriptural injunction to tithe 10% for the religious works of the Lord, but there is no scriptural injunction to give 10% of one’s income in charity to the poor.

I hope these thoughts might be helpful in your parish’s exploration into what it means for St. Edward’s to be a “tithing parish.”

June 8, 2014

We are coming to the close of our 50-day Easter journey this weekend with the celebration of Pentecost. This day in which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles is seen as the “birthday of the Church.”

In our ongoing efforts to understand this wonderful gift/responsibility we have received, I invite you to consider the wisdom and challenge presented by article 33 from Vatican II’s The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church:

“Gathered together in the people of God and established in the one body of Christ under one head, the laity, whoever they are, are called as living members to apply to the building up of the church and to its continual sanctification all the powers which they have received from the goodness of the Creator and from the grace of the Redeemer.”

The apostolate of the laity is a sharing in the church’s saving mission. Through Baptism and Confirmation all are appointed to this apostolate by the Lord himself. Moreover, by the sacraments, and especially by the sacred Eucharist, that love of God and humanity which is the soul of the entire apostolate is communicated and nourished. The laity, however, are given this special vocation: to make the church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only through them that it can become the salt of the earth. Thus, all lay people, through the gifts which they have received, are at once the witnesses and the living instruments of the mission of the church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s gift’ (Eph 4:7).

All the laity, then, have the exalted duty of working for the ever greater extension of the divine plan of salvation to all people of every time and every place. Every opportunity should therefore be given them to share zealously in the salvific work of the church according to their ability and the needs of the times.”

Yes, all Christians are called to continue Jesus’ good work through their membership in the Church.

This is an inherent responsibility received at Baptism. If someone says that they can be a good Christian and/or Catholic and do not have to be active within the Church, simply tell them that they are wrong. Invite them to read the Acts of the Apostles (which we have reflected on throughout the Easter season) and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Clearly and decisively, God calls every Christian to actively support the Church. All have gifts to share.

Granted, how to live out this responsibility can indeed be a challenge, especially during the recent trying times within our local Church. However, our obligation to support the Church does not end because of our struggles with the leadership. All of us make up the Church. Remember, we are only as strong as our weakest member. Therefore, inactive or passive members need to be brought back home; and, active members need to be inspired to continue their efforts. We all must take our place at the table. Together we build the kingdom here on earth.

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide our efforts to be the Church!

Originally posted October 27, 2013

“RE-ENGAGE!” is the rallying cry of this year’s stewardship campaign.

I hope that everyone has received their stewardship packet by now (they were available in the church foyer these past two weekends and any not picked up were mailed out); or, stewardshipmore importantly, I pray that every parish family is taking time to seriously reflect on how they will share their time, talent and treasure here at St. Edwards. Yes, there is a great deal happening within our parish — for example, this weekend’s grand re-opening of the newly remodeled youth room — however, know that it cannot help without the support of everyone. Please take time to discern how you and your family will support our parish. We need you!

As a reminder of the good work that is made possible through your support, below is a thank you letter I recently received from VEAP our local social service agency.

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Dear Father Fier:

Thank you so much for the recent gifts from the Church of St. Edward. Your congregation’s gifts of $4,000 to support our annual operating and $10,000 for the Our Next Chapter capacity campaign are much appreciated and will help VEAP in its ongoing efforts to serve this community and families in need.

A lot is happening at 9600 Aldrich and construction crews are busy every day. The transformation is dramatic and each time I go over to the site, I marvel at how much it changes from day to day. The façade is taking shape and the interior walls are framed in. It’s very exciting to see the vision become a reality.

As you know, program expansion is a key piece of the campaign and much discussion and planning has centered on the teaching kitchen and nutritional programming. VEAP is very fortunate to be working in partnership with nutrition experts from the University of Minnesota Extension, General Mills and Betty Crocker. We anticipate that incorporating this educational and practical element into our food program will provide a great service to our neighbors in need.

On behalf of all the families and individuals VEAP serves, thank you again for your continued partnership and support of the Our Next Chapter campaign. Together we are making a difference in the lives of neighbors in our community.

Sincerely, Susan Russell Freeman, Executive Director

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Thank you everyone for the great work we are doing here at St. Edwards. Together we are building the kingdom. Keep the faith!

Autumn blessings, Fr. Brian