This past week was monumental for the Archdiocese of Omaha and our parish. Last Monday we hosted the Archdiocesan Pastoral Vision Conference with special guest, Fr. James Mallon, the author of the book Divine Renovation. Over 500 people (100 priests and 400 lay leaders) were in attendance and the Holy Spirit was on the move!
Fr. Mallon gave three talks: Remembering our Identity, Culture is more than Programs, and Catechesis vs Evangelization. The summary of the day was a call to leadership on the part of the baptized and claiming “changed lives” as the sole purpose of parish life. On Tuesday he encouraged my brother priests and I to consider a different model of priestly leadership – working out of a leadership team with a clear vision and strategies to build a strong and healthy culture centered around the Church’s mission. That will become the main focus of the pastor. We are already working to establish and embrace that model here at Sacred Heart.
All of this is a perfect lead in to our Parish Stewardship Renewal. The theme for this year and the renewal homily series is DECISION POINT.
Jesus expects us to bear fruit; to give of ourselves in such a way that lives are changed and disciples made. There is an urgent need for everyone to contribute – to LEAD.
Leadership means pointing out a goal to someone and through our relationships and influence, help them reach that goal. We influence others by the genuineness and seriousness of our commitment: by our friendship with God, putting others first, knowing what is right and doing it, invitation, availability, generosity, serving.
You are equally responsible for the mission to take the Gospel out to others. Just as responsible as the Pope, bishops, pastors, religious. With joyfully active baptized people in motion there is no end to the number of changed lives that can result.
This year we’re going to make decision about how we will serve, connect, and give to God and our neighbor.