We Don't Have Tomorrow but We Had Yesterday

07-26-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sure seems like ‘yesterday came suddenly”. Our Parish and School Community bid a fond and affectionate farewell to three of our longtime staff heading into the bliss of retirement. Specifically, Deacon Jim Brett, Director of Stewardship and Finance for the past 20yrs (and over 30yrs of service to our Diocese as a deacon); Mrs. Edith Bowers, Elementary School Teacher for 32yrs at Mt. Carmel School and Mrs. Gina Watson, School Office Administration for our School for 26 yrs! With much gratitude we say Hail and Farewell!

Anyone of them could have had a career in their field in a secular environment and certainly would have received a bigger paycheck. So why do people with gifts and talents and skills willingly accept a level of loss and spend their careers in Church when they could have made out handsomely elsewhere? The simple answer is that they are motivated by the Mission of the Church and want to be part of furthering that Mission. Still whether working for the Church or not, the teaching of the Gospel is clear: each of us is required to use whatever gifts, talents, resources, or skills we have to leverage the Kingdom.

In the Parable of the Dishonest Steward, Jesus admonishes his followers to “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon (worldly wealth) so that when it fails, they (the friends you have made) may receive you into eternal dwellings.”. And who are they that can welcome you into eternal dwellings? Well it is likely not your Hedge Fund Manager who will do so but the holy ones who have already inherited the Kingdom. So, you may not be working for the Church per se but you are certainly working alongside the Church to further the Mission. How well are your leveraging this world’s resources for the sake of the Kingdom?

Let’s face it, isn’t that what big Corporations are doing? They give millions to groups or causes so that in turn those groups remain loyal customers. It’s not necessarily nefarious, more a strategy of self-interest, but from a marketing point of view it is successful.

This past weekend we Spotlighted our St. Vincent de Paul Conference and the incredible service they provide to members of our local area community. Countless hours are spent answering phone calls, preparing food boxes, delivering food boxes, helping with rental and utility assistance and many other needs and requests. There may not be a lot of razzle dazzle in the work but it combines the use of our resources with the message of the Gospel to those who are experiencing hard days. We can add up the cost of the goods and services but we can never put a price tag on the hope that is passed on to so many.

For all of the many hours of service by our SVDP members and for all the giving of our Parishioners who leverage their treasure for the Kingdom, we are grateful. And for our three retirees and their combined 78 years of service to our Parish and Parish School, we give thanks. Each of them is irreplaceable in their own unique special way and they leave their spiritual fingerprints on all of us at Mt. Carmel. Godspeed and good golfing!

Though, with our three retirees, we don't have tomorrow but we had yesterday. And for that we are grateful to each of them.

Love, Fr. John B.

BACK TO LIST